Broadcom acquires VMWare for $61B.

And this is the de facto death of VMWare. Their ESXi (and related tooling) is probably the best computing product created in the modern era and far superior in management and capabilities to laughably-inferior products and ideas such as Docker, Kubernetes and container/microservices practices that succeeded VMWare’s stack in many organizations.

I spent a vast number of hours at various VMWare admin consoles gettin’ shit done over the years. Their core product, ESXi, was logically-organized and rarely had issues, and had great observability too. None of this is true of what followed where you often have to build as much infrastructure to monitor what’s running as is actually operating a real workload — a huge and stupefying regression.

VMWare was the last of the products that did not attempt to turn everyone into a developer, and allowed real system administration to be done on it — and where it was in some definite state at all times. Now, there is the shoddy practice of writing crappy code and hoping it does what you want it to do, but with no real way to determine what it’ll do in production or to test it accurately in advance or even to revert it if something goes wrong.

VMWare did not make the cloud companies any money though, and they are largely the ones pushing behind the scenes for financially- and computationally-expensive micrososervices and containerization. (For instance, Amazon makes around an 80% profit on their non-VM-based container products as opposed to around 20% on virtual machines.)

VMWare was the last gasp of the old style of computing, transmuted as far as possible into the modern era. Its inevitable slow strangulation at the hands of Broadcom signals the de facto end of the computer as something that holds any notion of unrestrained capability in it, rather than just a utility to be consumed with little freedom or control over any of it.