Customer loss at VMware; Customers switch to Nutanix AHV; Bumpy portal switch

[German]It's time again for a little round-up article with some news from the world of Broadcom and VMware. VMware seems to be losing customers on a massive scale. I have received information that major customer Compushare is rehearsing the exit with 24,000 VMs from VMware to Nutanix. And then there is the CIO of Boyd Gaming, who is happy to have switched from VMware to Nutanix 18 months ago. The switch of the user portal from VMware to Broadcom was also turbulent for customers and caused problems with missing licenses.


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Customer loss at VMware

When I reported on the turbulence at VMware after the purchase by Broadcom (see links at the end of the article), the reaction of many readers was "nothing like it". Now we are a few days older, the "dust has settled" and we can look at the numbers. A few days ago, The Register published two articles showing how customers are moving "off the shelf".

Computershare migrates from VMs to Nutanix

Compushare, a global provider that manages share registers, organizes general meetings and handles shareholder communications. The Australian company generated a turnover of 3.3 billion US dollars last year, with over 14,000 employees working in more than 20 countries and serving 40,000 customers and 75 million end customers.

The company uses 24,000 VMs to handle its tasks and is a major VMware customer. That seems to be history, as the company wants to migrate all VMs to Nutanix AHV.

Kevin O'Connor, CTO of Computershare, found two virtualization products when he started work: Nutanix AHV and arguably VMware. The CTO felt that two hypervisor vendors were one too many and was considering consolidation, as he said in the discussion of his closing keynote at Nutanix's Next conference in Barcelona when asked what he thought of the VMware acquisition by Broadcom.

But this consolidation was not carried through at the time "because the figures didn't add up". The picture changed when the VMware sales people approached Computershare after the Broadcom takeover. It was probably about the price for future licenses, and the offer showed that the license costs were to increase by a factor of between 10 and 15.


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Computershare has now decided to kick VMware as a hypervisor provider and will migrate 24,000 VMs to Nutanix AHV. The switch will take place over the next year before VMware licenses need to be renewed. According to O'Connor, the project will pay for itself in a few months (less than 10), which The Register picked up on a few days ago in the article It looks a lot like VMware just lost a 24,000-VM customer.

The Register quotes Steve McDowell, principal analyst at NAND Research, who told the publication that VMware by Broadcom is "laser-focused on revenue- and margin-rich businesses" and has priced its license costs for customers they care about "just below the pain threshold". This smells like trouble for Broadcom, as there is a threat of customer loss, because it is often difficult to determine exactly where the pain threshold lies for the respective companies.

Boyd Gaming switches to Nutanix

A second case described by Register in the article CIO who dropped VMware 18 months ago now feeling thoroughly chuffed also falls into this pattern. It concerns Boyd Gaming, an operator of 28 hotels and casinos in the USA, which implements AR for slot machines using VMs.

The CIO of Boyd Gaming, Gregg Lowe, was in negotiations about a new corporate contract with VMware years ago – before the Broadcom takeover. However, as in the case above, Nutanix was also represented in the company. Nutanix offer their own AHV hypervisor for free with a stack.

The CIO would then have had to pay for product or hypervisor licenses that were not needed. The decision was made to compare VMware and Nutanix AHV. At Boyd Gaming, the decision was made to migrate all VMs to Nutanix AHV. After 18 months, the company is in the process of completing the migration from VMware to Nutanix AHV at its last site.

Gregg Lowe admits that the project had its pitfalls and sometimes deadlines were not met or complications arose. But after the turmoil since the VMware takeover by Broadcom, Gregg Lowe (at a Nutanix event) is very satisfied with the decision that was made. The man had the right instinct and acted at the right time. So much for the statement "VMware has no alternative".

Bumpy portal transition

At the end of April 2024, VMware customers were moved to the Broadcom customer portal. In the German article VMware by Broadcom: Portal-Umzüge, Achtung: Schlüssel ohne Supportvertrag werden gelöscht, I provided the tip to back up product keys and data from the VMware portal and to make copies of the installation files of the VMware products.

I had already written in the German blog post VMware Workstation/Fusion Personal Use-Mode bestätigt, Schwachstellen vorhanden, fehlende Lizenzen im Broadcom-Portal that customers complain about missing licenses in the Broadcom portal. Phillip Ans from Inside-IT contacted me by e-mail and reported that the medium had also received reports of problems from readers. At Schweizer Medium, Katharina Jochum investigated the case of the Swiss IT service provider UMB.

Its customers have (partially) lost access to the portal as a result of the migration, meaning they can no longer access their software, patches and keys. The findings have been published in their Swiss article VMware-Kunden beklagen Probleme nach Umstellung auf Broadcom-Portal.

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