11 Replies Latest reply on Sep 8, 2019 5:25 PM by adza77

    VMWare Version Support Timeline Policy

    adza77 Enthusiast

      Hi,

       

      I was wondering if someone can please advise what VMWare's official patching policy is for supporting recently succeeded versions of VMWare Workstation.

       

      This question comes about after seeing that Windows 1903 creates problems with black screens and locking up. A problem that was reported back in April but has since been fixed in version 15 only.

       

      My main concern is that this currently indicates that someone could purchase a version of VMWare and less than 12 months later it is no longer supported or patched. That's at least how it appears at the moment because for those who purchased VMWare in June 2018 - they would have gotten VMWare 14. (15 had not been released). 10 months later this issue was reported, but no fix has been presented.

       

      The obvious solution is to upgrade to version 15 if this is the case, however if I buy 15 now, and another update happens in a few months time that breaks it again, and 15 has been succeeded by version 16, I could have to upgrade twice in the matter of a few months.

       

      Just chasing clarification so I can make a firm decision which path I take moving forward with virtualisation.

       

      Thanks

       

      Adam

        • 1. Re: VMWare Version Support Timeline Policy
          rpellet Enthusiast
          VMware Employees

          The product lifecyle is published here.

          https://www.vmware.com/content/dam/digitalmarketing/vmware/en/pdf/support/product-lifecycle-matrix.pdf

           

          Workstation 14 was GA on 2017/09/26 and EOL 2019/03/26

           

          Workstation 15 was GA on 2018/09/24 and EOL 2020/03/24

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: VMWare Version Support Timeline Policy
            continuum Guru
            vExpertCommunity Warriors

            @ rpellet

            You obviously missunderstood the question.

            Let me translate it for you:

            In the last year our decision to use VMware Workstation for our development department was an expensive mistake.

            We cant risk to run into that problem again.

            Is there a chance that this was just a one-off problem or do we have to expect that the same happens again ?

            I assume that OP had hoped for an answer like:

            We did not really expect that Windows 10 changes like the weather. Sorry for the inconvenience .... We are aware of the problems and are working hard so that this never happens again.

            Your reply translates to:

            We will charge for a new version once a year - no matter if the product works or not. We dont care ....

            Congratulations: rpellet

            You successfully alienated a customer and your volunteer support crew.

            Ulli

            • 3. Re: VMWare Version Support Timeline Policy
              HJLBX Novice

              Given the price of upgrades, the product is a scam. The fixes in each successive version only address very specific issues. Then consider that Microsoft will break stuff with its never-ending updates problems.

               

              If you happen to be a home user just looking for a VM, then use Virtual Box or Windows 10 1903's new Hyper-V feature. The price for Workstation Pro upgrades cannot be justified for a consumer. What you pay versus what you get is so far out of proportion that can be called nothing but a scam.

              • 4. Re: VMWare Version Support Timeline Policy
                DickHinSC Novice

                I have the same issue.  So all I can say is AMEN to all responders.  I agree this policy seems to say VMware Workstation is DEAD.  I guess all good products eventually wither away and die.

                I've reverted to WS 12.5.9 build-7535481 on Win 10 Pro x64 1809 build 17763.615 host on a Dell Precision Tower w Xeon W-2125   This runs all my VMs, including Win 1903 VMs.  Neither WS 14 versions nor WS 15 versions work on this host.  To it's credit, MS refuses to upgrade ost to 1903 due to WS 12 incompatibilities, and neither WS 14's or 15's run properly on Win 1809 or 1903.

                • 5. Re: VMWare Version Support Timeline Policy
                  wila Guru
                  Community WarriorsUser ModeratorsvExpert

                  Hi,

                   

                  At VMworld VMware just announced a bunch of things, including free updates for users of VMware Workstation 15 and VMware Fusion 11.

                   

                  Details here:

                   

                  VMworld 2019: Fusion and Workstation Announcements - VMware Fusion Blog - VMware Blogs

                   

                  --

                  Wil

                  | Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Desktop Products
                  | Vimalin : Automated backups for VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Professional
                  | More info at https://www.vimalin.com
                  | Twitter @wilva
                  | VMware Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com
                  • 6. Re: VMWare Version Support Timeline Policy
                    adza77 Enthusiast

                    The product lifecyle is published here.

                    https://www.vmware.com/content/dam/digitalmarketing/vmware/en/pdf/support/product-lifecycle-matrix.pdf

                     

                    Workstation 14 was GA on 2017/09/26 and EOL 2019/03/26

                     

                    Workstation 15 was GA on 2018/09/24 and EOL 2020/03/24

                     

                    Thanks rpellet

                     

                    So basically your confirming my concerns. If I purchase VMWare Workstation now for my staff -we'll be paying for 6 months of product lifecycle only and will have to purchase again in 6 months should Microsoft break anything else.

