Virtualization optimize

Is VMware's technology lead big enough to hold off Microsoft?

VMware, currently king in virtual computing, is beginning to feel the pressure that Microsoft tends to bring to bear when a new technology threatens the Redmond-based giant.

VMware, currently king in virtual computing, is beginning to feel the pressure that Microsoft tends to bring to bear when a new technology threatens the Redmond-based giant. Virtualization, or the ability to run multiple server instances on the same physical machine, is a hot technology with all of the Fortune 100 companies joining the list of roughly 20,000 corporations using VMware products. Although Microsoft acquired virtualization company Connectix in 2003, according to a RedmondMag article (not exactly a VMware apologist), very few enhancements have been added and as such, VMware has taken a marked technology lead.

Microsoft Launches an Attack on VMware (Motley Fool)

Microsoft Virtual PC: Good Enough -- for the Price (Redmond Mag)

Microsoft released its new server operating system to manufacturing early this month, but it is missing the Hyper-V virtual machine manager, which is estimated to be about six months behind Windows Server 2008. VMware, on the other hand, has been busily improving its product to include the ability to move virtual machines back and forth between different physical servers and an improved patch management utility.

Windows Server 2008: Missing Pieces Threaten Pent-Up Demand (Information Week)

VMware ESX Server 3.5 review (TechWorld)

We have been testing out virtualization and have pretty much decided on VMware as the best software for our environment. So far, we have only used the free product, which doesn't include some of the most compelling enhancements, but results have been good. I found Microsoft's offering to be more difficult to install and use. Still, Microsoft has a long history of overtaking technology leads in a variety of ways. Do you think Microsoft will catch up to VMware through development, or will the 800 pound gorilla simply buy the smaller rival out?

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41 comments
BALTHOR
BALTHOR

The Internet was built in the off and running,on the fly.The entire process was very big for the Earth's ego.I suspect that awards would be handed out to the city that discovered virus.Various groups signed in to the process.I think that the Sheriff's departments would get the virus upon uploading and the file would be tested by them then continue on in its trek.

manwethegreat
manwethegreat

dude, do you even read the article before posting? Or do you just post whatever thought is in your head at random locations?

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

trying to communicate with??? He is THE BALTHOR Never question his judgement (just try to find the article or blog that he is actually referring to)! I love it, posting random thoughts!!! :^0 Here is a bit of reading http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=243843&messageID=2356816 And, if you really want to do more reading you can search on his posts. You can really get an understanding (possibly) that way.n But I wouldnt recommend it, some say that those who have dug too deep, have gone into comas

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Then it will have passed through all of the teams with their funky rules.If it's listed as a virus by a virus scanning program then it can be deleted.I suspect that these virus signature files have to pass the scrutiny of the Pentagon and even the United Nations.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Did you only compaire VMware and Microsoft's purchased product or did you look at other virtualization offerings and if so, how did they do compared to VMware? I'm currently tempting a change between VMware and Virtualbox so another perspective would be benificial.

Lukas Kucera
Lukas Kucera

I will not bet that MS want to buy VMWare, instead of this they have huge opportunity to beat them. Actually if someone count in interesting numbers (tens or thousneds of thousands $) there can be big saving in software with Hyper-V with (as we can assume) same price for HW. Count this: 8 CPU VMware Ent. License and Mainte.: $29,000.00 8 CPU MS Windows 2008 datacenter Lic.: $23,992.00 But If you then like to host some MS Servers on this then you need to buy them only with VMWare, with MS you have them free of charge... SO Licenses (Something common): Win Ent. Server 8 pcs. : $31,992.00 Win Std. Server 17 pcs. : $16,983.00 So bottom line is: VMware with MS lic. will cost you something like $78,000.00 and Hyper-V something like $24,000.00 and thats pretty big difference, from my point of view...

jakesty
jakesty

I'm not sure of your numbers, but the obvious is that MS has an unfair monopoly on giving out their OS if you buy a certain sized system. How can VMWare compete with that? For now they have a better product, but if Hyper-V gets much better, it will come down to price and more companies will support the much cheaper alternative.

