Just as Milton Friedman (the Nobel prize winning economist) once said “There is no such thing as a free lunch”, there is also no such thing as free software. The minimum cost of a supposedly free piece of software is the opportunity cost of your time spent using it, and the forgone value of that time spent doing something else. Therefore neither Microsoft Hyper-V, nor VMware ESXi are really free.
VMware has recently released the results of a new study that VMware did of 309 companies that have between 20 and 1000 employees. The two major benefits of virtualization reported by the survey participants were reduced time spent on routine and repetitive tasks, and improved applications availability. 73% of respondents reported reductions in time spent on routine tasks, and 71% reported improvements in applications availability.
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2010 will be the year that many enterprises confront two very important changes to how they will use server virtualization. The first change is that as VMware vSphere has proven its maturity, performance and scalability enterprises will increasingly put business critical tier applications, at least in part on virtualized platforms. The second change is that at the same time, these very same enterprises will start to evaluate virtualization platforms from other vendors, in particular Hyper-V from Microsoft.
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75% of users report using VMWare today, and nearly 2/3rds report having tested an alternative hypervisor with Microsoft Hyper-v and Citrix Xen most often mentioned. Of those who have tested an alternative, 27% plan to use the it, while an additional 20% report that they may use it. Only 2% of VMware customers plan to switch to an alternative additional 9% considering it.
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The support for multiple virtualization platforms on the part of these third party virtualization managements vendors also raises an issue and an opportunity for enterprises with large scale VMware deployments. The issue is to determine if the enterprise is going to end up with more than one hypervisor. If the answer is yes, then the opportunity is to look at a virtualization management solution from a vendor like Dynamic Ops, Fortisphere, ManageIQ, Platform Computing, Surgient, or VizionCore.
There are two very recent vendor initiatives that hearken back to the days of single vendor tightly integrated systems. The first is Oracle’s pending acquisition of Sun. The second example which has potentially far more impact upon VMware is the recently announced EMC/Cisco Vblocks.
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Prior to the announcement and subsequent to the announcement of Ionix, EMC has been on an absolute tear acquiring companies that have components that will be combined into the new Ionix management stack. These announcements have included the acquisitions of Voyence, ConfigureSoft, Fastsale Technology, and an agreement to resell VMware AppSpeed.
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