VMware and Dell back together with fresh OEM agreement

VMware by Broadcom has re-signed three key hardware vendors to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) resale agreements.

Dell, HPE, and Lenovo have all signed on the dotted line, meaning they can continue to sell hyperconverged systems and servers pre-installed with VMware's stack.

That's a big win for VMware by Broadcom. Hyperconverged rigs that blend compute, storage and network virtualization are a popular way to buy enterprise IT, and now it has the three of the biggest names in enterprise hardware signed up to sell them. As for the hardware makers, all three have sizable customer bases to defend - so sorting out contracts that assure them the chance to do so will be welcome.

News of the agreements came after Dell in January 2024 exited a distribution deal it struck with VMware back when it owned the virty giant. Dell seemingly fell out of contract with VMware for a time, too.

Dell has issued a statement in which it proclaims "The new agreement builds on Dell and VMware's 20-plus year relationship and enables the companies to continue delivering co-engineered solutions that help organizations embrace modern applications at cloud scale and optimize their datacenters."

The statement adds that the deal covers Dell VxRail and Dell vSAN Ready Nodes hyperconverged infrastructure, Dell PowerEdge servers and Dell PowerFlex software-defined infrastructure.

HPE and Lenovo appear to be silent on the matter at the time of writing.

The fresh agreements come a week after Intel and AMD both announced new server processor ranges featuring manycore CPUs. While the chipmaking giants emphasized AI prowess, virtualization is a workload that benefits from manycore silicon - higher core count can allow even greater consolidation of server fleets. Indeed, Intel and AMD have both pitched their new silicon as ideal for server consolidation projects and therefore also sustainability initiatives.

And that's perhaps good news for Broadcom, which has changed its licenses for VMware product in ways many perceive as effectively increasing prices - but which the silicon and software supplier insists are actually better value.

The Register has often heard from VMware competitors that end-of-life for servers used to run Virtzilla's wares has become a natural moment to consider alternative suppliers. Servers packing manycore CPUs from AMD or Intel and bundling VMware software will require another round of financial modelling as buyers consider their new choices - giving Broadcom another chance to prove its claimed cost savings. ®

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