Breaking free from legacy: A definitive guide to successful migration from VMware to KubeVirt- Part 1

The Broadcom acquisition of VMware isn’t the only thing that is keeping VMware users up at night. The current economic climate is hampering modernization projects as organizations look to save money where they can. At the same time, teams are looking for ways to gain efficiency in managing both VMs and containers as organizations work to future-proof their workloads. Many workloads can’t be moved out of a VM – refactoring to containers isn’t realistic or perhaps even possible, and even when feasible, requires significant time and effort that many businesses simply can’t afford right now. 

There is good news, however. VMs can be migrated to run in a Kubernetes environment – without the need to be containerized, with KubeVirt. KubeVirt minimizes the need for expensive legacy VM management licenses. Plus, because VMs don’t need to be refactored, KubeVirt can provide a rapid path to addressing the operational and cost concerns of running VMs.  

In this four-part blog series, we’ll walk you through why considering a shift from VMware to KubeVirt makes sense, what a migration project looks like, other factors that need to be considered during and after migration, and finally how you can realize as much as a 50% cost reduction over your current VM costs. 

The business benefits of migrating to KubeVirt from VMware 

By seamlessly integrating VMs with containerization technologies in a Kubernetes environment, KubeVirt provides businesses with the tools they need to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and mitigate vendor lock-in risks.  

In this section, we will look at five key business benefits that organizations can gain by using KubeVirt instead of VMware.  

Improved Resource Utilization 

KubeVirt takes advantage of Kubernetes’s containerization and orchestration capabilities, allowing for more efficient resource utilization. By running VMs alongside containers on the same infrastructure, you can achieve higher density and better compute resource utilization. This can result in significant cost savings by reducing the number of physical servers required to run your workloads.   

Scalability and Elasticity 

KubeVirt offers seamless scalability and elasticity, enabling you to dynamically adjust the number of VMs based on workload demands. With Kubernetes’s native scaling features, you can automatically scale VMs horizontally (and vertically), optimizing resource allocation and reducing idle capacity. This flexibility allows you to match resource usage with actual workload requirements, leading to cost savings by avoiding over-provisioning.  

Cost-Effective Licensing 

VMware’s licensing model frequently includes substantial upfront costs as well as ongoing licensing fees based on the number of CPUs or sockets. It is possible that their licensing will be moved to core pricing, which will significantly raise customer costs.  

KubeVirt, on the other hand, is an open-source platform based on Kubernetes. It also makes use of KVM, the battle-tested open-source hypervisor used by the world’s largest cloud providers. As a result, you can avoid the high licensing costs associated with proprietary virtualization solutions. Generally, companies leverage an enterprise Kubernetes distribution or managed service (like Platform9) to reduce the technical and operational burden on their team. 

Infrastructure Simplification 

KubeVirt’s integration with Kubernetes creates a unified management platform for containers and virtual machines. This integration eliminates the need for separate virtualization and containerization management tools and infrastructure, streamlining your operations and reducing complexity. Simplifying infrastructure management results in lower administrative overhead and operational costs.  

Vendor Lock-In Mitigation 

Migrating from VMware to KubeVirt reduces reliance on a single vendor, lowering the risks of vendor lock-in. KubeVirt is an open-source project with a vibrant community. This open ecosystem offers you the flexibility to choose from multiple vendors for hardware, software, and services, enabling cost-effective procurement and avoiding vendor-specific pricing models. 

While KubeVirt provides cost savings and business benefits, the actual cost savings may vary depending on the specific requirements, workloads, and existing VMware licensing agreements. To get a more accurate estimate of potential savings for your organization, conduct a thorough cost analysis and compare the total cost of ownership (TCO) of VMware and KubeVirt. 

From good idea to migration plan 

In this first blog, we’ve examined the business benefits of migrating your VMs to KubeVirt. In our next blog, we’ll take a high-level look at what a migration project from VMware to KubeVirt might look like. Be sure to check back for Part 2 of Breaking free from legacy: A definitive guide to successful migration from VMware to KubeVirt. 

In the meantime, we can help you gain a better understanding of what your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) with KubeVirt might look like. Platform9 is offering a free TCO consult where we will work with you to assess your current infrastructure and show you how you can save money using our field-tested TCO model. Book your free consultation today.

Kamesh Pemmaraju

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