He Said, She Said: The Continuing War of Words between VMware and Nutanix

Recently, I was going through Twitter and came across this tweet from Andre Liebovici:

“After a four part blog post from VMware’s @chuckhollis against Nutanix their VMs went missing. How ironic! #unreliable.”

There were a number of responses requesting further information regarding what he was alluding to, but surprisingly for a Nutanix employee, Andre remained silent.

When I finally read the tweet four hours later due to time zone differences, I responded with the following:

“Those [in] glass houses should not throw stones. It’s time both companies grew up and [started] acting like adults.”

Now, for those of you who have been living under a rock in the middle of the Mojave Desert for the last month or so with no cell signal, let me bring you up to speed about why this has been the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.

This is a corporate battle that has been brewing for several years, arguably starting with VMware’s banning of Nutanix from PEX in 2014. VMware may say otherwise.

The fact is, our industry is rife with these sorts of flame wars. It is only that they are much more visual now. Remember the EMC and NetApp battles, and then Vizioncore and PHD Virtual (now Unitrends)? They all had one sad ending: they stopped being about technology differences and devolved into playground tit-for-tat, he-said she-said tirades that finally turned into personal attacks against individuals.

The thing that makes this spat between VMware and Nutanix different is that there has been a lot of cross-pollination between the two companies. A large number of Nutanix staffers either used to work for VMware (such as Andre Liebovici) or made their money with VMware technologies (such as Steve Kaplan and the twelve VCDXs employed by Nutanix). This, by the way, is the largest group of VCDXs working for a single company outside of VMware.

Now, I am not pointing fingers at anybody here, but the childish mentality prevalent within our industry needs to stop. This is even more so now that social media is a thing. Posting belligerent comments in a closed forum is one thing (but, that said, still childish); however, the Twitter spats that are currently happening diminish the reputation of all companies involved. Nutanix is no longer the little kid in the corner who is being bullied by the big kids. It is a fully functional adult in the corporate world and needs to act like one. VMware, having been the adult in the equation from the start, needs to stop rising to teenage tantrums and having its own tantrums when questioned. Both companies have good product sets and a passionate and driven following. They need to put those passions to work on improving their products.

Because if they don’t, their parents (customers) will smack both their legs and stand them in the corner.

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