Monday, March 26, 2012 | by Bryan Semple
Vendor food fights are sometimes enjoyable to watch provided you are
not in the middle. Last week, we saw VMware react to a SolarWinds blog
post claiming that Gartner is predicting that 85% of businesses with
less than 1,000 employees will be Microsoft Hyper-V shops. The
SolarWinds reference is not quoted, so it is tough to say whether this
is accurate or not. VMware countered with:
Gartner states, “By 2015, at least 75% of Hyper-V VMs will be installed in enterprises with fewer than 1,000 employees” in the “VMware vs. Microsoft: Competition for the Cloud Infrastructure” presentation done by Thomas Bittman at the 2011 Gartner Datacenter conference in Dec 2011.
They are saying of all the Hyper-V VMs, 75% of them will be in SMB
with <1000 employees. This does not mean that 75% (or 85%) of SMBs
will use Hyper-V.
So now the question - does this fact throw down even matter? Does
anyone believe Microsoft will not dominate the low end of the SMB market
and gradually crawl their way up the market?
Bernd Herzog writing for the Virtualization Practice had an interesting post on the future of VMware entitled: "VMware - The Next Microsoft, or the Next Oracle?"
In this posting, Bernd compares the product, pricing, and go to market
behavior for these two industry giants. Bernd argues you have to pick a
path since you can't serve two masters. He goes on to conclude:
VMware will leave itself open to being eaten from below by Microsoft
Hyper-V (especially in Windows only SMB/SME accounts)"
Strong words indeed. For 2012, we predicted this would be the year
of Hypervisor Heterogenity with multiple hypervisors existing in many
accounts. What SolarWinds and Bernd appear to be saying is that there
will be more stratification, the co-existence at least in the SMB
All this reminds me of the database wars of the 1990s. IT shops in
the 90's identified themselves as either Oracle or Informix or Sybase
shops. Accounts would make standardization decisions for all their
database needs. Today, I don't think IT organizations look at
themselves this way as most have a mix of Oracle databases and Microsoft
SQL Server. Interestingly, Microsoft's dominance through their slow
and steady attack on the database market looks very similar to what is
about to occur with hypervisors.
So who is right in this food fight? SolarWinds or VMware? I don't
know who has the right facts. But I do know that the Microsoft Hyper-V
wave seems to be starting. The amount of attention being paid to a
product that is not even shipping is impressive. Organizations should
be alert to avoid VMware vendor lock in unless
they truly understand all the costs involved with being a single vendor
shop. Just ask all those Oracle customers out there.
Finally, I will close with this tweet from industry blogger Jason
Boche that caught my eye on our social monitoring screen (yes Jason, we
track your every tweet).