Broadcom acquires VMware


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Probably you’ve heard the rumors or news already, but today Broadcom announced that it’s going to acquire VMware.

https://investors.broadcom.com/news-releases/news-release-details/broadcom-acquire-vmware-approximately-61-billion-cash-and-stock

I personally don’t know what to think about this, but I don’t have any positive feelings about the future of VMware. After they were split of from Dell I was hoping that things would get better, especially their quality. But now being merged with Broadcom (they’re going to rebrand as “VMware”) I’m not sure what we can expect from them.

What do you say about this? Anything positive or negative about this?

Update 26.06.2022:

Broadcom did publish a new blog post. It doesn't contain much information, and rather feels like an answer to all the negative comments: https://www.broadcom.com/blog/broadcom-vmware

And the EU is going to do an antitrust investigation and could probably block the acquisition: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/06/broadcom-takeover-of-vmware-could-be-derailed-by-eu-antitrust-probe/


22 comments

Userlevel 7
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Mhh, better support for Fibre Channel? 😆

No, seriously, I don't know if this is good or bad for VMware… let’s hope the best.

Userlevel 7
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Have to see how this one shakes down. Hard to say whether it will be good or bad only time will tell I guess.

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My completely unfiltered opinion is:

I’m concerned at what this means for VMware, as a brand, and in it’s longer term execution.

 

My reasons for this are as follows:

Change brings risk - Every time that VMware is bought, sold, merged, acquired, split, name the phrase of the day basically, this brings risk. Businesses operate based on risk. VMware has historically been seen as a hypervisor of trust, alongside its wealth of other products, but primarily their dominant position within the virtualisation space. VMware have tripped up along the way, sure! But whilst they were under Dell’s leadership we saw the disaster of 7.0, USB/SD devices being killed rapidly, releases getting pulled, it doesn’t paint a great picture of the company. This is the image VMware is currently having to shake off. So companies are cautiously optimistic that VMware are taking this seriously. But now their leadership could be about to change. Adding the risks of change to the current reputation of VMware could cause businesses to look elsewhere. In my mind we’ll likely see a small portion of the market migrate to Red Hat or Microsoft Azure Stack. These are stable brands, and when you’re making business decisions on direction, stability helps mitigate risk and provides assurances of profit and long term growth.

Employee Morale & talent retention - This change impacts staff, teams may be shut down, or merged with existing Broadcom resources as examples. These are short term impacts, in the current job market, it doesn’t take much to get another job, if you’re not sure on your job stability, you might decide it’s best to relocate. Every resignation means talent and collective knowledge is leaving the business, making it less valuable as a whole. You then also have longer term impacts such as projects being shuttered or resources reassigned which can stretch this out for years after an acquisition.
 

VMware is being USED as a way to transact money between shareholders and into pockets, at the cost of the above - When Dell sold VMware, VMware were left carrying a significant amount of debt as a pay out to shareholders, Michael Dell has had other accusations with Dell’s purchase of EMC as well, that he stood to profit more than fairly, and he still holds a lot of shares in VMware. Michael Dell is no doubt set to profit handsomely from this latest transaction.

Brand Affiliation - There was an old saying, nobody got fired for buying IBM. Meaning, when you buy the premier brand, you’re not going to find it was a mistake that just cost you your job. It symbolises quality and support, drawing back to earlier points I’ve already made. Unfortunately, Broadcom is not one such brand that nobody got fired for. I had an ESXi 6.x cluster that would PSOD as the Broadcom 10GbE NICs I had didn’t support RSS, but VMware would try this anyway. After that point, I stumped up the money to buy Intel, and I’ve had no issues. I’m not alone in my views of Broadcom NIC support with VMware. Ask yourself the question, how confident are you in a company acquiring VMware that can’t consistently play nicely with VMware’s core products, especially when it consists of one of the company’s core products too (NICs). Doesn’t feel good does it?

 

I’ve waffled on enough, but I’ll end with a final view. I was extremely disappointed when I saw Veeam had got in bed with a venture capital firm. I’m really glad to say that so far, I was wrong in my doubts, but I was worried that a company whose tag line is “It Just Works” (and lives up to this!) would suffer with external manipulation. So we may find this assessment is laughable in a few years time, but we’ll have to see.

Userlevel 7
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Who is their financier? Broadcom has aquired several companies in the last year - Brocade, Emulex, LSI and much more…

Not the smallest companies. There seems to be a lot of free money….

Userlevel 7
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From what I am reading and hearing from contacts this is in “very bad” to “extremely bad” area of the scale for vmware. 

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/brian-maddens-brutal-unfiltered-thoughts-broadcom-vmware-brian-madden/

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From what I am reading and hearing from contacts this is in “very bad” to “extremely bad” area of the scale for vmware. 

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/brian-maddens-brutal-unfiltered-thoughts-broadcom-vmware-brian-madden/

Hard words, especially “VMware as you know it is done.”… I can feel some frustration there and hope he’s not completeley right, but what he writes make sense.

Like I said, I have a really bad feeling about this. Broadcom has nothing to offer from which VMware would benefit. If they didn’t acquire that many companies, like Joe wrote, on would probably rarely see products from them. Their final plan is to get more money out of VMware and increasing the revenue, and I don’t see any positive way of achieving this; price increase, layoffs, discontinue products, outsourcing development…

I’m working with VMware now since about 15 years and I love their vSphere virtualization stack. It may not always been the best from security or stability, but compared to the alternatives it was great to handle and easy to maintain. In my opinion, the alternatives can’t keep up with vSphere, and that’s also the reason why they still have such a high market share. If Broadcom now starts to cut costs, we’ll see a further decrease in all the (past) key values. So what are we going to end up? I fear that I’m going to lose one of my main technologies which is a big part of my work and somehow a passion...

