Stop Paying the VMWare Tax

March 19, 2021 / Bryan Reynolds

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Harvester vs. VMWare

For those unaware, the VMWare tax is essentially the change in VMWare licensing a few years ago. While there was a public outcry about the charges, which did result in the policy changing, some costs remain due to VMWare’s superior market position.

Thanks to new software developments and innovative products, like Harvester, you can avoid the VMWare tax altogether. If you’re one of the many customers unhappy about using only 75% of the VMWare capabilities but still having to pay for 100% of them, then you can thank new technology for the newfound solution.

Why Harvester?

(Source: Rancher)

You might be wondering, what is Harvester? Well, project Harvester is an open-source hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) software built for using Kubernetes, which ultimately means you can STOP paying the VMWare tax.

Over the years, there have been many attempts to bring VM management features into new and existing container platforms. From RancherVM to KubeVirt, there has been a massive demand for solutions alike. In the end, these solutions haven’t come close to the features of VMWare software.

The main issue with these solutions is that a decent knowledge of container platforms is often required, like Kubernetes. Although Kubernetes is an industry-standard, it is not widespread amongst VM administrators. Hence the difficulty that is faced by those transitioning away from the VMWare tax…

We must admit, the most valuable part of Harvester is not just it being built on top Kubernetes and other cutting-edge opensource technologies; it is easy to understand, install and use. The users of Harvester don’t necessarily have to understand anything about Kubernetes to use it.

Benefits of Harvester

  1. Avoid the VMWare tax and fees.

  2. No prior knowledge of Kubernetes is needed.

  3. Easy to understand, install and use.

Harvester Features

The current Harvester v0.1.0 has many benefits, as we discussed before, but also has many features.


The installation of Harvester is easy-to-follow; anyone can do it. BUT, did you know the many platforms it can be downloaded onto? Or the many forms it can be downloaded as?

  • ISO

You can download ISO via Github. Also, you can also install it directly on bare-metal nodes. Whether you want to create a new cluster or alter the current node, the choice is yours.

  • Helm Chat

If development is your sector, it’s helpful to know that you can install Harvester on existing Kubernetes clusters.


Many benefits of storage management, networking management, and much alike come along with Harvester.

  • Life Cycle

Harvester supports creating, deleting, and updating operations for VM, powered by KubeVirt.

  • Storage

Harvester includes a built-in block storage system powered by Longhorn.

  • Networking

Harvester provides various networking options, including a management NIC powered by Kubernetes. Adding additional NICs to the VMS is also supported, along with VLAN. Multus power the multi-networking function.

  • Image

Harvester contains a built-in image repository, so users can download and manage images easily.

Why Not VMWare?

(Source: TheCyberSecurity.News)

Well, we’ve already covered the main reasons why others alike are seeking a better solution to VMWare - known as the VMWare tax. But there are more reasons to switch to Harvester despite the tax. Of course, with anything, there are some advantages:

  1. No operating system is needed to control the management components.

  2. No security patches are needed to control the layer components.

  3. Available Amazon Web Services apps the AWS consultants can use.

However, as we have touched on, the introduction of charges for using VMWare years ago sent many customers and users on a downward spiral, searching for a better alternative to VMWare. Why would you want to pay for full use of software but only need to use half? Some disadvantages include:

  1. Incompatible with hardware unsupported by VMWare.

  2. Slow initialization time due to complex device drivers.

  3. Must have adequate knowledge of Kubernetes, otherwise hard to learn.

  4. Trials do not include all functionality.


Now that we have explained the new project Harvester, and laid out how new technology can open up a new development path, it’s time to stop paying the VMWare tax and explore the other solutions out there.