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Summary:

Some folks say hypervisors — now a commodity — don’t matter any more. That’s not true, and growing support for Hyper-V by third-party vendors spells trouble for VMware. Here’s why

clouds

It’s clear that VMware has moved beyond the hypervisor: It’s pushing the more profitable Vsphere management tools and of course its new VMware vCloud Hybrid Services cloud. But still, it’s got to be a teensy bit worried by growing encroachments from rival hypervisors chipping away at its ESX customer base and the third-party developers that serve those customers.

This week, Convirture added Hyper-V support to its tool, which already manages Xen, KVM, and ESX environments. Likewise, Nutanix, the converged infrastructure player (which just snagged a cool $101 million in new funding, BTW) also launched support for Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor. Nutanix started out as an ESX-only shop but added KVM last year. And now there’s Hyper V support for that product as well.

Why does this matter? It’s clear that vendors and some customers see VMware virtualization –based on ESX — as expensive to run and support and increasingly see the alternatives — in this case Hyper-V — as viable and potentially cheaper alternatives.

Convirture and Nutanix are just the latest converts. Veeam, a company that started out with VMware-only tools in 2006, added Hyper-V support for its backup and replication product in 2011 and last year added Hyper-V to its virtualization management software. In addition, as part of a bigger Oracle-Microsoft alliance outlined last June, Hyper-V is the only non-Oracle hypervisor that Oracle officially supports.

None of this is good news for VMware, which really wants enterprise and business accounts — the sorts that run Microsoft Windows and Oracle databases in house — to either run VMware on premises or put those enterprisey applications in vCloud Hybrid Services. If they are instead moving to other hypervisors, they are less likely to do so. The lowly hypervisor does, in fact, matter.

VMware’s ESX ruled the roost for many years, as VMware’s related products got more feature-rich and expensive. VMware’s problem is that folks got sick of paying what Convirture CEO Arsalan Farooq and others call “the VMware tax.” And those users now know there are alternatives — including KVM, Xen on the open source side and Hyper-V — that are as good and perhaps better than ESX, and can be part of less-expensive virtualized environments than what VMware offers.

And that means that VMware — which, to be fair, still leads the market in server virtualization running in most enterprise data centers — cannot take this threat lying down while it builds out it’s cloud strategy.

  1. Barb, I’m on the fence about VMware’s future. I asked if they were a “one hit wonder” with vSphere. http://virtualizedgeek.com/2013/12/16/vsphere-one-hit/

    Being virtualization is one of my blog’s core competencies you can imagine it wasn’t a popular post. But you have to ask the question, when you take away vSphere what’s left of VMware as a company? They have incredible virtualization tools geared toward managing vSphere. They have a great VDI solution that’s built on vSphere.

    Remember, they decided to double down on virtualization. That means that the bulk of their product suite is based on vSphere. You have vCAC (Automation), vCHS (Hybrid Cloud) and NSX (network virtualization) that are not directly tied to vSphere. I don’t believe any of these products are a big part of their revenue yet.

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  2. Regarding Oracle on Hyper-V you do get full support of Oracle on vSphere also. This is on VMware’s web site.

    Get Full Support from Oracle
    Oracle fully supports the virtualization of Oracle databases on VMware. To augment Oracle’s support document, VMware also has a total ownership policy for customers with Oracle issues. VMware Support will accept accountability for any Oracle-related issue reported by a customer. By being accountable, VMware Support will drive the issue to resolution regardless of which vendor (VMware, Oracle or others) is responsible for the resolution. In most cases, reported issues can be resolved via configuration changes, bug fixes or feature enhancements by one of the involved vendors.

    – See more at: http://www.vmware.com/business-critical-apps/oracle-virtualization/index.html#sthash.zeP1wtB6.dpuf

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