Just two weeks ago, after one year and a half of silence, EMC (or better a couple of its top executives) decided to publicly criticize the Oracle support policy against its subsidiary VMware.
The trigger for such change of directions probably was the acquisition of Sun, which may transform Oracle in a dangerous competitor in the long term.
Rather than replicate on the corporate blog, Oracle answered with the acquisition of Virtual Iron, which is pretty much equal to a declaration of war.
While Oracle VM Server is being sold as a general purpose hypervisor that customers can use for any workload, a few are really using it to run any application but Oracle ones.
The acquisition of Virtual Iron, even more than the acquisition of Sun and its xVM virtualization portfolio, may change this perception and attract a different kind of customers that not necessarily use Oracle products.
So EMC is back on the topic, this time attacking the entire Oracle virtualization strategy.
Once again is Chuck Hollis, Vice President, Global Marketing CTO, to push the button on his personal blog:
…Put in the context of other recent activities, the picture is crystal clear: it appears that Oracle intends to use their market power with databases to force customers to consider their soon-to-be-announced virtualization stack.
Almost all of my IT customers want to standardize on a single virtualization layer. They’d like to use one consistent set of technology to virtualize server applications, virtualize desktop applications and virtualize all the supporting cast of management, security, backup, etc. as well.
And, not surprisingly, they’ve all chosen VMware as the direction they’d like to go.
It appears that Oracle is going to try and bust up this happy customer-centric vision. It looks like they’re going to use customers’ dependence on the Oracle database to force a separately architected, separately managed and separately supported virtualization layer on their customer base.
There are a host of useful features in VMware that we’ll probably never see in the Oracle hypervisor.
Sorry, Mr. Customer. You’ll have to live with a separate, clunky, inefficient and expensive Oracle Officially Supported Alternative. Oracle wins, customers lose.
Sorry, Mr. Customer. I guess you can’t consider Oracle for vSphere fault tolerant environments. Maybe SQLserver, maybe UDB, maybe something else — but not the Oracle database since that feature isn’t in the Oracle Officially Supported Alternative. Oracle wins, customers lose.
Now, you know I talk to large customers frequently, and — frankly — they’re pissed at all of this. With Oracle’s latest moves regarding Sun and now Virtual Iron, they can clearly see what’s going on here. And they’re starting to figure out how they want to play this.
One smart fellow told Oracle that they were starting a large-scale proof-of-concept around Microsoft’s SQLserver as the strategic alternative to the Oracle database. The Microsoft team was more than happy to help, as were we at EMC. I don’t know how it’s going to end, but I bet that Oracle does a special deal with this guy regarding VMware support as a result.
Another guy told me he was starting to contract with one of the focused Oracle boutique consulting organizations for most support issues — they had no problem with VMware — and denying Oracle services revenue in the process…