On January 25th 2010 VMware reported earnings for the fourth quarter of 2009 and for the full year of 2009. While we are not a financial analysis site focused upon earnings and stock prices, there is important information contained in these earnings numbers about the success of VMware.
Enterprises are urged to look at virtualization management as a separate purchasing decision from the decision to purchase and standardize upon a virtualization platform. Third party vendors are likely to be more in tune with the requirements of constituents other than virtualization administrators, and products from these third party vendors are more likely to provide robust support for multiple virtualization platforms.
It is clear that once virtualization started delivering hard dollar CAPEX and OPEX savings to IT executives that these executives wanted this trend of “more for less” to continue. Most IT organizations are far from 100% virtualized, and there are still substantial cost savings to be gained from further virtualization. However, forward thinking vendors (like Cisco, EMC, and HP) see the handwriting the wall and are taking steps now to be able to deliver solutions at reduced costs to their customers.
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If VMware buys Zimbra it will set off a a nuclear hand grenade throwing contest between Microsoft and VMware. Microsoft is trying to commoditize the layer of software where VMware makes all of its money – the hypervisor. VMware is returning the favor by using open source initiatives like SpringSource and (possibly) Zimbra to commoditize the layers where Microsoft makes all of its money – applications and applications platforms.
Quite a bit has gone on in our industry in the last year. While this is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all that has occurred, we hope that we have captured the important events that have shaped virtualization and cloud computing.
VMware is today a product, the start of an architecture and almost certainly a culture. How this changes as VMware adapts in order to continue to grow and drive its market share will be interesting to watch. A great deal of very technically competent people have become part of the VMware ecosystem because VMware is both difficult t to fully master completely and because it drives great benefits to the enterprises that adopt it and the service providers that implement it.
The team at Sun continue to update VirtualBox – 3 releases in 1 month. Of these the 3.0.12 release (November 17) and the 3.1.2 release (December 17) were maintenance releases with bug-fixes, whereas the 3.1.0 release (November 30) was a fairly substantial release containing new features, including Live Migration.
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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.