IT Vendor Lock-In Explained

IT Vendor Lock-In Explained

Vendor lock-in is a situation in which IT departments are unable to easily switch or migrate to different/newer technologies or services provided by a different vendor due to various reasons, such as differing functionalities, compatibility and interoperability issues, use of proprietary platforms, or even licensing arrangements.

Businesses may be put off from switching to a different platform because it involves a substantial investment in terms of time, cost and energy for migrating their applications. Doing so requires them to deploy, configure, integrate and conduct training for their staff to familiarise with the new environment. Furthermore, the process can be laden with multiple migration challenges.

In many cases, customers are essentially tied or locked-in to the future products of a vendor because they have made previous investments in that vendor’s proprietary hardware or software. Due to the lack of standardization, vendor lock-in could be seen as a major obstacle to cloud computing adoption.

As a more specific example, in the case of hypervisor lock-in, users may not be able to easily replicate an entire application between two different hypervisors, such as from KVM to VMware. They’re restricted to use the same hypervisor across all their datacenters. In the long run, they may become dependent on the hypervisor or services provided by a single vendor since migrating to an alternate hypervisor can be quite a costly and complex endeavour.

To provide a viable alternative for such businesses, hyperconverged companies such as Nutanix have taken a hardware, hypervisor and cloud-agnostic approach – giving customers the flexibility and freedom to use their infrastructure of choice depending on the business use case and easily move workloads across different solutions. Furthermore, Nutanix’s hyperconverged infrastructure comes with their own license-free hypervisor, AHV, offering users the option to eliminate hypervisor license costs and avoid hypervisor lock-in.

As enterprises make infrastructure decisions, it’s important that they don’t lock themselves in – be it with clouds, virtualisation or hardware vendors. Nevertheless, at the end of the day it is all about customer choice and whatever provides the most choice is the best option. Click here for more explanation. 

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