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back to article Microsoft counters VMware insanity with optimistic frown

I used to enjoy covering VMware. In the good old days, CEO Diane Greene would stop by the office to chat about everything, including point upgrades to ESX Server, GSX Server - remember that - or Workstation. She never tried to oversell the products. She embraced a humble, intelligent approach to discussing VMware's products and …

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joe

Optimized OS from M$?

I really laugh hard when M$ tries to get into a market with sub-par products or vapor-ware. Zune anybody? They would be far better off getting more performance out of their existing products, Vista? LOL then treading into a realm that they can't compete in from the get go.

Lets face it the windows products, including their servers, don't hold a candle to other server products out there when i comes to performance. Yes *NIX, what ever flavor you want is going to beat windows servers for as long a M$ doesn't get it. Forever???

Vmware's VM kernel is small, efficient and doesn't have to be rebooted every month on patch Tuesday for another IE flaw. So coupled with a bloated host OS and monthly patch reboots, M$ should be sucking slue water for a very long time in this area. Makes me smile :)

Foot note. Sun is going to have it's version out for Solaris that will allow windows server as a guest OS on x86. If, I mean big if, Sun can deliver they would have a better chance at grabbing market share than Microsoft. Historically i wouldn't hold my breath on Sun or either company making a dent in VMware's dominance in this market.

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Anonymous Coward

Uh, it is 5%...

Ashlee,

Pat Gelsinger, from Intel, quoted that 5% of servers are virtualized in his VMworld keynote last week so that isn't some M$ figure...

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tis to laugh

"For one, Microsoft can tweak its operating system to deliver the best possible Windows virtualization experience. You should expect Microsoft's own hypervisor to surpass rivals' software when performing basic slicing of Windows Server."

That may be, but don't hold your breath. And how do we expect MS's hypervisor to work when supporting rival OS's. If we can say not at all, they are losing a big share of the virtualiztion market. People are used to mixing and matching guest OS's on the host. If MS can't do that they are a niche market of a niche market. If they can do it they probably won't perform very well because that would look bad on MS OS's.

"More importantly, Microsoft will enjoy an unmatched distribution model with its hypervisor. Every physical server that ships with Windows Server 2008 will be virtualization-ready. Customers wanting to know what all the virtualization fuss is about will see Microsoft as their most direct path to acquiring the technology."

As opposed to what? x86 servers are all shipping with the cpu virtualization bit already. Linux and Solaris ship with virtualization already built in. Windows shops that want to try virtualization might prefer to try MS solution over VMwares but MS better have windows server 2008 mature on the already delayed shipping date.

Speaking of OEM's, MS too is relying on OEM's to get there virtualization packaged. The hypervisor alone is not enough for virtualization.

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Title

hmmm...

"It is important to understand that Viridian will ship as part of Windows Server 2008," Microsoft's virtualization chief Mike Neil told us. "VMware is in a situation where they are not an OS vendor. They need a distribution mechansim through the OEMs. This is the approach they have taken."

that sounds a little bit like

"Our business model works even if all Internet software is free," says Mr. Gates, "We are still selling operating systems. What does Netscape's business model look like (if that happens)? Not very good."

...or maybe i'm just paranoid after reading up on all of Microsoft's shady past. Any thoughts El Reg, or readers?

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Anonymous Coward

Desperately

trying to get into the server / virtualisation market ?

Shouldn't they be happy with their market share for desktops ?

Could this be an indication that even MS thinks their latest OS is crap ?

Just a thought . .

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MS don't know the word optimisation!

"For one, Microsoft can tweak its operating system to deliver the best possible Windows virtualization experience. You should expect Microsoft's own hypervisor to surpass rivals' software when performing basic slicing of Windows Server."

What? Like Vista's "optimised" network speeds when playing music? Hmmph!

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Anonymous Coward

Same old Microsoft up to it's same old dirty anti-competitive tricks

When Microsoft has an inferior product that's way behind the competition, what do they do? Thats right they give it a way for free. Then when they overtake the competition they start charging. And given that the MSDN documentation is such a JOKE, it's no wonder they will eventualy catch up with the competition.

