It isn't the ability to automate that is the problem. It's the availablility of easy to use tools that is the problem.
Thats the whole point I'm making.
KVM is hard to automate. Not that it's impossible, but the tooling doesn't exist to where you can easily automate like with VMware.
Agreed, and I don't think that that's the point of concern here. The issue at hand should be "does that automation that VMware offers get used by or should be used by the OP?" I believe that the answer is no to being used today and likely no to should it be used. It's a very small deployment. The overhead to the automation, even when you have VMware, is too high. And regardless, even if we agree that it should be used, probably because an MSP/ITSP is brought in to effectively make the environment larger and changing some of the scale discussions, the bigger question would be "will the OP's environment opt to do that anyway?" If that answer is "no", in the practical sense, then the automation point becomes moot.
I "think" we can all agree that VMware has better standard built in automation. And that KVM is completely automatable if you put in the extra, non-standard effort. So if we were considering standard automation then VMware would have an important edge in that area. That point shouldn't be in dispute. We can argue how close KVM gets, while still being behind, sure.
But the key point here, for me, is that I believe based on knowing the environment a bit that that automation is not, and won't be, used if VMware remains.