VMware vs. KubeVirt: Discover a Cost-Effective Solution for Legacy VMs and Container Adoption

In a recent webinar hosted by Platform9, Field CTO Peter Fray, Account Executive Nate Conger, and Head of Marketing Kamesh Pemmaraju discussed how to deal with the disruption happening in the virtualization industry in the wake of Broadcom’s planned acquisition of VMware.  They addressed several questions and concerns they are hearing from customers and prospects, covering the following topics: 

  • What are the current customer concerns?   
  • Should they stick with their long-time virtualization solution?  
  • What are the reasonable alternatives and their pros and cons?  
  • Why is KubeVirt a better alternative?  
  • What would it take to migrate your VMs to KubeVirt?  
  • How much would it cost?  
  • What are the risks?  

We’ve summarized some of the key points below. You can also watch the webinar recording on-demand to catch this entire informative and in-depth session right now. 

Navigating the VMware Acquisition by Broadcom: Addressing Pricing and Support Concerns 

Peter shared that customers have expressed anxiety over potential changes in VMware pricing, fearing that costs may escalate under Broadcom’s ownership. This concern stems from the uncertainty surrounding the integration of the two companies and how it may impact product development and pricing strategies. Broadcom’s history with acquisitions has shown a trend in licensing restructuring and cost increases. 

Furthermore, Peter observed a prevalent worry among customers about the level of support and customer service they will receive following the acquisition. Historically, when companies are acquired, there tends to be a decline in support services, leaving customers dissatisfied and searching for alternatives. This concern is echoed by channel partners who resell VMware, as they are caught in the middle, attempting to assist their customers while grappling with their own uncertainties. 

Nate reinforced these concerns by highlighting insights from Forester. Broadly, Broadcom has typically focused on its top 600 customers, working directly with them while the rest are handled through the channel. Nate anticipates a similar pattern in the future, potentially leaving some customers feeling overlooked or underserved. This approach raises questions about how customers outside of the top tier will be supported and whether their needs will be adequately addressed. 

Evaluating Alternatives to VMware: Exploring Cost, Lock-In, and Cloud Migration Challenges 

Peter and Nate discussed options customers are considering as alternatives to VMware. They highlight the popular options that are typically considered:  

  • Sticking with VMware 
  • Adopting a cloud-first approach 
  • Transitioning to other legacy virtualization providers, or  
  • Exploring open-source alternatives like OpenStack 

Each option comes with its own challenges and considerations. Customers are concerned about pricing uncertainties with VMware and the high costs of cloud services compared to private data centers. Shifting to different virtualization providers like Hyper-V or OpenStack presents difficulties, and these options may lack cost-effective forward-looking innovation in cloud-native, containerization, and Kubernetes.  

Nate emphasized the issue of vendor lock-in with these alternatives. Kamesh raised the point that lifting-and-shifting VMs to the cloud without considering real business outcomes and operational efficiencies may not be cost-effective. Peter mentioned the challenges of migrating away from the cloud once locked in and the overall cost implications. Making the right choice requires understanding trade-offs, cost implications, and maintaining control over technological futures. 

Checkout Platform9’s virtualization solution that addresses the downsides of other commonly considered alternatives. 

Why is KubeVirt a better alternative to VMware? 

KubeVirt, supported by Platform9, enables organizations to adopt containerization while still leveraging legacy virtual machines (VMs). 

The industry’s move towards containerization and the blend of Kubernetes with hypervisors offer benefits like higher workload density. KubeVirt addresses the challenge of legacy VMs by facilitating their migration from VMware to Kubernetes infrastructure. This approach combines the advantages of Kubernetes with support for existing virtualization efforts. 

KubeVirt leverages KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine), a widely used hypervisor standard, simplifying VM migration from various sources. By running Kubernetes as the base layer and accommodating legacy VMs, organizations gain the best of both worlds. 

The shift towards Kubernetes as the primary layer is expected to provide better workload density and future readiness. Leveraging Kubernetes at the bare metal base layer offers significant compute capacity savings compared to VMware’s heavy VM footprint. 

