Executive Summary:

This business case outlines the rationale and benefits of migrating from VMware hypervisor to a SUSE Linux-based hypervisor solution. As virtualization technology continues to evolve, businesses are increasingly seeking cost-effective and flexible solutions to meet their IT infrastructure needs. This migration presents an opportunity to leverage the advantages of open-source software, reduce licensing costs, enhance performance, increase functionality and gain greater control over the virtualization environment.

1. Introduction:

Virtualization technology plays a critical role in modern IT infrastructure, enabling organizations to optimize resource utilization, improve scalability, and enhance disaster recovery capabilities. VMware has long been a dominant player in the hypervisor market, offering robust virtualization solutions. However, the landscape is evolving, with Linux-based hypervisors gaining traction due to their flexibility, cost-effectiveness, enhanced features (cloud native technologies like containers) and strong community support.


2. Rationale for Migration:

a. Cost Savings: VMware’s licensing costs can be significant for organizations with large-scale virtualization deployments. By migrating to a Linux-based hypervisor, such as KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) or SUSE KVM, businesses can eliminate or reduce licensing fees, resulting in substantial cost savings over time.

b. Better Support and Clear Development Road Map: SUSE – have also reliably been continuously working on such disruptive technologies over the years. No other Enterprise-Linux manufacturer has demonstrated the same reliability in a partnership with SAP in the almost 16 years since the existence of the SAP Linux laboratory

c. Performance Optimization: Linux hypervisors are known for their lightweight architecture and efficient resource management, which can lead to improved performance and responsiveness compared to VMware.

d. Enhance Functionality: Linux foundation had hundreds of open source projects OpenStack, Hadoop, Kubernetes, Dockers just to name a few. SAP and other leading organization are leading supporters of Linux and its open source projects of cloud native technologies.

e. Flexibility and Customization: Linux-based hypervisors offer greater flexibility and customization options compared to proprietary solutions like VMware. Organizations can tailor the hypervisor to their specific requirements, optimizing performance and resource utilization.

f. Open-Source Ecosystem: Embracing open-source technology fosters innovation and collaboration within the IT community. Linux hypervisors benefit from continuous development and improvement by a vast community of developers, ensuring rapid bug fixes, security updates, and feature enhancements.


g. Vendor Lock-In Mitigation: Migrating to a Linux-based hypervisor reduces dependence on a single vendor and mitigates the risks associated with vendor lock-in. This provides greater flexibility to adopt alternative solutions and adapt to changing business requirements.

3. Implementation Plan:

a. Assessment and Planning: Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the existing VMware environment to identify workloads, dependencies, and migration requirements. Develop a detailed migration plan, including timelines, resource allocation, and risk mitigation strategies.

b. Pilot Deployment: Begin the migration process with a pilot deployment in a controlled environment to evaluate the performance, compatibility, and stability of the Linux hypervisor solution. Gather feedback from stakeholders and make any necessary adjustments before proceeding with full-scale migration.

c. Data Migration: Migrate virtual machines (VMs) and associated data from VMware to the Linux hypervisor using proven migration tools and methodologies. Ensure data integrity and minimize downtime during the migration process to avoid disruption to business operations.

d. Testing and Validation: Conduct thorough testing and validation of the migrated VMs to verify functionality, performance, and compatibility with existing applications and services. Address any issues or discrepancies identified during testing before finalizing the migration.

e. Training and Support: Provide training and support to IT staff to familiarize them with the Linux hypervisor environment and ensure they have the necessary skills to manage and maintain the virtualization infrastructure effectively.

4. Why Now:

On November 21, 2023, Broadcom announced the acquisition of VMWare. Following the acquisition, there was a significant reorganization of VMWare. Support for VMWare was immediately halted, and existing distributors and resellers were no longer able to sell VMWare subscriptions. 

Recently, news was released regarding the new support and licensing fees. Support will no longer be provided by VMWare and will instead be handled by partners outside of Singapore, such as in Pakistan. The licensing fees have become more complex and now include numerous features that are not necessary for the average customer. On average, VMWare customers are now paying approximately three times their original cost.

Broadcom has not yet revealed their product roadmap, but it is suspected that it will make VMWare more reliant on Broadcom products. This could potentially result in greater revenue for Broadcom and increased dependence for customers on Broadcom’s offerings.


 5. Conclusion:

Migrating from VMware hypervisor to a Linux-based hypervisor offers compelling advantages in terms of cost savings, flexibility, performance optimization, and vendor independence. By embracing open-source technology and leveraging the strengths of the Linux ecosystem, organizations can position themselves for long-term success in an increasingly dynamic and competitive IT landscape.

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