Why Swap VMware for Red Hat

Why swap VMware for Red Hat?

Even today, VMware remains synonymous with virtualization for many of us. However, following the recent takeover by the American semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom, clients have started to reassess their allegiance. Deterred by price hikes and a shrinking product offering, many loyal VMware customers are looking elsewhere for a solution. With OpenShift Virtualization, Red Hat offers a solid, future-oriented alternative.

Customers concerned about the shift in VMware’s policies will find suitable alternatives in the world of open source software. But one alternative is of course slightly more suitable than the other. A virtualization platform like Proxmox, for example, isn’t yet mature enough to replace VMware in an enterprise environment. Not least because you can’t count on 24/7 support.


Red Hat OpenShift Virtualization is a platform that’s decidedly “enterprise-ready”. For that reason alone it’s a truly viable alternative to VMware. While this open source alternative doesn’t (yet) offer a one-to-one replacement for VMware, Red Hat is working hard to achieve this. And it supports already a lot of VMware functionality, provided you meet certain conditions.

One condition is that you must run OpenShift on bare metal, i.e. directly on the server and not virtualized. That’s only logical, in fairness, since you want to get rid of your VMware environment. So the last thing you want to do is run OpenShift on VMware, right? Instead, OpenShift serves as a foundation on which your virtual machines can continue to run, managing your various workloads.


Along with the conditions come a lot of interesting advantages. For example, if you’ve already invested in RHEL virtual servers (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), you no longer need to purchase additional licenses to use OpenShift. So it’s generally cheaper to use than if you had to renew your VMware ESX licenses. Especially now that VMware is moving to a subscription model under Broadcom.

Red Hat also offers several free toolkits to help you smoothly migrate your virtual machines to the OpenShift platform. But more importantly, these toolkits allow you to check in advance whether your virtual machines are compatible with OpenShift. So you can decide if it makes sense to transfer those machines at all.

Preparing the future

This brings us to perhaps the most important advantage of OpenShift over VMware. Your virtual machines must be container-ready. On the one hand, Red Hat OpenShift Virtualization is really designed to let your virtual machines run as the virtual machines they are. But on the other hand, those virtual machines run on OpenShift, which is a container platform. In other words, Red Hat OpenShift Virtualization allows you to run native virtual machines on an underlying container environment.

This makes Red Hat OpenShift Virtualization the ideal platform to make the transition from a virtualized to a cloud-native application environment, in the long term and via an intermediate step. Of course, you must first transform your applications to ultimately run them all in containers. But you already have that container platform. Handy, right?

In summary: in the short term, Red Hat OpenShift Virtualization provides a viable alternative to VMware. In the longer term, it’s an interim solution that allows you to modernize your applications one by one and make them cloud-native. So that’s a double win!

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