My friends in the financial industry keep lobbing the same question - how long can VMware keep up its growth? The answer to that query revolves around Microsoft and how competent it decides to be. VMware has doubled its employee count and revenue just about every year of its existence. Today, you find a virtualization software …
Don't bet against Microsoft? Or don't bet on them?
There was a time when everyone knew you didn't bet against Microsoft. If they came into your niche or your industry, you were in trouble. Like them or hate them, you had to respect their ability to dominate everything they touched.
But now? Are they still the same force? As this article shows, they bungled virtualisation. They bungled Vista - years late, buggy as hell, slated by analysts. They also bungled the Internet - the biggest bungle of all: rather than using IE's 95% market share to own the net, they let the upstart Google slip in and are now a distant third with a second-rate search engine that no-one uses.
So while it's true that VMWare must inevitably face competition at some point, I'm not so sure that Microsoft will ever be the main focus of those worries. They really seem to have lost their touch.
In the blue corner....
A couple of weeks ago one infrastructure guy was making very positive noises about VMWare and as I was going to do a server rebuild I thought I would try out this new fangled virtualisation software. In looking this up I came across Microsoft's virtual server product - and being from the same home as the operating system (and also free) I thought I would give it a go.
I installed Microsoft virtual server, and to be honest I wasn't impressed. I guess it did the job it was supposed to, however the user interface seemed like an afterthought.
So off with Microsoft virtual server and on with VMWare. I was instantly impressed, the user interface is so much better. I then created a couple of virtual shells and installed Windows server 2003 in one, and Linux (Ubuntu) in the other.
Good job VMWare!
What a Technology
I think virtualization is great, and I'm amazed when I see it work.
Interestingly, there is one thing I found that MS can do that VMware can't -- take screenshots of DOS programs. If you have a DOS program that runs in graphics mode (ie, non-windows, not-text mode), you may from time to time need to take a screenshot. Vmware totally botches it, while MS gets it exactly right.
Of course, other than that very obscure difference, VMware seems to blow MS out of the water.
In three years time, most CPU's will have either amd-v or intel-vt built in, and will be much better at virtualization. I think this will work out better for Linux, as it will be easier and easier to run Windows instances on Linux. It will also level the playing field between VMWare, MS, Xen, qemu, etc. That works against Vmware.
All those geniuses...
... and they end up being called "mediocre folks". Looks like the A-Rod syndrome is hitting Microsoft.
[The A-Rod Syndrome: Get paid way beyond ordinary money, collecting more in one game warming the bench than ordinary mortals make in a year working hard, and there's no incentive to really perform when the team needs you to.]
The Money Shot...... The Priceless 64,000 Dollar Question
And in an addendum to ... most definiely not Alien Plans which have Registered ....... Wanna Build AI Hypervisor Program Control, Microsoft, with C42* ... Transparently and Virtually for All Points Protection and Presentation?
RSVP ... MARS [Microsoft Alternate Reality Systems]
[C42*..... The Creation in CyberSpace of the Command and Control of Computers and Communications]
Or is that AI Beta Better suited to a Linux Kernel for Windows to Copy...... which is the Roundabout Scenic Route for Root Source Code ..... Pandering to Third Party Interests rather than First Party Passions.
In or Out, with the Program or right out of IT?
Quote "It will be the only major virtualization player able to create the tightest possible links between its operating system, the hypervisor and management packages."
Surely IBM has had this and had it for years. Long live zOS.
IBM and HP all have very good virtualization technologies that are tightly coupled with the operating system.
Microsoft, count on us . . . . er . . . not!
Yep, Microsoft to the rescue, cause they have proved so many times in the past that:
they ALWAYS do what they say,
they ALWAYS finish the software that they start,
once completed, software is maintained and upgraded on a regular basis,
they are a trusted partner and never stab partners in the back (plays-for-sure?)
etc, etc, etc
Microsoft, promise it till they are blue in the face, delay it always, :-)
Guys, Microsoft has been pulling the same old tactics for years. They get a product to market then forget about it, they screw partners again and again,
they would rather work to force you into a corner, than work to give you a great product.
Sorry, I quit trusting them long ago. :-(
As Microsoft wants my ass...
"Once that party ends and the main hypervisor goes to free as Microsoft and XenSource want, VMware will need to replace a whole lot of revenue fast."
Just because MS can't successfully charge for virtualization today doesn't mean it's going to stay that way. Microsoft always charges for a product if they can. At the very least, "free" licenses to MS's virtualization will only be bundled with other paid products. There's no way on earth that MS will give away its virtualization products to people who, for example, want to run Linux distros and BSDs.
Once MS comes to market with competent products expect the usual bundle/price war, but nothing from Microsoft will ever be truly free.
Too late to kill off VMWare
No, Microsoft have missed the boat. It's not about licence costs, it's about: Installed base; established skills; the whole ecosystem which has already built up around virtualisation with VMWare. It's one thing to have a virtualisation engine, it's another thing to have a global base of practitioners, a layer of ISVs offering add on products, and specialist houses (or boutiques within IT Services companies) with experience of using the product over time.
And with some of the newer x86 processors, the bottlenecks which VMWare used to hit are being removed and mitigated. In terms of straight box count, a well stacked out Sun x4600 box can now take 10s of VMs. It will take Microsoft years to get from GA of virtualisation to being a "safe alternative" to VMWare.
I think the fat lady has sung.
I remember a niche product, that also had outrageous product and sales (well, back then there were about 1/10th of the current users).
(tatata... drums please) Lantastic!!!!!
Once we remember things... we know what will happen to vmware.. really soon..
on time and under budget
2 things that MS does well these days hmmm? I think the 2 year projection would be possible for someone. Not Microsoft.
Xen no longer sees itself in the same arena as VMware so it will be up to 3rd parties to make a nice GUI for Xen virtualization complete with snapshots, cloning, support for Windows guests on Linux hosts and vice versa.
MS will have all that in 2 years. After all the big brains that developed Vista will be focusing on it. Haahaahaahaahaahaahaaaaaa... Oh dear, I need a glass of water please.