Friday, February 01, 2008

On Virtualization - VMWare, Virtual Server

I would have to say that VMware does have the best virtualization products on the market. However, virtualization has become a commodity, and with the best price for consumers and the worst for the company itself : FREE.

I remember back in the day when VMWare would charge $3,000 for it's GSX Server product, only to have Microsoft buy Connectix and sell it as Virtual Server. First for $200.00, then they decided to give it away for free. Not too long afterwards to compete, VMWare gave away it's GSX Server product called VMWare Server.

That being said, I think right now VMWare is only advantage is on it's higher end products like the virtual infrastructure and the ESX Server (which is a heavily modified version of Linux) and it's management products. My take on Microsoft entering the Virtualization in the first place is the VMware was becoming too much like and "Operating System" with ESX so Microsoft wanted to Squash this before they got too big.

Good thing EMC cashed in and IPO'd. I think part of the reason the stock may be taking a hit is because Virtualization is not a very niche market anymore and there are so many competitors looking at building it into their products that VMWare really needs to do something huge to compete with Microsoft.

VMWare could be "Netscaped" if Microsoft's VM Products become better. At one point we did switch to Virtual Server but there were some stability issues with some of the more advanced features, such as Layer 3 virtual networking and lack of 64bit support.

I have been working with Virtualization since early 2000, and we user it religiously. Over 90% of our backend infrastructure runs virtualized with a combination of IP SANS.

My Opinion is that the impact of this news will only be better for the end user market since there is better advancement of the technology, but virtualization is becoming a commodity and in the next few years, everyone will expect it to be part of a base operating system or have a FREE price tag attached to it.

Harry Yeh
http://www.cometcomputing.com

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