VMTN Subscription–The Revival!

So, I must give props out to Mike Laverick. He’s started quite the conversation about resurrecting the former VMTN Subscription program. I’ll sum up my take: Let’s do it!

imageMike has started a few really good conversation points. Most notably, this VMware Communities thread which pretty much confirms that the virtualization community wants this product reinstated.

The second thing Mike has done is post on his own blog reinforcing the need for a product to fill this need to be reintroduced.

Further, there is now a sizeable Twitter trend for #VMTNSubscriptionMovement solidifying our preference for this to be reinstated. Will Palo Alto be occupied for this reason? We’ll see Winking smile

So, we’ve gone a little vCrazy with it thus far. That’s fine. In fact, it is long overdue. Further, I think we have created enough noise that an official response from VMware would be appropriate on this product. My man Duncan reports that VMware brass are “investigating the option to reinstate the VMTN Subscription program.”

“investigating the option to reinstate the VMTN Subscription program.”

The issue here is that is a non-answer. I’m not pointing Duncan out, he’s the messenger. Further, no decision from a company the size of VMware can be made quickly or out of haste; I can understand that. In the meantime, we can chit chat about it all the while.

My Concerns with a VMTN Subscription if it were Reinstated

If VMware were to release a VMTN Subscription product, I feel it would fall short of the expectation. First of all, I put Microsoft’s TechNet Plus as the standard here. In no way would VMware be “experience on par” with Microsoft in this situation.

Let’s start with vRAM and CPU: This licensing technique is unfortunately complicated, but if VMTN Subscriptions were to be reinstated; I would doubt a paying customer could get more than 4 CPU for vSphere.

Who is this VMTN Subscription for? Bloggers, vExperts, VCP’s, VCAP’s, VCDX’s etc.? Sure, maybe, a little of all of that and more. So, how do you make a product like this “fit” for each of these use cases? It’s impossible.

Any attempt by VMware on this topic will surely be the lowest common denominator. It’s not going to be a product where you can simulate a multi-host cluster (for example) for a reasonable amount of time. It’ll never happen. Sure, every scenario has “options”, however. So that’s the perfect way for me to take each “option” and tell you how it sucks:

  • Use evaluation licensing: Well, that sucks because you have no persistence of an environment. Further, try downloading a second evaluation license or for a new product. I’m not a fan of the “At the moment you are not authorized to download this product” screen.
  • Use your vExpert status: Yeah, that’s nice, but it sucks because it’s slow and not a scalable solution. Sure, I could email the program administrator and get a license; but that’s not really the right way to go about it.
  • Use your work licenses: Not a good idea!
  • Which products: I’d expect that the offering of products for a VMTN Subscription today would be pretty limited or at least complicated.

Microsoft is doing it right

Hat’s off to Microsoft on this one. I’m a happy TechNet Plus customer. I pay USD $250 per year for this and will continue to do such. I’d probably pay USD $350 for the equivalent experience on VMware, if it were on par. My first year of the TechNet Plus subscription was free, I’ve paid for it subsequently with my own dollars.

Read my blog post on how I like the TechNet Plus program.

13 responses to this post.

  1. Looking forward to the discussion. I have a few ideas which I think can answer some of your questions and help VMware speed up adoption of a renewed VMTN subscription program.


  2. Thanks, Josh. Too bad nobody reads my blog 😉


  3. Rickatron!

    I agree with your assessment that TechNet is doing it right, and have stated as such for years. I am a TechNet Pro “kitchen sink” level subscriber and absolutely love having MAK/KMS keys for everything they make under the sun.


  4. Thanks, Chris! Yep, yep and yep. Issue is, I don’t see VMware doing to that level unfortunately, should it be revived.


  5. Rick, if the EULA is right (say for personal use only), why wouldn’t we “do it right” and give you a crapload of licenses to create a huge mad scientist lab with? [Caveat: I don’t know what our current thinking is, but I am pretty optimistic.]


  6. Hi John – Well, that’s what I’d like. I really would. I just “virtually” imagined what it would be like, should it be reinstated to modern times and products.

    I must say, Microsoft makes it easy on me. And yes, the Rickatron mad scientist lab is crazy. Further, I’m an anomaly.

    I’d also go so far to say as there may be certain manifestations for certain people. Meaning, my needs may be different than a VCDX or VCI.


  7. I guess I’m saying that “I’d love to see VMware do it right”


  8. Posted by Femi (@awedio) on November 8, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Definitely gotta give Microsoft some props.
    Technet is the best $250/yr I spend.
    Hope VMware “see’s” the light, I could use the subs for my “under construction” lab


  9. Thanks, Femi!


  10. Well written, well thought out, and great points Rick. Even better, followed by some very nice comments. I definitely appreciate John’s optimism. Let’s see where this #VMTNSubscriptionMovement takes us. VMware as a whole has proven that they actually listen, pay attention, and think things through where their customers are concerned. By the way, I’d love a tour of the “Mad Scientist Rickatron Lab”. 😉

    Keep up the great work!


  11. Thanks, Eric. I would love to see it come out feet up!

    I feel I ranted. I didn’t even self-edit. Probably because I’m a bit exhausted and listening to some really good music!


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