Order/license chaos for VMware products after Broadcom takeover (Jan. 2024)

Stop - Pixabay[English]These are currently difficult times for customers and resellers of VMware products who want to reorder, extend licenses or simply activate product licenses. After the Broadcom takeover, absolute chaos reigns. Dealers have been terminated, orders via OEMs are sometimes impossible, and the end customer portal for license activation has been shut down. After reporting on problems for the first time a few days ago, I now have internal information that confirms this. Incidentally, this is not the first incident in which Broadcom products and dealer/customer relationships have been "badly strained", to say the least, as I discovered when searching the blog.


Looking back: VMware purchase and first trouble

Here is a brief review that shows that the chaos outlined below was simply announced or was to be expected.

Broadcom purchased VMware

In May 2022, I reported on the purchase of VMware by Broadcom in the blog post Broadcom acquires VMware for 61 billion US-$. The crazy sum of 61 billion US dollars was mentioned as the purchase price. I wrote in the blog post about my doubts that this will be a good thing for customers.

At the end of 2023, it was announced that Broadcom wanted to sell off parts of the VMware portfolio to interested parties and only keep the VMware cloud business and continue it on a subscription basis (see my blog post Broadcom plans to sell VMware end-user computing and carbon black businesses).

Termination of the VMware partners

At the end of December 2023, the news makes the rounds that Broadcom has terminated all existing contracts with VMware partners (resellers and service providers) as of February 4, 2024 on Friday, December 22, 2023 (see Contracts for all VMware partners terminated by Broadcom for 2024). This means that neither VMware partners (who actually sell VMware products to end customers) nor customers know what will happen with the business relationships.

VMware Cloud Service Provider also terminated

Addendum: The Register reports in this article that Broadcom has also tossed all VMware Cloud Service Providers. The provider is leaving customers in the dark as to who will be the IT supplier for these services in the future.


VMware OEM portal offline – no license activation

This week I reported on the next problem in the blog post VMware OEM portal offline, customers cannot activate VMware licenses. The so-called VMware OEM portal is offline. When trying to activate the respective keys on the HPE site, the error message "The PAC redemption portals are being taken offline. Program Updates will be posted soon." (see following image).

VMware PAC redemption portals offline

This means that customers who have purchased VMware products cannot activate their licenses. In the linked blog post, I mentioned three cases of users reporting massive problems. In addition to the above, there are new findings that the end customer portal, where customers can activate their e-delivery PAC keys, is offline.

According to my latest information (from an internal source), the portal should go online again (by the end of the week) so that PAC keys that have already been delivered can be reactivated by the customer. I had interpreted "by the end of the week" to mean Friday, January 12, 2024. So far, however, the portal is still switched off. We'll have to wait and hope.

Broadcom/VMware: The current situation

As a result of my reporting, I have received some internal information from an unnamed source that does not bode well. The current status regarding Broadcom/VMware is that no orders, support extensions or price inquiries can be processed by OEMs or distributors. The distributors are also currently unable to process inquiries and orders. This is stated in a document that I have received.

What does this mean in detail for the respective procurement channels? Here is some information from my source, who has compiled it (based on internal instructions).

Ordering of VMware products via distribution

It is currently not possible to process orders via distributors. According to an announcement by Broadcom, distributors will probably not be able to process new requests for quotations until February 2, 2024.

VMWare OEM sales via Lenovo and HPE

Anyone wishing to order VMware products via Lenovo and HPE OEM sales will also be left out in the cold. Only orders received by these OEM distributors by January 8, 2024 will be processed.

All new VMware OEM orders can no longer be booked, as Lenovo and HPE have also had their VMware OEM contract terminated (see my comments above). I have only listed two OEMs here, the situation should also affect the other known OEMs to the same extent.

VMware product procurement via third parties

Anyone who now comes up with the idea of ordering VMware products and licenses via third-party providers such as TESEDI etc. will not find a different situation. It is not possible to book renewals/support extensions with these providers either. Furthermore, requests for quotations cannot be processed either.

What happens next?

My source told me that information is currently flowing rather sparsely because both the situation and the information situation at OEMs Lenovo and HPE in particular was confusing during the week. There were rumors that there would be news from various manufacturers on Friday, January 12, 2024. I don't have any information yet, so the whole thing is "work in progress".

Will customers still get CPU licenses?

The question remains as to what will happen next and whether customers will still receive the planned CPU licenses via the OEM? Unfortunately, the current information situation is such that nobody can and will make a binding commitment as to whether the VMWare CPU licenses will be made available again at all via the OEMs. Everything depends on Broadcom's will, and the situation and information can change almost daily.

Original VMware licenses via the distribution channel from February 2024

Back in December, VMware announced that it was moving the majority of its key products to a subscription-based licensing model and making significant changes to its partner program. I had reported on the Broadcom/VMware story in my blog posts (Broadcom plans to sell VMware end-user computing and carbon black businesses and Contracts for all VMware partners terminated by Broadcom for 2024).

According to the current status, the following licenses will then be available from February 2024 via the usual distribution channels and under modified license/procurement conditions (= subscriptions):

  • VMware vSphere
  • VMware vSAN. NSX, HCX
  • VMware Site Recovery Manager
  • VMware vCloud Suite
  • VMware Aria Suite, Universal, Automation, Operations

I don't know what the situation is with on-premises licenses for other VMware products. The above outline should ring alarm bells for VMware users. In my opinion, there is constant trouble and chaos ahead.

Do it again SAM: The Broadcom-Symantec case

While writing this article, I remembered "there was something else". Broadcom had also bought the security provider Symantec and then began to exploit its product portfolio. As a result, there was absolute chaos, customers and dealers were no longer able to renew or purchase Symantec licenses.

I had described the situation in various blog posts, e.g. Symantec acquisition by Broadcom ends in license/support chaos (see also links at the end of the article). I have not followed how the whole thing looks today. The destruction of existing customer relationships after company takeovers by Broadcom is therefore nothing new.

Similar articles:
Broadcom acquires VMware for 61 billion US-$
Broadcom plans to sell VMware end-user computing and carbon black businesses
Contracts for all VMware partners terminated by Broadcom for 2024
VMware OEM portal offline, customers cannot activate VMware licenses
Statement from Broadcom on issue after Symantec acquisition
Symantec acquisition by Broadcom ends in license/support chaos

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3 Responses to Order/license chaos for VMware products after Broadcom takeover (Jan. 2024)

  1. Anonymous says:

    What's going to happen to AVI?

  2. Andy says:

    The PAC redemption portals is back online.

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