VMware makes great products. It did not become the 800-pound gorilla in virtualization by accident.
So, it is unlikely that VMware will go away any time soon.
This Motley Fool post got me to thinking: Is stopping VMware really the point? It may be if one is an investor looking for the next “big thing,” but datacenter architects are just looking to get a job done. They just want the tools that they want.
This talk about unseating an entrenched incumbent brings to mind a conversation with a colleague back around 2000 or so with regard to Microsoft’s dominance in the enterprise. The talk back then was all about how Linux and open source would be Microsoft’s Waterloo. As we now know, that didn’t happen. Microsoft maintained its stranglehold on the desktop. What did change, however, is the face of computing itself. Virtualization and cloud computing have grown from nothing to where they are today. And it’s newer companies, like VMware and Rackspace and Amazon that are dominating in these NEW parts of the IT pie.
Clearly, cloud computing has been the most recent and perhaps most significant driver of the ever increasing pie for IT products and services. As we know, virtualization begat cloud computing, so it is no surprise that VMware is doing so well. But VMware, in spite of its dominance, is not the only tool for virtualization/cloud available. Open source Xen and KVM have firmly established themselves as players in the datacenter virtualization (and especially the cloud) marketplace. And, in sort of an ironic, reverse full-circle judo-type move, Microsoft is stepping up its game in virtualization with Hyper-V.
We know this from our own experience. Convirture recently announced a version of our flagship product – ConVirt Enterprise Cloud – that adds support for Hyper-V. The response took even us by surprise. We knew there was a market, but we didn’t realize how strong the demand would be.
Based on the conversations we’ve been having with interested customers, we attribute this high-level of interest to three factors:
1.) Hyper-V is just plain getting better. Performance and stability is better with every iteration.
2.) Cost. It comes bundled with Windows Server. So, those Microsoft shops already have it and it’s good enough to actually consider for production use.
3.) Vendor lock-in. As good as VMware is, no IT manager wants to be locked into a single vendor. Just the fact that there are alternatives gives IT buyers some leverage and in reality, KVM, Xen and Hyper-V give them lower cost alternatives.
Of course, as a vendor that provides a product that can manage all of these, plus cloud platforms from a single pane of glass, we love a multi-virt, multi-cloud world. Pick your best tools and move forward. We’ll be here to help you manage one, two or all of them.