I saw this headline today and I just had to take a look. 

Microsoft hungry to eat VMWare's lunch

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-20015123-56.html?tag=mncol

Sometimes titles like this make me take a look, but as I read the article, they have a few very interesting points…

  • "VMware is asking many of you to sign three-year license agreements for your virtualization projects," Microsoft vice president Brad Anderson writes in an open letter to VMware customers. "But with the arrival of cloud computing, signing up for a three-year virtualization commitment may lock you into a vendor that cannot provide you with the breadth of technology, flexibility or scale, that you'll need to build a complete cloud computing environment."

Yes VMware is asking for a long term commitment, but what is their long term commitment to you?  I do like long term relationships with our customers because that's the core of the partnership.  If you still view companies like VMware and Microsoft as “Just vendors”, you are losing out on so many of the benefits of the relationship.  Our goal is to provide long term vision and leadership so that you know we’re committed to not only the point release today, but the long term strategy as well.  Our goal is to continue to provide the platform your business needs as our industry continues to evolve.  Is the cloud right for today?  A lot of people think so...  Is it right for your business today?  Maybe not, but we’ve seen a lot of customers and partners benefit from the exponential growth in the cloud right now.  Remember that we are the industry that cannot be afraid of change, let’s make sure we are looking at the cloud for what it can and can’t give us right now and in the future.  

Next point:

  • Even in the virtualization category, which has long been dominated by VMware, Microsoft maintains that it has shrunk the technical gap with its rival while offering a significantly lower cost.

I agree with this statement.  For the majority of customers and partners I work with, we provide the solutions that meet their business needs right now.  Does VMware have other bells and whistles?  Yes they do.  Are they needed?  Are they even economical?  I don’t think so.  As you probably know, I’ve had my head in the virtualization game for years and I am very proud of our current version of Hyper-V, we continue to truly deliver a virtualization solution that can deliver on our customers and partners needs. 

Even if the technologies meet your needs, isn’t there cost in changing?  Yes, but we are not saying that if you want to move to Hyper-V, you have to make an immediate shift.  We have a great coexistence plan.  Migrate to Hyper-V as it makes sense to the business.  Maybe there are workloads that should stay on VMware.  Maybe from a political perspective, or maybe from a “don’t mess with isn’t broken” perspective. 

  • "If you're evaluating a new licensing agreement with VMware, talk to us first," Anderson writes in the letter. "You have nothing to lose and plenty to gain. Not only is Microsoft's server virtualization solution approximately one-third the cost of a comparable solution from VMware, but also a recent Microsoft study of 150 large companies showed those running Microsoft virtualization spent 24 percent less on IT labor on an ongoing basis

Don’t we all shop around for everything we purchase?  Partners that I’ve engaged with over the years have clear ROI documentation on their Hyper-V deployments.  Let me also point out that it’s not only about the upfront cost, it’s also about the ongoing cost.  Yes our initial costs are lower, but we also provide the complete end-to-end solution when it comes to the creation, deployment, and ongoing management of your infrastructure.  When I talk about ongoing management, I mean managing both your physical and virtual infrastructure with the same tools!

And the last thing I want to point out:

  • The battle between Microsoft and VMWare has been taking shape for several years now as Microsoft has introduced and beefed-up its Hyper-V hypervisor product. VMware, meanwhile, has included lower cost and free versions of its server software as it has added more management and other capabilities to its higher-end products.

Yes this competition has intensified, the winners remain our customers and partners.  I’ve watched this battle take form and it has continued to drive down costs while it has increased the capabilities.  VMware has a very good product, but is it worth the price?  Does it truly continue to provide a compelling ROI?  Do they really have a long term strategy?  I mean a real strategy you can bet your business on? 

You’ve heard our focus on the cloud, take a look at our last 10+ years.  We have been delivering cloud services for over 10 years.  Think about Hotmail.  Hotmail is a a very consistent and stable cloud based email solution that has continued to grow for over 10 years.  Check out other areas like XBOX live, and Exchange Hosted services, Exchange Hosted Services is a cloud based messaging hygiene solution.  We are not asking you to just trust that we have a plan we’re asking you to look at our execution for the last 10+ years as proof points that we’ve consistently driven the cloud based solutions to the scalability and service delivery to levels our customers and partners expect for a Business Ready solution.

 

Until next time!

Rob