jmarkovic32
jmarkovic32

This is the reason VMWare has to make the OS unecessary. That's going to be tough. Windows Server 2008 is a beast with many options.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

It could installs without a host OS using it's own refined kernel against the bare metal as a hub at the core of all the VM instances. I think that's who VMWare ESX works anyhow; it installs directly on the hardware providing VM segments for your instances. :)

cynic_with_reason
cynic_with_reason

A few things to recognize about VMWare: 1. They offer virtualization for environments beyond the Microsoft set of products (e.g., for Solaris, Linux, etc.). 2. The real magic is not the virtualization engine (e.g., the hypervisor), but rather the VMWare and 3rd party tools to support everything that VMWare can do in a data center environment, tech support, and training support. VMWare might just prove to be a bit too entrenched, too profitable, and too hard to digest even for Microsoft.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

How many people remember an application called "Virtual PC"? Many years ago, Virtual PC was created to allow people running Apple's Mac OS 7 or later to run Windows within the Mac environment. At the time, it worked fairly well, although relatively slowly and with some cross-platform communications issues. A few years after it made its introduction, Microsoft purchased Virtual PC and pulled it from the shelves, only to re-release it a short while later 'optimized' for Windows. Unfortunately, the supposed improvements went so far as to make Windows virtually impossible to use in the Mac environment. Now there's discussion that VMWare Fusion is the next target in Microsoft's sights; most likely because it is the best and most efficient virtualizer available for the Mac. Why? Are they trying to make Windows work so badly on the Mac that people will want to buy another brand of hardware just to use Windows again? Why should they care? Why can't they just make Windows work right, Period? At least then people would WANT to use Windows rather than feeling like they HAVE to. Microsoft is losing market share--slowly, yes, but at an ever increasing rate. In fact, over the last two years they have lost over 5% of the market and almost 4% in just the last year alone. Someone there seem to think that it's easier to force someone to use a defective product than it is to create a good one in the first place. And worse, it seems to be the way Microsoft has operated for a long time now. Instead of buying a good product and dumbing it down, it would be far smarter for them to take what they have (including Virtual PC) and make it work right. Maybe they've finally got the right idea with Windows 7 when it comes out in two years... but I'm not betting on it.

teeromio
teeromio

Microsoft has a nack for not just taking a share of the pie but eliminating the competition. VMWARE has the market and the technology, they can only continue to improve and keep in on the competition and call MS bluff

xfelixtec
xfelixtec

I Think VMWare is here to stay, they are already working with processor manufactures and have aquired thinstall, with the power of application packaging of thinstall and the server side having VMWare, I believe they will have the backbone to stand up to M$

TigerGeek
TigerGeek

As another poster stated, businesses usually do not move quickly to new technology. Since microsoft came late to virtualization, they don't have the baggage or legacy software that they have with windows so it could be good for all concerned.

eM DuBYaH
eM DuBYaH

I suspect that Microsoft's philosophy is simple: If you can't beat'm, buy'm! They will try to beat VMware, if that doesn't work, turn it into MS-VMware.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

That seems to be the MS way if embrace and extend is not a viable strategy.

Meesha
Meesha

I can't say whether this MSFT war against it's customers will win. However, I do know that VMWare is entrenched here and if we were to move it would be to a more open source, open standard product. Not a vendor who continually shows it's disdain for other businesses. MSFT as the main VM host is not acceptable when it has been more stable and cost effective to run VMWare on Linux and then a Windows session if needed. One thing that MSFT has not yet learned but many other vendors may be beginning to understand, a successful business cannot move at the whim at technology but rather that technology must meet the demands of business. MSFT's latest play for the virtutalization market is clearly one that they hope will maintain their market dominance. As MSFT continues to provide software,O/S etc. that is unstable and buggy why would any sane decision maker support such a loosing proposition. MSFT is their own worst enemy.

