End Of General Availability of the free vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 7.x and 8.x)

In an announcement that caught many by surprise, VMware has declared the end of general availability (EOGA) for its widely used vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) free edition. This decision marks a significant shift in the landscape of virtualization software, affecting countless users and organizations that have relied on this free tool for their virtualization needs.

A New Era for VMware

On December 11, 2023, VMware announced the culmination of a two-year effort to simplify its product portfolio and transition from perpetual licensing to a subscription model. This shift introduces VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) and VMware vSphere Foundation (VVF) as the cornerstone of VMware’s subscription offerings, accompanied by optional advanced add-ons to enhance functionality and meet specific use cases.

The Essence of Portfolio Simplification

The core objective of VMware’s portfolio simplification is to consolidate its vast array of software solutions into two primary offerings: VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware vSphere Foundation. This approach means that many VMware solutions will no longer be available as standalone products but will be integrated into the VCF or VVF packages.

Highlights of the New VMware Solutions:

  • VMware Cloud Foundation: A comprehensive solution designed for customers seeking a full-stack infrastructure platform, VCF integrates vSphere, vSAN, and NSX technologies, enriched with the Aria management and orchestration suite, including new services.
  • VMware vSphere Foundation: Tailored for data center optimization, VVF incorporates Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and Aria Operations, catering to environments with basic hardware consolidation needs or small-scale virtualization projects.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: VMware add-on services for both VCF and VVF aim to address additional requirements, including storage, security, disaster recovery, and Generative AI applications.

Empowering Customers with Flexible Licensing

In response to evolving customer needs, VMware by Broadcom is introducing the “Bring Your Own License” capability. This innovative approach allows customers to flexibly deploy their VMware Cloud Foundation subscriptions across validated hybrid cloud endpoints and on-prem data centers, ensuring a seamless transition and deployment flexibility.

Clarifications on End of Availability (EOA)

As part of this transition, certain VMware products have reached their End of Availability as standalone offerings. However, many of these products will continue to be accessible within the VCF or VVF frameworks or through specific add-ons. This strategic move aims to streamline access to VMware technologies while maintaining the robustness and innovation VMware is known.

Notably, VMware is announcing the EOA for Aria SaaS services, committing to support existing Aria SaaS customers until their subscription term concludes. Post-term, customers are encouraged to transition to VCF or VVF, ensuring continued access to VMware’s cutting-edge solutions.

Looking Ahead

This shift represents VMware’s commitment to delivering more value to its customers, simplifying deployment and management, and fostering innovation. As VMware continues to evolve, it remains dedicated to supporting its customers through these changes, ensuring a smooth transition and continued access to powerful, scalable virtualization solutions.

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