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Kubernetes / Platform Engineering / Software Development

How Platform Engineering Can Help Solve Vendor Lock-In

It’s important to understand that the changes at VMware are inevitable, and time is short to begin an effective transition.
Feb 6th, 2024 9:27am by
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Last year, Forrester predicted that 20% of VMware customers would ditch the ecosystem. With Broadcom’s $61 billion acquisition of VMware, it looks like that is coming true — fast. Thousands of VMware customers have suddenly been hit by a wave of changes. Dozens of products are being dropped, permanent licences being abandoned and expected costs are seeing massive increases.

This is unsurprising, as with a new owner comes a new business focus. According to the Wall Street Journal, Broadcom has made it clear that its goal is to “focus completely on the needs and priorities of its top 600 customers.” This leaves more than 300,000 customers, many with heavy lock-in to VMware products, facing a very uncertain future.

In response, three platform engineering companies — Humanitec, Thoughtworks and Bechtle Competence Center AVS — have joined forces to help VMware customers build a simple and tested exit ramp using platform engineering and a modular internal developer platform.

The Possible Impact of These Changes

The degree to which these changes affect you depends on which VMware technologies you are using and your integration strategy. There are three different use cases:

  • Case 1: You are using Tanzu as the K8s dial tone. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) might run on VMware or any cloud provider.
  • Case 2: You are using Tanzu Application Service (TAS), the former Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF ). You are running on VMware or any cloud provider.
  • Case 3: You are using Tanzu Application Platform (TAP), and you are deeply integrated with all the special capabilities that VMware has built into it like Mission Control or Wavefront.

Those in the third case will face the highest lock-in and the first the lowest. Depending on your negotiating ability and the degree to which you’re locked in to VMware products, you are extremely likely to see large price increases and a drop in product development and support across all product lines.

If you are not absolutely certain that you are one of these 600 core customers that VMware will prioritize, it’s crucial that you begin your journey to exit the VMware ecosystem.

A Plan to Escape Vendor Lock-In

Case 1 is the simplest to leave. It has a fast and minimal-effort migration path that involves the transformation into a modular internal developer platform. This can be done in a short period of time.

Case 2 is more complex, however, still easily doable. You will replace the build packs of TAS with cloud native build packs and then orchestrate them with a platform orchestrator.

Case 3 is the most challenging, but also the most crucial for identifying an escape path from VMware, as this is where it will squeeze the most. There will be additional complexity due to the integration of your processes with fleet management, operations tooling and observability.

We discuss all of these cases, your risk and your migration and mitigation options in a detailed whitepaper. If you are one of VMware’s more than 300,000 customers — not yet affected by these changes — it’s important to understand that they are inevitable, and time is short to begin an effective transition.

The $61 billion that Broadcom paid for VMware is an incredible amount of money, and Broadcom intends to get it back.

Download the white paper now and start planning your escape.

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