After AWS Licensing Tiff, Broadcom Strengthens VMware/Azure Cloud Ties

Shortly after rumors of a tiff with AWS, Broadcom has strengthened its VMware ties with rival cloud giant Microsoft Azure, with the companies yesterday announcing plans to support VMware Cloud Foundation subscriptions on Azure VMware Solution.

"Customers that own or purchase licenses for VMware Cloud Foundation will be able to use those licenses on Azure VMware Solution, as well as their own datacenters, giving them flexibility to meet changing business needs," said a May 30 Azure blog post coauthored by Microsoft and Broadcom execs, also appearing on the VMware by Broadcom site.

VMware Cloud Foundation
[Click on image for larger view.] VMware Cloud Foundation (source: VMware by Broadcom).

The move came shortly after industry reports hinted at a rumored breakup between Broadcom and AWS, which has its own VMware partnership with VMware Cloud on AWS. In reality, a licensing change meant that VMware Cloud on AWS is no longer directly sold by AWS or its channel partners. That forces customers who previously purchased VMware Cloud on AWS from AWS to work with Broadcom or an authorized Broadcom reseller to renew their subscriptions and expand their environments (see, "Embattled Broadcom Quick to Deny VMware Cloud Leaving AWS").

Azure VMware Solution
[Click on image for larger view.] Azure VMware Solution (source: Microsoft).

That supposed little Broadcom/AWS spat followed extreme industry upheaval (see "Does Broadcom's VMware Fit into Today's Enterprise?") that followed Broadcom's acquisition of VMware, mostly focused on licensing changes, (see "Post-VMware Buy, Broadcom Kills Perpetual Licenses in Favor of Subscriptions").

With the strengthened Azure/Broadcom ties, the seeming soap opera surrounding the Broadcom/VMware/cloud giant relationships continues to play out in the industry, (see "Broadcom Announces Changes amid VMware Brouhaha, Critics Aren't Buying It").

With yesterday's announcement, organizations will be able to seamlessly manage their VMware workloads across both on-premises and Azure cloud environments.

"This provides an additional purchase option for Azure VMware Solution, which has been sold and operated by Microsoft since 2019," yesterday's post said. "Customers can currently purchase the solution with VMware licenses included, and this option will continue to be available for customers that prefer to purchase their VMware licenses as part of their solution from Microsoft.

"Azure VMware Solution delivers a fully managed VMware environment that is operated and supported by Microsoft. Customers can move VMware workloads to Azure 'as is' with minimal to no refactoring. This streamlines migration and allows customers to continue using familiar skills while learning new Azure skills."

The "improved license portability" means that eligible customers with VMware Cloud Foundation entitlements can now purchase subscriptions for the new VMware Cloud Foundation software. These subscriptions provide complete mobility between customers' on-premises environment and Azure VMware Solution. Existing VMware Cloud Foundation customers can transfer the remaining value of their current subscription to Azure VMware Solution. Additionally, customers have the flexibility to move their subscription back and forth as their needs evolve, while retaining their software rights.

Migration Help
[Click on image for larger view.] Migration Help (source: Microsoft).

To help those customers, a VMware Rapid Migration Plan is available, providing licensing benefits and programs to ease the migration to Azure VMware Solution. Included are price protection, savings for Windows Server and SQL Server, migration support and Azure credits, specifically detailed like this:

  • Price protection: With reserved instances customers can lock in pricing for one, three or five years.
  • Savings for Windows Server and SQL Server: Windows Server and SQL Server are common workloads on VMware environments. With Software Assurance for on-premises Windows Server and SQL Server licenses, organizations can qualify for the Azure Hybrid Benefit discount to use existing Windows Server and SQL Server licenses in Azure VMware Solution. Free Extended Security Updates are available for older versions that face end of support.
  • Migration support: Use Azure Migrate and Modernize to get resources, expert help, and funding from Microsoft and its partner ecosystem.
  • Azure credits: Customers that purchase a new reserved instance for Azure VMware Solution can get additional Azure credits valid for Azure VMware Solution or other Azure services.

The license portability will be available later this year.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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