Sad but true.

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Bronze badge

It's going to be a Netscape deja-vu

With Viridian, Microsoft is doing it again: embedding technology pioneered by others into Windows, thus killing the market for the 3. party software vendors whose niche it was. Happened with Netscape (MS integrated IE), happened with Real (MS integrated WMP). I predict this will eventually sparc yet another anti-trust case agains MS.

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re: desperately trying to get into the server / virtualisation market ?

Virtualisation fair enough, but they're _in_ the server market already, and not as a niche player either.

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lol @ MS

See, the problem with Microsoft's strategy is that they assume we're going to want to upgrade to Windows Server 2008. Why on earth would I want to spend money on that, when I could spend it on VMware instead?

Most of our servers are running Windows 2000 becase it's more than good enough for our needs. We've a couple of 2k3 servers, but there's nothing I've seen in 2k8 server that we actually need to run our network.

On the other hand, VMware gives us immediate reductions in hardware costs, greater stability (and I trust them a whole load more than I trust MS on that!), and an opportunity to introduce Linux as and when needed.

The way things are going with Linux, ODF and the EU anti trust case, you'd be crazy to keep putting all your eggs in Microsoft's basket right now.

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Anonymous Coward

Deja Vu..

When Microsoft missed the Internet boat (having bet on their propriatory system instead) their catchup strategy was to buy a web browser, re-brand it and bundle it as 'free' with their OS in an attempt to smother the browser market and make Microsoft ubiquitous.

This strategy resulted in the godawful mess that is Internet Explorer and I-don't-know-how-many accusations of M$ abusing their monopoly position to crush competition.

The strategy was successful - Microsoft killed the commercial browser market stone dead and have still not had any remotely effective punishment for abuse of their monopoly position.

They learned two important lessons from this..

1) Consumers will put up with a lot of crap if it appears to be 'free' and they don't know any better.

2) You can get away with pretty much anything if you can afford enough lawyers.

In the long-run, though the strategy was not successful - in response to this affair we now have Opera and Thunderbird; free, cross-platform alternatives to Internet Explorer that frankly piss all over Microsoft's effort and who's availability make non-Windows OS's so much more attractive.

With Viridian I expect history to be repeated in much the same way - even more so because Virtual Machines allow anyone to run any OS without too much installation hassle which is still the main turn-off stopping consumers trying alternatives to Windows.

M$ will crush the commercial competition, cripple Viridian in such a way as to encourage only Microsoft guests run on it and in response superior alternatives will allow anyone to run any OS they want with a much lower learning curve.

As long as Microsoft think that they don't have to be the best; they just have to be the biggest they will be vulnerable to this cycle.

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It's the patching / VMotion issue

For me the problem lies with the lack of VMotion capabilities.

I am reliably informed that VM migrations on Windows virtualisation will require 4 seconds of downtime with ALL TCP connections being reset.

This coupled with the patching of the Windows OS (even with server core) will mean agrovation for me.

With VMware I can perform rolling upgrades, migrating machines from one host to another without having to notify the end users.

Until they get that sorted I will not deploy veridian.

PS yes, veridian can support non MS operating systems.

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re: Desparately

MS are already well established in the server market and have been since NT4, and oddly enough, Server 2003 isn't that bad. It needs cygwin to make it usable, but MS finally mastered multiple user desktops on it, and a fundamental difference is that as opposed to the desktop OSes, it shouldn't have to contend with cheap peripherals and badly written software, which is one of the primary sources of OS instability. Virtual Server 2003 is usable too, in a graphical equivalent of a BSD jail kind of way. None of this is to say that I would use it if I had a choice, and I certainly wouldn't expose it to the Internet as a web or mail server without heavy security, just that MS is, if anything, probably better at servers than it is at desktops.

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MS

I don't think you rose above VMware's marketing attempt. You just fell for Microsoft's. Really ... what's with the MS love fest. I'm no great VMware fan, but I don't understand the point here. It seems MS's strategy is the same as it's always been. Make a product that's not great, but good-enough, then bundle it. In the process, explain why it's a good thing that you aren't offering as many features as your competition.

