VMware to ex-Microsoft TechNet Subscribers – “We have you covered”

VMUG EVALExperience

For years, the Microsoft TechNet subscription program provided non-commercial use licenses to Microsoft software. The TechNet subscriptions provided access for a few hundred dollars per year to Microsoft’s extensive library of software for evaluation purposes. For example, when Hyper-V was maturing, one could get access to licenses to setup labs with new features such as fail-over clusters. VMware on the other hand made ESXi “free” but much of the awesome functionality VMware provided would cost quite a bit to get access to. For years folks have wondered if VMware would provide something like TechNet subscriptions. Microsoft announced the discontinuance of TechNet subscriptions and the final annual subscription windows happened in 2013. As of 2014, most of the TechNet subscriptions concluded making it expensive for those looking to set up small non-production labs for learning purposes. Many hoped TechNet would continue, but that has not happened.

Instead, VMware is now offering a non-commercial evaluation program for $200/ year or less. (Nice fine @Emulsifide from the STH forums). The program is for VMUG Advantage subscribers and is called the VMware EVALExperience. By subscribing, one can take advantage of annual licenses for:

Pricing is very reasonable. It starts at $200 for a single user and has a volume discount for multiple users:

VMUG Advantage
VMUG Advantage

Overall this program is a game changer. Quite often we get questions around “is there any cheap way to test vSAN and other VMware architectures” and the answer has been “not really.” You do have to join the VMUG which is great for VMware as it is known as a leading technical social community.

Now, Microsoft the ball is in your court, when are TechNet subscriptions coming back?

For those interested head here for the VMUG Advantage sign-up and get the EVALExperience.

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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.


  1. This is incredibly useful, and thoughtful of the folks at VMware. Nice find, thanks for the information.


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