Users urge VMware to bring back VMTN subscription

A growing number of VMware users have joined a campaign calling for VMware to reinstate VMTN subscription.

A growing number of VMware users are keen to see VMware bring back the VMTN (VMware Technology Network) Subscription.

Mike Laverick, virtualisation expert and member of London VMware User Group launched a campaign last week in a VMware user community forum urging VMware to bring back the VMTN Subscription.

The erstwhile VMTN subscription service gave VMware professionals access to VMware products for testing and development, plus online tools and resources to help them use virtualisation more efficiently. The service was launched in 2005 for an annual subscription fee of $299. However, VMware cancelled VMTN Subscription in 2007 after launching free products such as VMware Server and VMware Player and making other technologies such as VMDK Disk format and its Perl toolkit openly available.

The campaign has garnered support from many users on both the forum as well as on the micro-blogging site Twitter. Users are keen to see VMware offer a service like Microsoft’s TechNet, as it would enable IT pros from smaller and medium businesses to participate in testing and development.

“A great deal of the adoption and success of VMware thus far can be attributed to the people who have been working in the trenches and proving the value of the software.  By re-enabling those subscriptions, it would be a win-win situation,” said Geof Rupp on the VMware Community Forum. “You would give people who are probably already overwhelmed at work (no time to test the software) the opportunity to test some of this at home in a home-based lab.” 

The VMTN Subscription would also help users make more efficient use of their time. “Currently, we have to resort to 60 day trials and then tear down and rebuild. That is not a good use of time, for evangelists that should be spending their time perfecting advanced installs and proof of concepts,” said another user under the name itsolutions4y.  “Please bring it back. We all would pay a resonable [sic] fee for the ability to have licensed tools at our disposal.”

VMware’s current system of granting trial licenses isn’t sufficient, said virtualisation expert, Gabrie van Zanten. “Often the 60 days trial license is not enough since users don't just want to install and see that it works,” he said. “They want to delve deeper into the product, run it in their labs, break it on purpose and recover it etc.”

Offering a subscription with a one year license for a wide range of products would help users learn about a greater range of VMware products, he said. “With a new VMTN program, VMware can get admins enthusiastic about its non-mainstream products such as the Infrastructure and Operations Management suite.”

That could have big ramifications for VMware, added Carl Brooks, infrastructure analyst from the 451 Group. “It's a nice idea and would garner them [VMware] a great deal of goodwill, potential new users, and might even spark something of a minor groundswell in VMware usage outside the traditional enterprise base,” he said.

Bringing back VMTN could even help VMware compete against rival Microsoft.

“VMware need to be careful as new and upcoming techies (vNerds) will switch to Microsoft as they can get licenses on the TechNet subs,” said Phil (under the name the_norris). “So bring back the VMTN.”

Do you want to see VMTN reinstated too? Please share your thoughts.

Archana Venkatraman is the Site Editor for Write to her at [email protected]

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