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virtualisation for the desktop?

The comment that Vista is crap is perhaps tough, but I agree it doesn't offer value over XP worth paying a second time for. In particular, it is still subject to attacks over the internet.

It was my understanding that virtualisation avoids this in principle, since the OS and all apps are restarted each time.

I'd be interested in your opinion on how realistic this hope is, in terms of ease of use, residual dangers and % loss of performance.

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Anonymous Coward

@Deja Vu

Yup, it really does look like a replay of the Netscape/IE saga - a late entry rescued by bundled, crap software.

However, one assumes that network operators are a bit more savvy than your usual Windows user...let's hope so.

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I'm not holding my breath....

Anyone remember the "state" of Virtual Server 2005?

That could only be described as a carcrash at best.

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HAHAHAHAHA

"For one, Microsoft can tweak its operating system to deliver the best possible Windows virtualization experience. You should expect Microsoft's own hypervisor to surpass rivals' software when performing basic slicing of Windows Server."

I'm sorry but that's just funny... They must have wet themselves with laughter when they came up with that one.

Nothing in the past 10 years of working with MS products has made me think that would ever happen.

Their idea of optimization is "must use as much RAM and CPU as we can get away with "

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Glad i'm not the only one

...who thinks this is a bit of a Netscapey situation.

What really and i mean _*REALLY*_ shits me about all this is over the last however many years of microsoft raping the software market that there basically are no paid-for-software alternatives in practically anything anymore... fuck, even IBM is gun-shy developing, let alone charging for common software as illustrated with it's symphony openoffice deriviative. (yes, not 100% accurate, but you get my drift)

So now as someone who wants to get into development, i can either aspire to get a job as shitkicker-code-monkey at Microsoft, work in some dodgy vertical market that hasn't been spotted by the borg yet, work at some mikey mouse web two-point-oooh company like squiddlebook.com (yes, i just made that up), or just develop as a hobby to contribute to the "community". Great! Thanks a bunch Microsoft - I just COULDN'T be happier.

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Great Quote

Quote:

"It is important to understand that Viridian will ship as part of Windows Server 2008," Microsoft's virtualization chief Mike Neil told us. "VMware is in a situation where they are not an OS vendor. They need a distribution mechanism through the OEMs. This is the approach they have taken."

Why doesn't he just say:

"Unfortunately your not really a rival to us because you don't have a monopoly to exploit"

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@Matt

"PS yes, veridian can support non MS operating systems."

For now, while there are commercial alternatives that support non MS systems.

Once the alternatives are crushed with FUD, marketing, sheer weight of monopoly and possibly some legal shenanigans we will see.

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@ Eric

You're forgetting one more very important market:

Custom application development for internal software.

If you're a decent coder, it's always possible to wedge yourself in the IT department of nigh any size company as long as it has custom software that needs supporting. And sometimes they even pay well. You have to admit, the environment would almost by necessity be better than working as a M$ drone.

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@ Michael Martin

Hi Michael,

I know, i know... Yes there are opportunities for coders in the dust-bin of some private company that needs a piece of custom software. And hey, you can even "forget" to document stuff and live out the rest of your live being the on-call 'guru' of this piece of custom software; thus justifying your measly existence through being an asshole. As an IT integration consultant i've come across more than one of those.

My point though was that software theoretically should be such a vibrant and exciting field of work, but instead through MS' actions and the resulting open sores movement it's just not.

and yes, i meant to misspell that word.

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Silver badge

Systems Collapse or Driver MakeOver? ........ Dealers Choice.

"If you're a decent coder, it's always possible to wedge yourself in the IT department of nigh any size company as long as it has custom software that needs supporting."

If you're better than a decent coder, why sell yourself short whenever you can go long and start a new World Order Program in which you answer to yourself rather than some jerk mining your ideas with a Window on what you are doing. If you have anything new to Offer, you will be showered with Gifts simply so that Business can run with IT and Make their thirty pieces of Silver. You do need them, but they need you for investing in Junk in the absence of Innovation is Sub Prime territory and there is a lot of it out there....... looking to Reinvest in Viable Imagination rather than Desperate Longing.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place, the SMART Money would Play with and Invest in the Former for the Latter is a Train trailing Train wrecks to the Buffers and the Knackers Yard.