                     

                    I note that VMWare 15 customers get a 'free' upgrade to 15.5 - but I would imagine that's still falls under the major version '15's lifecycle.

                     

                    I love VMWare and I would love to stick with it - but selling a current product where the lifecycle can be less than 12 months (in this case 6 months out) is at the very least concerning to me.

                    • 7. Re: VMWare Version Support Timeline Policy
                      wila Guru
                      User ModeratorsCommunity WarriorsvExpert

                      Hi,

                       

                      I'm not from VMware, but I imagine that the Workstation 15.x life cycle will be extended to reflect the new free update.

                      At least that's what I remember about last time with the Workstation 12.5 update.

                       

                      Only VMware can give you exact numbers, (pinging Mikero for a better answer)

                       

                      --

                      Wil

                       

                      edit: typo

                      | Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Desktop Products
                      | Vimalin : Automated backups for VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Professional
                      | More info at https://www.vimalin.com
                      | Twitter @wilva
                      | VMware Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com
                      • 8. Re: VMWare Version Support Timeline Policy
                        adza77 Enthusiast

                        Hi wila

                         

                        I actually imagine the opposite at this stage - simply because there's silence on it. otherwise if what you suspect was the case I would expect VMWare to be very quick to promote this to try and encourage others (such as myself) to purchase version 15 and be assured that we'll have continued patches beyond 6 months.

                         

                        Since there is silence instead of announcements I read into this that it's a bit embarrassing for VMWare to confirm that the 15.5 release and any new purchases will both only be good for 6 months (subject to whether Microsoft make a change in this time that creates another break) so silence is the best approach from their end.

                         

                        I've also just realised that the prices for upgrades and new purchases have nearly doubled compared to what we paid for them going back 6 years ago - so not only do we have less time that our purchases seem to be usable  - they are also costing considerably more. This leaves me with an additional concern that if more people leave VMWare because of these issues - then VMWare will have to continue to increase prices at the same rate to sustain their income, rinse and repeat.

                         

                        I am so reluctant to leave VMWare. I've been with them since before I can remember and am trying desperately to find some way of justifying / upgrading or seeing some light but each rock I turn over seems to be showing another concern, not another incentive.

                         

                        I've been using VirtualBox for a bit now to try it out. The main difference that quirks me is the way that virtual disks are stored centrally instead of individually per VM. But it's certainly usable and has been much smoother than dealing with the black screen issues. Add to this that at the price for 6 licenses (the couple of entities I'm involved with have 3 and 3 licenses respectively) and the increased cost of upgrading, and the lifespan I'm getting pushed out the door. :-(  I'm yet to try Hyper-V. I didn't try it because I've held off installing it so that I can still keep VMWare installed...

                         

                        Desperately hoping to see some different news / welcome information pop up in here soon!

                        • 9. Re: VMWare Version Support Timeline Policy
                          Mikero Master
                          VMware Employees

                          Hi =)

                           

                          Happy to chime in a bit here.

                          Firstly, we are not planning a v16 (or Fusion v12) until AT LEAST VMworld 2020, full stop.

                          We'll be extending the support term for 15.x for another 12 months (March 2021).

                           

                          We do plan to introduce the Windows Hypervisor Platform (i.e. run when hyper-v mode is on, which we demoed at VMworld) features independent of the 'major' release. We're not going to force folks to upgrade just so things work in that mode, we'll ship it in a point update when it's ready (it's not this year, the WHP platform we'll be using needs a lot of work still, but it's progressing very well!... I will say this is a herculean effort by our vShphere core hypervisor engineers tho...)

                           

                          As for the .5 thing, we never did one before v12.5, and for me it just seemed like the right thing to do given the situation at the time.

                          A few years ago, a version would last for a long time, but now with platform changes happening so quickly the cost of "it just works" is rising rapidly.

                           

                          You're right that the price kept going up and up year on year.

                          That stopped when I took over in 2015. It's not fair, and it's just not cool to penny pinch our customers like that for something that arguably doesn't really change things internally. (it's not like we're a billion dollar product here...)

                           

                          " I would expect VMWare to be very quick to promote this to try and encourage others (such as myself) to purchase version 15 and be assured that we'll have continued patches beyond 6 months."

