With the recent suspension of Microsoft TechNet, is the return of VMware VMTN less likely?

Posted by Paul Braren on Jul 1 2013 (updated on Oct 27 2015) in
  • ESXi
  • Hyper-V
  • Memory
  • Windows
  • This is big news today. I'm fortunate to have an active, corporate bulk MSDN subscription through April of 2016. But those with TechNet-only aren't likely to be terribly happy about today's news.

    Microsoft to shut down TechNet subscription service Ed Bott, Jul 1 2013

    Summary: One of the best software deals around is about to be retired. Microsoft announced today that after 15 years it will shut down its TechNet subscriptions service in 60 days. Microsoft has other, similar programs, but none are as generous as TechNet.

    So, how does this relate to my article from early last year?

    VMTN: It was to VMware Developers & Consultants what MSDN is to Windows Developers & Consultants, and it may be coming back Paul Braren, Feb 2012

    Back in November of 2011, there was news of the possibility of the return of the VMware Technology Network, aka, VMTN.

    Well, even with TechNet going away, there's still MSDN. And there's still nothing like it for VMware ESXi enthusiasts. even at MSDN's $699 starting price for the first year for the MSDN Operating Systems package ($499 for renewals).

    Note, there's still no response from VMware to Mike Laverick's open question posed Nov 2011, Bring back VMTN Subscription?, where commenters frequently mention that VMware should compete with Microsoft's $250/year TechNet (for using Hyper-V). The elephant in the room here how awkward it is for home labbers to handle their VMware ESXi licensing needs, including simply rebuilding every 60 days.

    So, what do you think the suspension of TechNet might mean, as far as the odds of VMTN ever coming back?

    Jul 01 2013 Update 04:45pm

    I tend to stick with technical stories here at TinkerTry.com, but this particular licensing issue is apparently on a lot of IT professional's minds.

    The legitimate ways I see to handle VMware licensing in a temporary or other non-production lab environment include the following options.*

    1. Use a trail license key requested through your employer to your VMware representative, then reinstall after maximum of 365 days, re-importing your VMs
    2. Run the whole-hog 60 day trial, with all the bells and whistles for 60 days, then reinstall after 60 days, re-importing all your existing VMs
    3. Run the $560 VMware vSphere 5 Essentials version for years, losing some features that aren't generally needed in the home, but also losing the opportunity to self-train on important features for certification preparation
    4. Run the Free Hypervisor version for years, losing most of the cool features, but still have auto-starting of VMs, excellent performance, and the transparent memory page sharing crucial to using 32GB effectively

    *Following all EULAs and license requirements are your responsibility. This list reflect my personal opinions and observations. None of the options listed here include any support.

    See also:
    How-To: License the Free VMware vSphere Hypervisor
    vSphere Essentials and Acceleration Kits Comparison

    Jul 02 2013 Update 12:12pm

    Subscribe to Microsoft Action Pack Solution Provider may be an option for business owners/consultants to look into.

    Complete the following steps to subscribe to Microsoft Action Pack Solution Provider. To order, you must first join the Microsoft Partner Network, then take a 30-minute online course and complete a skills assessment.

    Subscription costs. Action Pack Solution Provider (download software): 329 USD*

    Or you may want to jump in and get a new MSDN or renew your MSDN by August 30, 2013, explained by Microsoft here, with an excerpt below.

    What is the difference between a TechNet Subscription and a Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Subscription?

    The software provided with TechNet Subscriptions is designed for hands-on IT Professionals to evaluate Microsoft software and plan deployments. The software provided with MSDN Subscriptions is available for evaluation, development, and testing purposes. Both programs provide priority support in forums, access to eLearning courses, and complimentary support incidents as part of the paid subscription and both MSDN and TechNet subscriptions are licensed per user. Subscription benefits and costs for each program vary by subscription level.

    Please refer to MSDN Subscription Software Use Rights for more details on using the software in MSDN Subscriptions.

    Aug 29 2013 Update

    Just published!

    What do you think, is there hope?

    Oct 27 2015 Update

    Great news!