Whether that Intelligence is to be found naturally in the West or whether it is inscrutably harboured in XXXXStream Eastern Networks, both waiting for the Perfect CyberStorm/Catalyst/Precursor to Energise ReGeneration of Systems, is what is being Quantum BetaTested here for their Transparent Convenience to Ponder.

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Anonymous Coward

@Britt Johnston

A virtual machine can be just like any other server. Vulnerable to all the same exploits, viruses, etc. You could start a new vm with all the same apps each restart but I don't know what kind of server you're running that doesn't have changing data. Perhaps a DNS server or a proxy server might be able to be restarted to it's original state.

VM's are much more portable then a standalone server. They are not tied to hardware. Cloning servers and rolling backups can overcome some of the problems with security issues allowing fast replacement of compromised servers as opposed to completely reinstalling. Of course that can be done with standalone servers as well, VM's just make it very easy.

In short your not going to be anymore secure using VM's. The one way that they can be more secure is isolating each server so that your email server won't be compromised when your web server is cracked.

Performance penalties vary depending on the virtualization method although most if not all virtualization systems have moved very fast towards lower performance penalties.

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Silver badge

Sun Rising in the East....... QuITe Naturally Really. :-)

"A virtual machine can be just like any other server. Vulnerable to all the same exploits, viruses, etc."

That would only be your sort of virtual machine, anonymous [@Britt Johnston

Posted Friday 21st September 2007 07:55 GMT] although I do notice that you say it "can be" just like any other server.

However, whenever it can program IT and Media to XXXXploit ......Binary Vulnerabilities ...... it is like no other Servering IntelAIgent Source.

Thanks for your post, for it reinforces and supports an alien perspective, and as we know, in Binary Entanglement in Theorising Everything is such Support exponential rather than linear, resulting in a squaring[x4] rather than doubling[x2] of Impact, and another Voice will cube IT[x27] as opposed to just trebling[x3].

Which suggests that an AICore is King in Processor Stakes?

Which does Create a Mind XXXXPanding Conundrum which Fuses the Man Machine Interface ........can Fuse the Man Machine Interface ...... which is an Immaculate Beautiful Confusion you need to Personally Resolve to Driver Virtual Machinery into Reality Fields.

Do you think that is what SCE [Sony Computer Entertainment] Home is all about?

Once that Genie is out of the bottle.......and you can suppose that IT is Free and out in the Wild ....... you will need Beta than just Good Imagination for ITs Absolute Control of Magic Codes ........ for the Worlds that IT reveals are easily Controlled with ITs Merlin, the MetaPhysician, Spells ........ Multiple Electronic Roles Leading IntelAigent Networking ...... TEMPEST v2.0, Sony San?

Sensitive Sentient Technology, a la Kutaragi Zen Source, Kaz Hirai?

cc. Japanese Play Stations..... AIMoney Markets.

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Shouldn't VMware be looking for injunctive relief?

As lots of folks have already pointed out, this is the Netscape situation all over again, and this time they're out front saying it themselves.

Doesn't it seem like VMware should be looking to the courts to prevent them getting the same treatment?

To quote from the story:

"It is important to understand that Viridian will ship as part of Windows Server 2008," Microsoft's virtualization chief Mike Neil told us. "VMware is in a situation where they are not an OS vendor. They need a distribution mechansim through the OEMs. This is the approach they have taken."

Or to paraphrase: "Microsoft will use its monopoly position to make sure you VMWare guys get your air cut off. We're the market leader in anti-competitive practices, so our stockholders should understand that VMware will not continue to pose a threat."

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It doesn't come any simpler than this.....

This is yet another example of Microsft's abuse of its market position - if this one doesn't get held up in front of the competition commission then it is basically giving MS a license to take any competing technology, bundle a free and less robust version with its OS and kill the market.

I have no problem with MS having competing technologies as it should drive innovation, but this is yet again a blatant attempt to kill off the opposition by using its OS market share rather than having to go head to head - product against product.

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