                          When launch happens in about 2 weeks that campaign will be kicked off.

                           

                           

                          am trying desperately to find some way of justifying / upgrading or seeing some light but each rock I turn over seems to be showing another concern, not another incentive.

                           

                          I can understand that. It's been a tumultuous couple of years for us.

                           

                          Let me share a bit about where we're at, maybe it helps folks understand a bit about how and why we got here...

                           

                          A few years ago, we found that we weren't getting the resources we needed to thrive when we were in the End User Computing business group at VMware (where Horizon View and AirWatch live), to say the least.

                          There was some unexpected and unfortunate staff changes that happened by folks who, well.. let's say it didn't work out well for their careers at VMware and they're now gone.

                           

                          So, last year we made the case that we really belong with the vSphere group where our core platform is developed.

                          We moved over, and revamped the engineering teams to adapt to the model that vSphere uses for development.

                           

                          Our first priorities were to completely update our quality programs and our dev process to align with the standard of quality that the vSphere group expects.

                          So a TON more automation, more hardware, more testing,  more code review, etc...

                           

                          That takes a lot of work, especially when we have essentially the same product code running on 3 different platforms with 4 different UIs... (Mac, Win, Lin + Player)

                           

                          Plus, we have these incredible under-the-hood platform changes which are coming about from Apple and Microsoft that we've been having to address faster than we've ever had to before.

                          Again,  the cost of "it just works" continues to go up.

                           

                          So we find ourselves here now... The investment to "get our house in order" is incredible, but it's not very visible to the outside world.

                           

                           

                          So to everyone who's read this far I ask: Where should we go from here?

                          What do you want to see, both from a pricing and from a feature perspective?

                           

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                          • 10. Re: VMWare Version Support Timeline Policy
                            sjesse Master
                            User ModeratorsvExpert

                            Workstation for me formost is a esxi home lab at home, wiith some general development servers. I rarely have ran into the version restriction as mentioned heras the software tools I've made have used longer term support os versions.

                             

                            Mostly for a price point once it looks cheaper or more effective to run a physical lab I may let my license go.

                             

                            For features I'd lke to see anything that makes running a homelab in workstation easier and better. Built in jumbo frames start is but I'd like to see offical vlan support as well. I have more than one workstation license and I use one on my laptop and one on a desktop. Right now I'm doing static routes in my router to either nested esxi host, but I'd like to be able to find a way to run nsx between the two of them, and currently I don't think it will work. I think the vlan tagging part would be something many people like, as I've seen multiple posts about this, all saying its not supported.

                            • 11. Re: VMWare Version Support Timeline Policy
                              adza77 Enthusiast

                              Hi Mikero

                               

                              Thank you very much for a transparent reply that also answers some of the questions I have been concerned about.

                               

                              Knowing if we purchase version 15 now and we're going to get patches/updates until March 2021 has certainly given me more confidence! As mentioned I've been desperately searching for a way to justify upgrading now - and I think you have just given it to me. Thank you!!!

                               

                              I also appreciate you addressing the price creep that I referred to. It's encouraging to know that this was already identified internally and has been addressed as well. Likewise I can also appreciate that things are changing far more rapidly now than before which would put extra workload on your staff. Without knowing the inner workings of the company I think it would be assumptive of me to address your question regarding the price - because I don't know the profit margins, and while end consumers will always say 'cheaper' - it's not always practical. But I also am aware that with two free options available out there (VirtualBox and Hyper-V) - there must be a very tight balance for you to walk.

                               

                              For me - the main thing is to know that VMWare hasn't gone all profit focused driven only and is still looking to provide a balanced approach between profit and doing right by it's customers and that wheels are turning internally to make this so.

                               

                              As such - and since you asked for suggestions =) what I would like to put forward as a suggestion is something that would address my original concerns, and that is some sort of software life guarantee:

                               

                              ie: If the product is purchased and it goes EOL prior to 12 months of that purchase date - then the next version is included in the price/upgrade. (Even if that license only gives patches for the next version up until 12 months from their purchase date). Another way to address this would be to have EOL support for the previous product based on 12 months after the release of the next product, but I can appreciate that this could put additional workload on your staff - which is why I suggested the software life guarantee model. Either way - I think something (anything really) to address this issue where someone could end up purchasing the software and then find themselves EOL within a few months and having to upgrade again to keep going would be very much welcomed.

                               

                              Once again - thanks so much for chiming in and clearing the air!

                               

                              Best Regards

                               

                              Adam