Lol! That was a long read, but so worth it!
Very good points StorageNinja- I always find a lot of wisdom (and humor) in your posts!
I'm just a crusty old veteran of the storage and vendor wars :P
I guess that's where I'm torn- I believe there is a lot of value and innovation to be found in opensource software
Let me stop you there. A lot of proprietary companies leverage open source and support it (and inversely some open source companies extend their products with proprietary paid for management components that must be licensed like RedHat). In VMware's case the VCSA is running on Linux (Photon OS)
The whole thing is even on GitHub
and is actually quite cool as a platform for running Docker containers and other nifty stuff on. VMware uses PostGres for the vCenter DB now (and is fighting/dragging customers from OracleDB and MsSQL DB). LogInsight (The logging platform) is based on Casandra on the back end, and fixes get checked back in to these projects or bugs reported.
The LINE Is a LOT more blurry on open vs. closed source software and you have to learn to separate business need from political beliefs at some point.
I feel like I'm being punished for standing up against expensive licensing practices by large vendors (and consequently, they thrive on the resistance of the IT community to stand up to them).
VMware is cheap for SMB's. Yo can get Essentials for what works out to be ~$100 a socket. Essentials Plus is ~$1000 a socket (assuming 3 hosts 2 socket systems in use). You can run HUNDREDS of virtual machines. I'd argue they offer a great solution for 90% of the tiny shops out there and being able to get flat rate 24/7 phone support for ~$1200 a year total (or $400 a server) is a bargain. Call Redhat for a quote to license 3 x 2 socket systems with 24/7 support and cluster support...
This used to be the case with Apple & Linux till enough people got fed up with Microsoft to start turning the tide.
Ok, so when I saw this let me qualify it. I was running Mac OS in 1989. I'm typing this on a Mac. I also used to use Linux on my desktop for ~6 years. NO one switched to either of them for political/religious views that closed software was bad (well maybe 2% of people). They switched because Apple made better products, and in my linux years, Windows wasn't stable, OS X was still in the early awkward years, and I could't afford other Unix workstation machines.
Now, Linux is no longer considered an outlier skill (though certainly less common that MS).
It's still an outlier skill in the SMB. I can throw a rock and hit some kid with a MSCE who with the help of a MSP can keep a shop running. With Linux for a COMPETENT admin (not some kind who's written one bash script, and knows how to install tuxracer and puts Gnome/KDE on servers) I'm going to pay a 40-100% premium. Finding a MSP who can PROPERLY support linux, is going to cost me 100-200% more (I used to manage operations at one, and I know what we could are over competitors).
Granted it wouldn't be an issue with a larger in-house team that could sustain multiple staff turnover without losing the body of knowledge.
Your complaining about a $500 a year smartnet, and a $1200 a year VMware S&S renewal. Staff cost a LOT more than that. Go annoy your HR staff sometime and ask what the full fringe cost/carry cost of your labor is. It's often 17-30% more than the base labor depending on how they calculate it. FICA tax (7.5%), health insurance (A lot), reimbursements for parking ($100 or more a month), office space (This stuff really isn't cheap), power costs, equipment costs, training costs (2-5K each). Break that down to per hour and it's pretty easy to see how spending money on tools so fewer people can manage things is a lot cheaper than hiring people.
Lastly if your going to argue about Free The GPL isn't very free, you need to grow up and use BSD which is REALLY free (ok, PfSense uses it, but quit talking about KVM and learn Jails like the rest of us or zones if the CDDL is free enough).
I know I'll get flamed for this, but what the hell. Even Apple ditched VMware for KVM (and I'm no fan of Apple either).
You will not get flamed, you will get corrected. There was a news story that went out that apple did not renew a ELA's with VMware note a few things...
1. When you run an ELA many have sunset terms that allow you to keep using software even if you don't renew and you just default to normal rates (you might however loose access to certain discounts on expansion, or support extensions or other fun things). ELA's fundamentally are bound only by the law of the country signed in, the space on the paper, and what the lawyers will approve. Many ELA's allow existing steep discounts to stay but cut off access to new products if not renewed (discounts might be cut as new products are added so they might have simply frozen their spend at a given level until they evaluated things).
2. ELA's tend to encourage LARGE bundle deals of existing well adopted products as well as niche but growth markets (Say vRA, or LogInsight might get thrown in if they raise commitment to a certain size). If a company has very specific off the shelf requirements things go all over the place.
3. Leaks to the press like this actually get used as a negotiating tactic by large customers. They will make announcements "Going 100% KVM" then quietly renew them a quarter later or if they even do, a lot of these projects fail. I met with a F100 this past year who had a few PB's of storage sitting on the shelf from a failed OpenStack/KVM project (note I see a lot of OpenStack on VMware and Xen Also, I don't know where the misconception is that it's a KVM only thing).
(and I'm no fan of Apple either).
They make a good *nix based OS that's easy to use, has a decent terminal, is stable and VMware Fusion lets you run anything else you want on it (I'm mucking with photon and docker today).
I used to run Linux on laptops and battery life sucked, Wireless was never as stable (I hear improved) and UI/Audio refresh was never as crisp.
Also I do podcasting and I have a bazillion little one off apps I use that I really need access to.