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How APAC organisations are taking to VMware moves

Large organisations in ANZ are looking for transformation rather than a like-for-like replacement for VMware, while those in India have already adopted a dual-supplier strategy

Organisations across Asia-Pacific have responded differently to Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware, from looking to adopt competing platforms to minimising concentration risk early on to mitigate the impact of any fallout.

Speaking to media at Nutanix Next 2024 in Barcelona, Aaron White, Nutanix’s general manager and vice-president of sales in Asia-Pacific and Japan, said organisations in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) have had “a very vocal expression of opinion” about the resulting cost changes following the closure of the acquisition.

He added that federal government agencies and large organisations in ANZ are exploring alternatives, but are looking for transformation rather than a like-for-like replacement. He noted that they have many misplaced applications and are struggling with Kubernetes, but that the Nutanix Cloud Platform can help with both.

Part of the problem is that few, if any, Australian organisations fall inside Broadcom’s target market, said White, adding that big organisations are faced with paying millions of dollars more if they stick with VMware. And while service providers have been given a “stay of execution” by Broadcom, tier-one and tier-two providers don’t want to be held hostage to VMware.

In India, he said organisations saw a VMware acquisition coming, having had bad experiences with previous acquisitions, and already adopted a dual-supplier strategy for hypervisors.

Rajiv Ramaswami, CEO of Nutanix, pointed out that India was “very acutely aware” of the situation and is a very price-sensitive market – but organisations are willing to be flexible and have the workforce needed to handle changes.

In Japan, the tendency was to wait until Broadcom announced the new price structure, but customers are now looking for alternatives, said White. Ramaswami went even further, suggesting that VMware customers in Japan expected there would be no substantial changes resulting from the acquisition, which hasn’t been the case.

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White said there are thousands of people around the region with VMware Certified Professional (VCP) certifications that will need to convert to Nutanix Certified Professional (NCP) status. He added that the Nutanix education services team is running cross-training courses, with up to 100 Indian professionals re-qualified last week via distance education. An equivalent programme will be launched in Australia shortly.

White also suggested there’s a realisation that certain architectural decisions that once made sense are now causing problems. For example, the three-tiered architecture isn’t suitable for running containers.

But not everyone thinks this is going all Nutanix’s way. Nano Research chief analyst Steve McDowell pointed out that IBM subsidiary Red Hat is pushing OpenShift strongly and is positioned to address the switching costs associated with migrating from the broader VMware platform to an alternative.

Ramaswami suggested there are four possible ways of dealing with the changes at VMware: stay with VMware, migrate to Nutanix, adopt a “containers everywhere” strategy, or move into the public cloud. Each involves some combination of cost and effort, but “the move to Nutanix is probably the easiest”, he told Computer Weekly.

Migrations underway

During the closing keynote at Next 2024, Australian share registry company Computershare revealed it had abandoned VMware’s hypervisor in the wake of price increases following the Broadcom acquisition.

Kevin O’Connor, chief technology officer of the ASX-listed firm, said that when he joined the company around 18 months ago, he inherited a Nutanix environment while using VMware’s hypervisor, but saw no need to change.

However, faced with a forthcoming 10 to 15-fold cost increase in 12 months, Computershare migrated its 24,000 virtual machines to Nutanix AHV. The project paid for itself within “single-digit months”, he said.

Being in a highly regulated industry, Computershare needs to keep data on-premise, but to meet customer expectations, it also needs to use public cloud services from multiple providers. This hybrid multi-cloud strategy is implemented via the Nutanix platform, which includes AHV.

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