Andy Moon
Andy Moon

Microsoft has a long history of putting companies that it sees as rivals out of business in one way or another. Companies like Stacker and Netscape, even though Stacker won their lawsuit against Microsoft, never regained their positions as leaders in their respective markets after Microsoft moved in. Microsoft has definitely been making a push towards virtualization, which does not bode well for VMWare. It would be a shame for the virtualization pioneer to go the way of Netscape, but I don't see a way out for VMWare that doesn't include being bullied or bought by Microsoft. What do you think will happen to VMWare?

Ian Thurston
Ian Thurston

Look, if Microsoft wanted to kibosh VMware, they could just adjust their licensing to charge for running their products in virtualized environments. Many corporations would adhere to the letter of that law. MS already has hardware checks for their server software in virtualized environments, I understand. They could have chosen to prevent anyone from using virtualization without their software - but haven't. For the present, if I understand correctly, they are taking a relatively benign approach, by allowing users some latitude to run copies of their server products virtualized. Here's a thought: perhaps it's in Microsoft's best interest to let VMWare take the arrows in the forehead and build a demand for virtualization products that Microsoft can then satisfy with their own "included at no extra cost" product.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Some argue that Japan's Internet access is far faster than access in the US because the US took the beating to develop it and Japan jumped in later after technology had advanced and the big challenges had been understood. You may be right with the theory that MS will simply wait until VMware takes the beatings then step in. The problem I see is still monopoly law. MS doesn't own the virtualization market but when they finally choose to step in, it seems like the best strategy is to leverage the OS and HyperV combination which will draw attention from the gov again. They may be sitting quiet now while they search for a loophole they can abuse the market through.

edsonh
edsonh

The MS game just started in order to bit vmware, The big MS doens't support Virtual Machines under the VMWare, now the VS and OS are embedded.. It's not fair with the custumers that still use their products, except the virtualization layer.. The monopoly of MS should stop, If the gov or EMC doesn't run soon, it'll be late. I believe that even with all wonderfull features of VMware, it's just a time question to M$ get the market, I heard that M$ also have plans for bultin the VS into a chip. It's sadly.

sidney.wong
sidney.wong

Besides agreeing with the fact that EMC owns VMware...I actually think it would be a better move for MS to buy out EMC than Yahoo. Even though MS has similar software products, I think storage and deduplication will be a basic requirement to build systems on in the future. In saying all that...all this Virtualization and hypervisor stuff is old tech...and I laugh at MS's turnaround to start moving in the Virtualization market because Hypervisors have been around since the Mainframe days, and MS was the major player in transitioning from Mainframes to PCs and now we're starting to move back there again??? The circle is complete...different packaging, same old stuff....'cept we seem to like paying a lot more for packaging.

jmarkovic32
jmarkovic32

As I understand it, MS new hypervisor will be eventually included in Windows Server 2008. Like Internet Explorer, why download another browser when MS has one included with the OS? Why purchase a third-party application when MS has one included for free? I mean, VmWare's VI3 is more advanced than anything MS can come out with in a few years, but MS catches up quickly. Microsoft could essentially starve out VMWare if enterprises choose to stick with the included solution instead of a third-party one. MS could simply allow their hypervisor to run more efficiently on Server 2008. Whether or not that's illegal or not is up for debate, but EMC/VMWare has reason to be worried. They just have to stay ahead of the game in areas such as performance, disaster recovery/fault tolerance and most of all PRICE. Most of all VMWare needs to up the ante on it's R&D to make the hypervisor replace the OS. What if applications didn't need an OS and just interfaced with the hypervisor? This would blindside MS. I know this crosses the philosophical realm of when a hypervisor actually becomes an OS itself, but let's forget about that. If I as an administrator can run my infrastructure on two or three physical servers and a VMWare hypervisor, with no OS, that would make both myself and my CFO very happy! Imagine running most desktops and all servers in a virtualized environment with no OS to worry about. All applications would just interface with a hypervisor that supervises a pool of hardware. However, the real thought of MS bundling its hypervisor with WS2008, should raise some eyebrows at VMWare. They have to attack from both fronts. Just keep the price down and attack MS from many fronts.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

