Will Microsoft sunset VMware?

Massimo Re Ferr√®, IT Architect at IBM, published a new interesting insight on his personal blog, about chances Microsoft has to subtract control of virtualization market from VMware’s hands:

However, looking ahead, with some level of confidence we can say that if Xen is going to make storm-like damages to VMware … MS Viridian, also known as Windows Virtualization will likely have the potential of causing hurricane-like devastations (to VMware).

This is true for a number of reasons…

  • …first being that Viridian will be close in terms of performance, architecture and features to VI3 (so in a nutshell nothing to do with the current MS Virtual Server product).
  • The other reason is that MS is a marketing machine and despite the fact that the product is good or bad as long as it has the Microsoft label in front of it, it will get LOTS of visibility.
  • Last but not least most of these functions will be embedded into the OS costs so the MS value proposition will be “free” or very cheap depending on how they will decide to license some add-on management features.

Massimo also covers chances Xen has to impose as preferred hypervisor:

As far as I can see “Xen included in the distributions” is not taking the market by storm and the reasons, in my opinion are:

  • Missing management functionalities: this is not Suse and RedHat primary business so what they have done (so far at least) is to add the open-source code and provide a very basic interface to use it (mostly text base)
  • Not perceived as an agnostic virtual platform: although it can technically support Windows I don’t see many customers going crazy to install RedHat or Suse Linux to host their Windows servers
  • Not clear strategy: Suse and RedHat have just added this to their distributions and they are already talking about adding new open source hypervisors (such as the KVM – Kernel Virtual Machine). While this could be a good strategy for a geek I don’t think that it’s going to interest any “business customer”: they don’t want “the latest cool stuff”, they rather want something stable/solid to run their applications on

Despite Massimo post has been published before Microsoft announced of key features drop from first Viridian release, it still is a valuable analysis of possible scenarios which is worth to read.

To further evaluate virtualization market future you may want to read another couple of insights published by virtualization.info: The long chess game of VMware (one year old) and The Microsoft virtualization chance (one month old).