Broadcom ends perpetual licenses for VMWare

Broadcom delivered… Thankful for my mix of XCP-ng and Proxmox licenses.

Oh that does not look good. I’ve been running vmware workstation on my laptops for the last 20 odd years ! Not seen a better alternative for what I need it for.

Hyper-V is now a role that can be installed on any Windows OS, that might work for people who just need a couple VMs on a laptop, even WSL runs on HyperV now. On a large scale, Hyper-V is going to be costly since Windows is priced per processor core (12+ is extra).

We have some form of VMware at work (not my area so don’t know), I’m told it is a whole rack worth of gear so probably not the smallest. I’m sure we will get raked over the coals on this. And knowing that I use something different, I doubt they will ask me about what I run. I don’t think XCP-NG will do everything that they need, or at least not the same way they have been using it. But it could get us out of a jam!

Both Proxmox and XCP-ng are excellent solutions - -and so is VMware, but they have upped the costs on our licenses where we need it, so we’ll be working with the XCP-ng team to make the modifications so we can make a full transition.

Everyone’s use-cases are different, but here is basically how we’re looking at it:

Proxmox is the easiest to administer if you have a simple VMs that don’t need complex network configurations. Not having to install a management client is great, and it’s easy to set up configurations that have failover. Snapshots are pretty easy, too. The way it handles VMs and containers is very nice, too. We also really like the multiple layers of firewalls (once we figured them out). But VLAN management is overcomplicated with it. The way it handles bridging and vlans across them makes it very beginner unfriendly, and anything that requires advanced vlan routing is probably better suited in a different hypervisor. We’ve also had instances where proxmox has to be rebooted because it somehow loses the ability to control VMs (refuses to force stop/reboot them).

XCP-ng has very friendly vswitch management. Snapshots and VM control have been flawless. Once it’s up, it’s probably the most powerful configuration we run, but it does not handle containers, and the biggest fallback for us is that XO is required to be installed just to manage it. While it can install XO automatically, we’ve seen that fail numerous times. However, not having the overhead of an orchestration client running is also a big plus. While it can be a pain of our one-off installations, we find that the overall layout of XO is much friendlier than the baked-in client for Proxmox.

The main driver for our VMware installs is for low-latency vswitch work. VMware has done an excellent job of optimizing vswitch settings for real-time operating systems that operate in its environment, where we see a LOT more variability in xcp-ng that knocks it out of consideration for those environments. We’ve see low-level latency variances of up to 500% in xcp-ng over vmware. Proxmox has a pretty good performance metric, too, but the inflexibility with how it handles bridging and vlans pretty much forces us to the VMWare route. (You can do some of the things we need, but it requires command-line and config-file work).

Licensing has never been very friendly with VMWare when compared to Proxmox and XCP-ng. We like the support model of the latter two, and so we’ve taken advantage of their business licenses. But until now, we’ve not taken the additional step to try and fund specific development of the hypervisors. I think that will change for us over the next few months as we try to figure out how and where our money should be directed. Regardless of the outcome, it will not be with Broadcom. I think that finding the right set of developers to look at low-latency performance will be something that will benefit the entire ecosystem, and that is something we want to support.

My $.02.

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@plrpilot might be a bit late now but Proxmox has implemented Software Defined Networks in version 8.1. Not really had a chance to inspect this but looks like it might close a gap some people have.

XCP-NG has both the SDN features and has firewall features for each VM including doing IP restrictions to keep a VM from being able to set an IP outside of a pre-defined range.

Thanks for the heads-up.

I’ve only seen one rather obscure video on the Prxomox SDN setup – and it was more geared toward Layer 3 communications. I need to look into it.

I’ve had a lot of success with the standard XCP-ng vswitch configurations, but I have not played with anything specifically SDN.

I started to write a suggestion here, but I think it would be off topic and better suited for a new thread. I’ll start one on video-suggestions.