But VMWare is working a deal with Dell and other server manfs to put a hardware based firmware for its hypervisor on board. thats right... vmware server built in, out of the box, just install guests and go. MS will have a hell of a time beating that for performance, and how does one include a hypervisor in an OS? Surly MS sees the error of that. IF its part of the OS, its not a hypervisor, the OS runs under the Hypervisor, not the other way arround...

sidney.wong
sidney.wong

Previous to 3i, I believe ESX 3.x used to reside on Linux...not anymore...I think VMWare have got it right and are starting the move to an "appliance" model.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Cheers, I should take a half hour and devour there website but I'm usually only there long enough for the latest VMware Server update rpms. I thought the'd already included a kernel'd Hyperviser with ESX, does it still require a host OS previous to 3i? Either way, it sounds like 3i is going to be another big step forward.

sidney.wong
sidney.wong

VMware guys are already half-way there with the introduction of ESX 3i. I'm about to start purchasing a few 3i boxes (once pricing is sorted out) and these suckers sit on some kind of flash RAM in a USB converter (at the moment) so the servers boot off USB. And the beauty of 3i is that it doesn't sit on top of a Linux OS, it'll be the Hypervisor talking directly to the hardware.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I thought ESX server was already VMware's own core with waiting slots for guest OS. I may need to do more reading on that though. "the OS runs under the Hypervisor, not the other way arround" I have got to find my copy of The Adolescense of P1 or hope I can buy another (the alias was taken on TR already so I had to go with planB). For those who haven't read the book, the program named P1 stuck itself into the machine above the kernel even so the AI had complete control of any machine it inhabited.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Granted, MS could release a standalone version with no license fee (a la IE) but the hypervisor in server2008 will be inculded in the license cost somehow. Oh well, "me too, me too, me too" keeps the shareholders happy. If MS doesn't apear to be persuing every opertunity even if inaproporate or there investment overseers will make noise. Let's just hope they don't destroy another innovation in the name of ego and investors.

jgruber
jgruber

EMC bought VMWare for only $625 million and they are worth well more than that at this point. A very smart investment by EMC that I don't think they would let slip away anytime soon.

mark.gurney
mark.gurney

EMC isn't giving up VMWare for obvious reasons. It's humorous to see Microsoft come out with an new, unproven technology and the media ask a silly question like this.

luis.alvarez
luis.alvarez

If it came down to any legal issues of takeovers, etc, EMC the parent of VMWare will get involved. EMC has the power and the strength unlike Yahoo to survive a battle with MS. EMC is not struggling financially. Agree with most posts, if EMC did ever sell vmware to MSFT, VMWare customers would eventually migrate to true open source virtualization like Zen or VirtualIron as such. MS will lose out more than money in not just taking over VMWare but the backlash of customers who are currently VMware would revolt away from MSFT.

ttiger72
ttiger72

Don't forget VMWare is a sub of EMC and has been since 2004. EMC isn't a small company, I think about 13B in earnings last year. I doubt EMC will sell off VMWare unless they are hard up for cash.

sonotsky
sonotsky

Interesting idea, MS buying out VMware, but - and I'll be the first to admit that my memory and attention span aren't what they used to be - VMware was acquired in 2004 by EMC and is operating as an independant legal entity but still a member of the EMC family of compaines. I've not known of EMC to let such things go easily.

Allezzam
Allezzam

The question isn't if a takeover will occur, it's when. It sickens me to see innovation and entrepreneurship smothered like this, especially in this country. I've seen a number of technologies and utility platforms come and go - The road always ends at the M$ doorstep. Unfortunately the replacement that shows up in the operating system is never as feature rich and is usually twice as buggy. If this company isn't the poster child for antitrust legislation, I don't know who is.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

.. is to be baught by Microsoft; it means they made something that scared Redmond and it means they probably have enough capital to start a new company. Well, for the closed source development houses anyhow.

Timbo Zimbabwe
Timbo Zimbabwe

"It sickens me to see innovation and entrepreneurship smothered like this" Sadly, I can not think of one thing that Microsoft has actually innovated itself. It seems that all of their technology has come from someone else... usually acquired through a buyout. I do thank MS for making me a career in computer/systems support, but what have they done for us lately? Vista? ;)