For VMware Customers in Limbo, Microsoft Throws a Lifeline to Azure

  • UPDATE, 5/9: Microsoft has extended the deadline for purchasing a five-year reserved instance from June 30, 2024 to Dec. 31, 2024.

Microsoft this week announced an Azure migration program aimed implicitly at VMware customers left scrambling by licensing changes implemented by its buyer, Broadcom.

The new VMware Rapid Migration Plan gives VMware customers a speedy and relatively cost-effective path to the long-running Azure VMware Solution, which lets enterprises run their VMware workloads -- including VMware vSphere, HCX, NSX-T and vSAN -- on Azure with little refactoring required.

Debuted in 2019, the Azure VMware Solution is a Microsoft-developed and VMware-backed service that, at the time, represented a significant extension of the two companies' yearslong symbiotic relationship.

Microsoft's announcement this week of the VMware Rapid Migration Plan serves as a nod to its continued support for the now Broadcom-owned VMware and a lifeline for VMware customers who may feel they've been thrown into the deep end of the pool by the acquisition. Specifically, by Broadcom's decision to gut VMware's perpetual licensing model in favor of a subscription model, a move that has put many organizations' budgets and infrastructure plans in tumult.

Broadcom CEO Hock Tan recently tried to mollify customers, explaining the eventual benefits of the subscription model while acknowledging that "fast-moving change may require more time." Many customers, however, remain unconvinced.

Microsoft's offer of a guardrailed path to the cloud is one panacea to those customers.

"With the VMware Rapid Migration Plan, Microsoft provides a comprehensive set of licensing benefits and programs to give you price protection and savings as you migrate to Azure VMware Solution," wrote Omar Khan, head of Azure Product Marketing at Microsoft, in a blog post Wednesday.

Per Khan, the offer comes with the following benefits:

  • A 20 percent discount on the Azure VMware Solution for organizations that commit to a one-year Reserved Instance by the end of 2024. (Reserved Instances let organizations "lock in" their price for using a cloud service over a set length of time.)
  • The ability to lock down a five-year Reserved Instance, as long as it's purchased by June 30, 2024.
  • Azure credits worth $120,000 for organizations that buy a Reserved Instance.
  • No additional licensing fees to run Windows Server and SQL Server on Azure, if they're migrated from VMware environments.
  • Free access to security updates and patches for unsupported Windows Server and SQL Server via Microsoft's Extended Security Updates (ESU) program.

"Like many customers today, you are probably reevaluating how to best run your VMware workloads, and whether to keep them on-premises or move them to the cloud," Khan wrote. "A move to Azure today will give you peace of mind with access to 200+ cloud services that ensure you are ready to needs with confidence for years to come."

More information on Azure VMware Solution is available here.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.