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back to article VMware pulls more control freakage into vSphere stack

Sometimes, it takes a bundle to make a bundle. Like most large software companies, VMware has two different customer sets: large companies that have enterprise licensing agreements with all kinds of deals, and SMBs who buy software occasionally and who don't usually get much of a deal. In its conference call with Wall Street …

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Which is better?

It might not be better to be vmware for long, as their customers will realise that other virt platforms give away tools for free. I think that is likely to be why they're giving 7% of workers the sack.

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Re: Which is better?

Sorry for the fireball, but that's my bullshit detector exploding.

First off, the competition isn't giving away the tools for free. Management applications are still pay-for. Now, you can SCRIPT everything you want with Hyper-V, but - shockingly - most sysadmins like GUIs, reports, graphs, charts and the things that come with good management software. So you're back to paying for the tools.

As to VMware giving 7% of their workers the sack, they cut the back-end workers because they've done a lot of acquisitions lately, and needed to trim the fat. They expect to be up 1000 workers at the end of this year compared to the start; but workers that make things we give fucks about, instead of back-office administration.

Now, don't get me wrong, VMware isn't perfect. But they obviously are listening to people (like me) who have been screaming about the cost of their product to SMBs and how this will prevent adoption. They hate it when I tell them that the hypervisor is a commodity (it is, VMware, fucking deal with it,) but it is a reality they have to work with. That means that playing the "high margin" game will require ever increasing innovation to stay ahead of the competition – difficult and expensive to do – or making a play for market share.

Right now, today, it is hard to convince them that they need to make a market share play because they own the market. I have been saying for ages that this is going to change very quickly thanks to hyper-v and other players undercutting them on the SMB side. (Not to mention it's appeal to hobbyists, students and so forth.) This is generally met with growls or – at best – blank stares.

Seems someone obtained clue, however. Pushing some features down the stack is a good first step. Un-crippling ESXi free (damn the 32GB RAM limit straight to hell) will be another. Maybe even unlocking the free hypervisor so that you can use Veeam or other API-dependant products on it. Something, ANYTHING to prevent the next generation of administrators (students and hobbiests; folks with no money!) from going Microsoft.

Remember: Microsoft has Technet. VMware does not.

So today, for SMBs, this announcement is a victory. It shows not only that we can get better offerings for less from VMware, it shows that somewhere – deep in the bowels of that mountain-resort-like headquarters of theirs – there is someone who has heard SMB admins and actually listened to what they have to say. I don't know if they have the pull to do more, but I sure hope so.

Let's take the wins we can get, eh?

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KVM is free and performs better

I see VMware as the Windows of visualisation.

KVM performs better, in the sense that performance is better inside the vms on identical hardware/same amount of vm's per server.

The only are KVM is lacking is management tools - OVirt 3.2 will be out shortly and will support live (usable) snapshots (i.e not an LVM / SAN snapshots) but actual live snapshots that can you used as a full backup without turning off the VM on a standard SATA drive - something I don't believe VMware can do...

The lack of ANY license costs is a bonus too.

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Re: KVM is free and performs better

"Not completely shit management tools" have been "just around the corner" for KVM since before KVM was a thing. I will believe that KVM is ready to roomba when I can install the damned thing and have it "just work" as well as VMware ESXi 5.1 Essentials Plus, and provide me the same level of features, quality, etc.

Because, frankly, I think ESXi 5.1 Essentials Plus is the minimum necessary set of features to have a virtualisation install that you could set up on a client site 300KM away from home and still sleep at night.

I don't use KVM for the same reason I don't use Hyper-V free. You might be able to make both dance around the head of a pin if you are willing to jack a fibre optic cable into your temporal lobe and transmit the scripting commands mentally…but "running the virtualisation infrastructure" isn't my 40 hr/wk job. It is a job I might have 2 hrs a week open to spend on, across 15-ish clients in three time zones.

The stuff has to Just Work. It has to work reliably, and it has to be easy to diagnose errors when it goes boom, easy to get back up and running after it goes boom and should sure as hell start e-mailing me about problems BEFORE it goes boom.

KVM - or Xen, or Cloudstack/Openstack/Big Bubba Bo Bob's fancy Open Source Sausage Factory Virtualisation Special just isn't there yet. Hell, Microsoft only just go there, and the bugs didn't get worked out until System Center 2012 SP1.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: KVM is free and performs better

That doesn't match my testing, KVM is significantly behind both vSphere and Hyper-V in performance - which are almost identical.

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Re: KVM is free and performs better

If you do the following I bet you performance is better (to do this you need to choose advanced setup when building a vm - if using virt-manager)

- Use Virtio for Disk bus (and net)

- Set 'Performance Cache settings to . Cache mode 'none'. IO mode 'native' (this is with LVM however also works for qcow images)

- Set Linux vm's io scheduler to noop and set the KVM host scheduler to deadline.

Try it - I bet your performance will increase (by as much as 50 - 60 %) in IO speed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: KVM is free and performs better

It is indeed better, but still significantly short of Hyper-V / VMware. Which I note are both largely self optimising. A quick search of the internet shows i'm not the only one finding this...

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