Maybe some MBA did the math and is smarter than me or maybe they have different goals for esxi that extend beyond (having people and companies use it), but they have to realize free tier esxi is what the nerds and IT pros are going to use to hone their skills. And then those are the people that talk their companies into buying products.

Moves like this always seem so short sighted. 5 years from now you are going to see an uptick in proxmox setups or managed solutions using proxmox and other competitors.

quirzle avatar

The reality is that nobody's learning much useful from Free ESXi, as you need vCenter for any of the good stuff. They want you using the eval license for that, which gives you the full experience but only for 60 days.

Still, there's a lot of folks running free ESXi in labs (home and otherwise) and other small environments that may need to expand at some point. They're killing a lot of good will and entry-level market saturation for what appears (to me at least) literally zero benefit. The paid software is the same, so they're not developing any less. And they weren't offering support with the free license anyway, so they're not saving anything there.


That’s a great point. But vsphere not being available in the free tier kind of proves my point. Why hamstring your free tier by eliminating the more useful features? I understand not giving away your product for free but there was a way to do it where you turn it into a marketing tool.

You drive people away and then you end up in a situation where “esxi free tier is pointless” and then you kill that and all your goodwill completely. I guess we’ll see how it plays out.

Broadcom isn’t know for being great with acquisitions. It’s probably going to strip it for parts and sell it off.

quirzle avatar

vSphere was never available in the free tier.

killeronthecorner, avatar

I googled “how to migrate from esxi to proxmox” last week. I must be psychic.

sonori, avatar

I’m amazed it held out for so long. Small stacks and getting people used to useing your tool sounds like a good lon green strategy, and Boradcom doesn’t do those.


Thanks, I hate it. Not that free esxi was super great but at least it was something

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