How are you handling Broadcom’s End of General Availability for VMware ESXi

Mar 04, 2024
On February 13, 2024, Broadcom, who recently acquired VMWare from Dell, announced the End of General Availability (EOGA) for the Free vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 7.x and 8.x) without offering an equivalent replacement product.

What was ESXi? ESXI was a free bare-metal hypervisor that helped manage virtual machines. It allowed a single physical server to run multiple virtual machines that could act as a suite of servers.

This decision to remove General Availability for ESXi is partially expected due the earlier Broadcom announcement regarding the End of Availability of Perpetual Licensing and SaaS Services. This earlier announcement had the goal of consolidating Broadcom offerings to two options: 1) VMware Cloud Foundation, or 2) VMware vSphere Foundation. For an additional cost, VMware add-on services can be purchased to further enhance those options.

These announcements put quite a few companies in a spot where they are either A) being asked to enter into a subscription model and pay for additional services that they don’t currently use and had no intentions of using; or B) move to an entirely new infrastructure option.

For those that can’t afford this change or choose to look elsewhere, there are a number of ESXi alternatives. PCCC’s CTO, Giovanni Bechis, has looked at a few ESXi alternatives and of those, recommends Proxmox. Proxmox handles much of the features of ESXi as well as adds additional features over ESXi. Beyond our CTO’s recommendation the Foundation would like to ask for further recommendations for ESXi alternatives. Our foundation loves open source software because it lets you have better control of your destiny with the software that you’re using. End of Life never applies to Open Source Software!

An additional concern is that with this subscription model change from Broadcom, some ISPs might increase their prices as well.

In that vein, if the VMware change for ESXi affected you, how are you addressing it? What are the ESXi alternatives that you all are looking into?