Signs of Life for the VMware VMTN Subscription Movement

Every year at the VMworld conference, the VMware User Group (VMUG) holds a special luncheon for the leadership teams at the various local chapters, VMUG staff, and a handful of executives at VMware. The goal is to get to put some faces to names (or Twitter handles) among the VMUG Leaders, and also grill the VMware higher ups with burning questions. This year’s VMware panel consisted of Pat Gelsinger, CEO, Raghu Raghuram, EVP of Cloud Infrastructure and Management, and Paul Strong, CTO of Global Field R&D.

One of the members of the VMUG Leader community brought up the disappointment of VMware license availability for IT professionals who wish to further deep dive into products for educational purposes. In essence, the return of a program similar to the long dead VMTN Subscription – an offering very similar to Microsoft’s now discarded TechNet Subscription – which allows IT professionals to pay a modest sum of funds to gain access to licensing that will not be used in a production environment.

Raghu decided to champion the question by stating that chances of such a program returning are “very high.” I was rather shocked to hear this, as a return of VMTN Subscription has been something the community has literally been spending years shouting a return for. And while details were not outlined as to when such a program might actually see the light of day, a rough sketch of the program concept was shared by Raghu. He stated that adoption of the original subscription model was very low, but also admitted that back in those days, VMware had very few products in the portfolio.

Members of the VMUG Leader community step up to ask their questions
Members of the VMUG Leader community step up to ask their questions

This stands in stark contract to today’s mammoth swath of solutions ranging from end user computing, private cloud, and network virtualization. A return of the VMTN Subscription, or something like it, would empower users to spend greater than 60 day increments, the default time for software trials, tinkering with a deep level of VMware product stacking. And, with the death of the Microsoft TechNet subscription, would give VMware a clear advantage in the IT professional empowerment category. A win-win in my book.

What do you think – would you like to see a low-cost option to gain access to VMware licensing and products for your lab or test environment?