KubeVirt builds upon KVM, a battle-tested hypervisor adopted by the world’s largest cloud providers and enterprises. KubeVirt enables organizations to leverage Kubernetes benefits immediately without extensive app refactoring. They can gradually decompose VMs – on their own time, priority, and focus – into microservices, increasing platform density and saving on dual platform and management costs. 

You can learn more about Platform9 Managed KubeVirt on our product page. 

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Analysis: License, Operational, and Staffing Costs Considerations 

In the Sample TCO Analysis overview, Nate presented a chart comparing the TCO of VMware and Platform9 over a five-year period, factoring in growth and workload footprint. The analysis demonstrates a 49% reduction in TCO when using Platform9 and KubeVirt. This reduction includes both operations and licensing costs. With Platform9’s cloud-based management plane, the number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) required to maintain and operate the environment decreases from four to one, allowing administrators to focus on value-added tasks. 

The discussion highlights the benefits of the unified platform, where VMs and containers can coexist. KubeVirt and KVM offer higher workload density compared to traditional VMs. Refactoring applications into microservices and containers can lead to approximately a 4X density increase. This virtuous cycle of benefits in licensing, operations, and workload density continues as organizations adopt and leverage the platform. 

Peter emphasized the significance of the reduced FTEs, enabling teams to dedicate 75% more time to delivering better services, developing CI/CD pipelines, and higher-value activities. The ability to run containers alongside VMs results in significantly higher workload density and a reduced footprint. Transitioning from VMs to containers eliminates RAM requirements for each operating system, allowing organizations to shrink their environment and repurpose servers for other tasks. 

Nate added that the platform accommodates running legacy VMs until their natural end, providing flexibility for organizations with long-standing VMs that do not require immediate refactoring. This capability allows users to leverage the benefits of containers while still maintaining legacy VMs. 

The TCO analysis and workload density benefits demonstrate the cost savings and efficiency gains that can be achieved by adopting Platform9 and KubeVirt, enabling organizations to optimize resource utilization and focus on delivering higher-value services. 

For a free TCO analysis of your particular environment, please feel free to contact us.

Why Platform9? 

Platform9 provides a management platform that allows centralized control over containers, VMs, and infrastructure across multiple data centers and cloud instances. The focus is on avoiding dual management by gradually moving to the new platform and leveraging software expertise for seamless migration of existing VMs.  

Platform9 manages the complete lifecycle of the clusters, providing support, monitoring, and immediate response to critical events. Our differentiated service includes real-time alerts, alarms, and troubleshooting to ensure uninterrupted cluster operation. In the event of failures, automatic migration and rescheduling of virtual machines and containers onto available nodes ensure continuous application availability.  

Platform9’s unified platform also covers VM and container management, monitoring, and bare metal provisioning. A key advantage is its multi-cloud support for public cloud offerings such as EKS, AKS etc., enabling the management of non-Platform9 Kubernetes deployments. This flexibility frees users from vendor lock-in and allows for a multi-cloud approach.  

Platform9 offers an efficient, vendor-agnostic solution for streamlined Kubernetes management, ensuring a unified experience across multiple platforms and cloud environments. 

To learn more about how you can migrate from VMware to Platform9 and KubeVirt, check out our white paper, Moving beyond VMware: Create agility, save costs, and future proof your transition.

Start with business outcomes before making critical technology or migration decisions 

Thinking through exactly what business outcomes you are trying to achieve is crucial when you are making new platform, technology, or migration decisions. The most popular choice of lifting-and-shifting VMs to a public cloud is a trap. In today’s tight economic environment, you cannot afford the astronomical public cloud bills anymore. Other options could also be equally cost-prohibitive. You need to think about cost efficiency from the get-go.  

Platform9’s philosophy revolves around starting with the business outcome and working backward to provide a platform that ensures a smooth transition without leaving any applications or services behind. Our focus on pragmatic solutions and customer success sets us apart in the market. You can reach out to us to schedule a meeting and see for yourself how the experts at Platform9 help you modernize your infrastructure to meet your business needs and goals. 

Kamesh Pemmaraju

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