VMware product portfolio: Licensing internals; and Lenovo has been out since Feb. 27, 2024

[German]Broadcom has bought VMware and cleaned up the product portfolio and changed the licensing of various products. I have documents with internal licensing guidelines that show the effects of these changes. It has also become known that, after Dell, Lenovo is also withdrawing from the sale of VMware licenses for the time being (until the chaos clears up). And there is a new version of VMware Workstation with amazing insights. I have also included two tips on VMware Player.


In May 2022, I reported on Broadcom's purchase of VMware for the insane sum of 61 billion US dollars in the blog post Broadcom acquires VMware for 61 billion US-$. Since the end of 2023, it has been clear that this has severe consequences, VMware OEM partners were terminated (see Contracts for all VMware partners terminated by Broadcom for 2024) and customers were no longer able to activate their products or renew licenses in January 2024 (see VMware OEM portal offline, customers cannot activate VMware licenses). It is now known that the licensing of VMware products has been changed and some products have been discontinued (see Broadcom ends perpetual licenses for VMware products – End of the free ESXi server? and also links at the end of the article).

Lenovo stops selling licenses

I had already reported in the German blog post VMware-Nachlese: PAC funktioniert wieder; Dell macht den Exit that Dell is exiting the contracts with VMware. Dell used to be the owner of VMware, but has released it "into independence" in 2021. In this process, a contract was concluded between Dell and VMware that enabled Dell to continue selling VMware virtualization products independently. Due to the acquisition of VMware by Broadcom, Dell terminated this contract on January 25, 2024.

Lenovo has now also announced its withdrawal at the end of February 2024. A blog reader had sent me the information (see screenshot) on March 1, 2024 (thanks for that) that Lenovo has temporarily stopped selling VMware products as of February 27, 2024. As of this date, Lenovo will no longer accept orders for the time being.

The message I received states that VMware will no longer accept orders for future business with immediate effect. Therefore, Lenovo will cease all new sales and renewals of VMware software (both term and perpetual licenses) until VMware completes the new OEM program.


Lenovo writes that they are aware that this differs from a previous message regarding the March 6 end date for processing approved orders. They are requesting that partners and customers share the information that VMware by Broadcom has ceased operations until further notice. As the situation evolves, Lenovo will keep customers informed of any official changes from VMware by Broadcom.

VMware: Products and licensing from 5. Feb. 2024

Another blog reader sent me an overview of VMware by Broadcom products and licensing from February 5, 2024. I'll extract some of the information here in the blog post. As of February 5, 2024, the vSphere Perpetual licenses ended, so there are the following changes in this regard.

  • No more vSphere Academic licenses.
  • Only Core licensing still possible.
  • No more VMware vSphere Perpetual licenses possible.
  • VMware renewal of perpetual licenses no longer possible.
  • No more vSphere Essentials Bundle.
  • New vSAN licenses no longer with Essentials Plus or Standard licenses.
  • Currently no upgrade SKUs from Perpetual to Subscription available.
  • Currently no CoTerm possible.
  • Only disconnected licenses.
  • No edition upgrade SKUs available.
  • Combination of Perpetual and Subscription licenses possible.

But this was already known. If you still want or need to continue on the VMware track, you have the option of ordering the following products from VMware or partners:

  • vSphere Essentials Plus Bundle (VVEP)
  • vSphere Standard (VVS)
  • vSphere Foundation (VVF)
  • VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF)

The acronym VVS stands for VMware Validated Solutions for Cloud Services Providers, VCF stands for VMware Cloud Foundation and VVEP stands for VMware vSphere Essentials Plus Kit. VMware vSphere Foundation (VVF) is a new edition for SMEs and offers a simplified workload platform at enterprise level.

VMware vSphere Free Hypervisor and VMware vSphere Essentials are no longer available. VMware Essentials Plus (VVEP) can still be licensed at the following prices:

  • 1 Year: SKU VSP-ESPL-TD-TL-1P-C; Price: € 4.505,00
  • 3 Years: SKU VSP-ESPL-TD-TL-3P-C; Price: € 9.460,00
  • 5 Years: SKU VSP-ESPL-TD-TL-5P-C; Price: € 15.750,00

The following applies to the products:

  • VMware Essentials Plus (96 Core Pack) VSP-ESPL-TD-TL-1P-C € 4.505,00
    VMware vSphere Essentials Plus includes vSphere Essentials Plus and vCenter Essentials.
    VMware vSphere Essentials Plus Subscription includes ProductionSupport and is licensed Per 96 Core Pack
    with a minimum of 16 Cores per CPU required and 3 Hosts maximum.
  • VMware vSphere Standard (per Core – min. 16 Core pro CPU) VS8-STD-SK-TLSS-1Y-C € 65,70 ->
    16 Core = € 1.051,52
    32 Core = € 2.102,52
    64 Core = € 4.204,80VMware vSphere Standard includes vSphere Standard and vCenter Standard.
    VMware vSphere Standard includes ProductionSupport and is licensed Per Core
    with a minimum of 16 Cores per CPU required.

