During the ins and outs of my day yesterday I had several conversations with clients about their current Virtual Environment. It was not a matter of design or even a conscious thought…it just came out naturally for them…they were looking to vent and I was more than happy to be there for them. It soon became apparent that there is the potential for a Mass Exodus from the king of Server Virtualization if they can’t get a handle on their licensing model or at the very least come up with a compelling set of features that will keep their fans fully invested in their technology.
When I got up this morning I figured I would poke around the VMware site…I am a smart guy, have previewed my share of Microsoft Licensing documents before passing them up to our experts for review and I was surprised to find a listing of 112 Licenses listed on their “Export Control List” and when I peeled back the layer to look at pricing…well I could start to see where my customers were getting a little more than a little frustrated.
With prices that run the full gambit but all limited to the number of Processors and vRAM that is assigned to the Virtual Instance…I was getting a feeling that Microsoft is really onto a great thing bundling their HyperV into Windows Server 2008…but what about those countless Linux Servers out there that are running the baseline…well don’t forget about the Citrix, Ubuntu, Red Hat and Oracle offerings.
The writing is on the wall in 2012. Customers in this world of rapidly evolving Technology want something about the process to be simple. That was one of the core strengths that put VMware on the map and made it the success it is today…heed the warnings…make it easy to buy and you will remain the king…fail to do so and well…make it harder to compete. Just a few years ago there was really only 2 players in the Virtual Server market but that space is quickly becoming crowded.
Having been on the outside looking in at the world of IT now for nearly 4 years, the rapid transition to the new global model of Virtualize EVERYTHING is still interesting to me…the licensing model itself points to a NET ZERO savings in the consolidation realm for many Smaller IT Shops so why would they look to VMware other than it being a “Name Brand” that has a track record of being a rock solid core…if you are looking to turn computing on its ear…why wouldn’t you go for Microsoft, or one of the Linux alternatives that are integrated into the Host OS???
Well that is my two cents and an observation that customers of the “Virtual King” are lining up at the exit…hopefully they can come up with a compelling reason to have people stick around for the second act.
Chris J Powell