Written By: Chet Hayes, Vertosoft CTO

Ah, the good old days when Virtual Machines (VMs) first emerged! Remember how they revolutionized our IT infrastructure? VMs enabled us to run multiple OS environments on a single piece of hardware, significantly improving hardware utilization. They isolated applications for better security, simplified disaster recovery, and streamlined development and testing environments. It felt like magic, offering unmatched flexibility and efficiency.

Now, we find ourselves at a crossroads, dealing with the fallout from Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware. The once-reliable virtualization technology that set the standard has now become a source of frustration for many. Significant price hikes, discontinued products, and degraded support have left organizations reeling. The forced shift to subscription-based models and the elimination of trusted features have pushed enterprises to rethink their infrastructure strategies. In this challenging environment, finding modern, efficient alternatives has become more crucial than ever.

So, what is an organization to do? There are several options to consider. One option is switching to another hypervisor. However, this approach comes with several downsides. First, there’s a learning curve and retraining required for IT staff to become proficient with the new technology. Second, migrating workloads can be complex and time-consuming, potentially leading to downtime. Third, there might be compatibility issues with existing applications and infrastructure. Lastly, while another hypervisor might initially seem cost-effective, long-term licensing and support costs could become burdensome, negating the intended financial benefits of switching from VMware.

Second, they could re-architect the application to be ‘cloud-native’. Opting for a cloud-native approach has its own set of challenges. First, transitioning requires significant changes in application architecture and development practices, which can be resource-intensive. Second, there’s a steep learning curve for IT staff adapting to new tools and processes. Third, potential security and compliance concerns arise, as cloud-native environments often involve complex configurations and data management practices. Lastly, dependency on cloud providers can lead to vendor lock-in, potentially limiting flexibility and increasing long-term costs.

While both switching hypervisors and going cloud-native have their challenges, another promising approach is using KubeVirt, an open-source project that enables running virtual machines within Kubernetes clusters. KubeVirt allows organizations to leverage their existing virtualization investments while modernizing their infrastructure. By integrating VMs with Kubernetes, it provides a unified management platform, simplifying operations and reducing overhead. This approach offers the flexibility and scalability of containers alongside the stability of VMs. Building on this, Spectro Cloud’s Palette Virtual Machine Orchestrator (VMO) provides an even more comprehensive solution. With Palette VMO, organizations can seamlessly deploy and manage VMs alongside containers within Kubernetes clusters from a single, unified platform. It simplifies the setup process with KubeVirt and all its dependencies, offers advanced features like live migration and dynamic resource balancing, and ensures always-on declarative management to maintain cluster consistency. By integrating VMs into the Kubernetes ecosystem, Palette VMO enhances operational efficiency, reduces costs, and leverages the full potential of both virtual and containerized environments.

Given the current landscape, a promising solution to the challenges posed by VMware is integrating VMs into Kubernetes using KubeVirt, particularly with the enhancements offered by Palette VMO. This approach not only addresses immediate issues from Broadcom’s acquisition but also provides long-term flexibility and scalability. Palette VMO improves operational efficiency, reduces costs, and allows for seamless management of both virtual and containerized environments. It represents a forward-thinking choice for enterprises looking to modernize their infrastructure effectively.