It is therefore cheaper to use vSphere Standard than Essentials Plus for environments with up to 4 CPUs with a maximum of 16 cores each. Between 70 and 96 cores, the Essentials Plus Pack is cheaper.

VMware vSphere Standard Perpetual is also no longer available, instead there is vSphere Standard (VVS), where it is called:

  • VMware vSphere Standard includes vSphere Standard and vCenter Standard.
  • VMware vSphere Standard includes Production Support and is licensed Per Core with a minimum of 16 Cores per CPU required.

whereby the following prices are to be expected:

1 Year VS8-STD-SK-TLSS-1Y-C € 65,70
3 Years VS8-STD-SK-TLSS-3Y-C € 141,00
5 Years VS8-STD-SK-TLSS-5Y-C € 235,00

No vSAN is possible with vSphere Standard, according to the documents available to me. The following is mentioned as an advantage of vSphere Standard over Essentials Plus:

  • Storage vMotion
  • No size limitation
  • Scalability

VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus Perpetual is also no longer available since the beginning of February and has been replaced by vSphere Foundation (VVF). Included are:

  • vSphere Enterprise Plus
  • vCenter Standard
  • Tanzu Kubernetes Grid
  • Aria Suite Standard
  • vSAN Enterprise (100GiB/Core)* Future Release

It says: "VVF Subscription includes ProductionSupport and is licensed Per Core with a minimum of 16 Cores per CPU required." The following prices apply:

1 Year VSP-PL-TD-TL-1P-C € 177,00
3 Years VSP-PL-TD-TL-3P-C € 380,00
5 Years VSP-PL-TD-TL-5P-C € 634,00

VMware published the document Embracing Change with VMware vSphere Foundation and the article VMware End Of Availability of Perpetual Licensing and SaaS Services on the changes in January 2024. The following prices and packages apply for vSAN Add-on:

  • Subscription licenses
  • Disconnected, optional connectivity in future
  • Per TiB pricing
  • TIB minimum 8 TiB per CPU required
  • 1-, 3- and 5-year terms
  • System enhancements in May 2024 that support annual billing and co-term
  • Termination for Convenience (TFC)

1 Year VSP-PL-TD-VSAN-TL-1P-C € 276,00
3 Years VSP-PL-TD-VSAN-TL-3P-C € 591,00
5 Years VSP-PL-TD-VSAN-TL-5P-C € 986,00

The following prices apply for VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF):

1 Year VCF-TD-TL-1P-C € 460,00
3 Years VCF-TD-TL-3P-C € 986,00
5 Years VCF-TD-TL-5P-C € 1.645,00

Further details (also on vSphere Foundation (VVF) add-ons) will be revealed by the OEMs or VMware partners who are still in business (see Lenovo announcement above).

VMware Workstation 17.5.1

A short addendum: VMware Workstation has recently been updated to version 17.5.1 to correct a vulnerability. The colleagues from deskmodder.de have picked this up here.

Blog reader Klaus B. then sent me the above screenshot of the VMware Workstation Pro 17.5.1 installer, where the agreement is displayed in a "somewhat playful font and is basically unreadable. On a second computer, however, Klaus was able to read the agreement in a "thin" font. He wrote: "Looks like they didn't use a standard Windows font for it, then Windows just uses a different one to display something."

VMware Player tips

Something else for the record – I recently came across something about "side-channel mitigation" in VMware Player (there was a constant warning when testing). A quick search then led me to the article How to Disable side-channel mitigations in VMWare Player.

And there was the question of how to enable virtual TPM 2.0 in VMware Player, as this is not offered as an option. Martin Brinkmann has described the relevant entry for activating the option in the article How to enable TPM 2.0 support in VMware Workstation Player for free.

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
Broadcom ends perpetual licenses for VMware products – End of the free ESXi server?
Statement from Broadcom on issue after Symantec acquisition
Symantec acquisition by Broadcom ends in license/support chaos
After discontinuation: VMware Player, Workstation and Fusion seems to remain
Microsoft survey on virtualization: Migration from VMware
Private equity firm KKR buys VMware end customer business for 4 billion dollars

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