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VMware is far too big to disappear, especially in any overnight/short term capacity, it’s a good thing that Veeam don’t just support VMware though as the agnostic/multi-vendor approach will be seen as a positive to them right now.

 

I certainly felt that the article was honest, yet impossible to ignore the ex-employee slant making this unbiased, and I say that based on the comments such as VMware retracting the person’s financial agreement which is explicitly called out. I don’t believe there was any attempt at dishonesty, like all things though, it’s an opinion.

 

I honestly hope we can see improved Broadcom NIC support and a hardware arm with which VMware can work on their SmartNIC strategy, as I see promise in this.

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Yes, I am afraid this is all true, @regnor 

My primary contact point with Broadcom is with Brocade switches. After they have bought Brocade the service and support is….. <how do I say this friendly???> 😎

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Yes, I am afraid this is all true, @regnor 

My primary contact point with Broadcom is with Brocade switches. After they have bought Brocade the service and support is….. <how do I say this friendly???> 😎

Like Symantec Endpoint  😥

Thanks @Geoff Burke for sharing that article, it was really an interesting piece.

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@MicoolPaulI'm not afraid of VMware going away. I'm rather afraid that they're gonna reach a level of quality and support at which you don't wanna work with them anymore. And this would force me, to leave them…

@JMeixnerI also know them primarily because of Broacade, though I'm almost never directly in contact with them. And Brocade switches are still very solid, fortunately.

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As everyone says hard to predict the future. My only fear is that I have seen great Canadian Tech companies sink due to the “financial wizards” who take over them. Nortel and Blackberry are prime examples. I have some personal insight into the Nortel situation. A great tech company but when they got successful the “financial magicians” took over. The company was no longer driven by tech enthusiasts striving to be first and stay ahead of the tech game, but by “squeezer shareholder pleasers”. Anyways, we will see. I do think that a lot of this fear and negativity is driven by Vmware’s own back and forth messaging, i.e. “we are going to be a separate company and go forward as before” then boom..well maybe not. 

Either way they had better watch out, KVM is advancing and Openshift is way ahead of Tanzu in my humble opinion :)

 

 

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Not sure what will be the future for VMware .. i heard not good support from Broadcom on the previous acquisitions 

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Yes, I am afraid this is all true, @regnor 

My primary contact point with Broadcom is with Brocade switches. After they have bought Brocade the service and support is….. <how do I say this friendly???> 😎

Not just the support. Every change I saw with Brocade was horrible! Shorter support for devices, getting firmware files, ...

Userlevel 7
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Yes, I am afraid this is all true, @regnor 

My primary contact point with Broadcom is with Brocade switches. After they have bought Brocade the service and support is….. <how do I say this friendly???> 😎

Not just the support. Every change I saw with Brocade was horrible! Shorter support for devices, getting firmware files, ...

I needed some older FOS files some months ago 😎 (got a switch which was unpatched for 5 years).

It took me two weeks to get the files. In times when Brocade was independent there was a website with all FOS versions for download….

Userlevel 7
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Yes, I am afraid this is all true, @regnor 

My primary contact point with Broadcom is with Brocade switches. After they have bought Brocade the service and support is….. <how do I say this friendly???> 😎

Not just the support. Every change I saw with Brocade was horrible! Shorter support for devices, getting firmware files, ...

I needed some older FOS files some months ago 😎 (got a switch which was unpatched for 5 years).

It took me two weeks to get the files. In times when Brocade was independent there was a website with all FOS versions for download….

Yes! not the way things should go

Userlevel 7
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We will see the future but Broadcom already wrote they want to raise profits of VMware, i don’t think it will be for the good of customers. Like @Geoff Burke said, we are following actively the raise of kubevirt :)

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@JMeixnerSo it looks like you’re better off with an OEM, then working directly with Brocade? At least I can’t complain much about HPE.

@BertrandFRThe future is going to be interesting. Raising profits rarely means something positive for customers. And looking at Kubernetes, at one point vSphere could become “legacy” and be replaced with different solutions.

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@regnor, my case was with an OEM… I had to open a case with the OEM and they had to open a case with Broadcom in the background to get the older FOS versions. At least I got them, but it took two weeks...

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Broadcom did publish a new blog post. It doesn't contain much information, and rather feels like an answer to all the negative comments: https://www.broadcom.com/blog/broadcom-vmware

And the EU is going to do an antitrust investigation and could probably block the acquisition: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/06/broadcom-takeover-of-vmware-could-be-derailed-by-eu-antitrust-probe/

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Broadcom did publish a new blog post. It doesn't contain much information, and rather feels like an answer to all the negative comments: https://www.broadcom.com/blog/broadcom-vmware

And the EU is going to do an antitrust investigation and could probably block the acquisition: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/06/broadcom-takeover-of-vmware-could-be-derailed-by-eu-antitrust-probe/

It will be interesting to see how the EU thing plays out and if that kills the sale or not. Will be watching. 👀

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@regnor, my case was with an OEM… I had to open a case with the OEM and they had to open a case with Broadcom in the background to get the older FOS versions. At least I got them, but it took two weeks...

Didn't see your answer Joe. Doesn't sound good at all...😐

Userlevel 7
Badge +6

Broadcom did publish a new blog post. It doesn't contain much information, and rather feels like an answer to all the negative comments: https://www.broadcom.com/blog/broadcom-vmware

And the EU is going to do an antitrust investigation and could probably block the acquisition: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/06/broadcom-takeover-of-vmware-could-be-derailed-by-eu-antitrust-probe/

It will be interesting to see how the EU thing plays out and if that kills the sale or not. Will be watching. 👀

Lets hope that they can achieve anything positive and not only making things complicated 😅

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