The competition in the red-hot virtualization market is only getting fiercer, as Microsoft moves to elbow in and grab more share from VMware.
The server virtualization market is about to enter a "you've never had it so good" era akin to the Swinging Sixties. Everyone stands to benefit--everyone except VMware, that is.
What's prompted this flood of virtualization optimism is the latest news about Hyper-V 3--the virtualization technology being built into Windows Server 8 as we speak.
Now it's a hoary old chestnut that Microsoft tends to get things right with version 3 of its products, I know, but the reason it's a hoary old chestnut is because it tends to be true. And so it is with Hyper-V. Version 1 was a bit rubbish really, especially compared to what was on offer from VMware. Version 2 with Live Migration was much better, but it still lagged far behind VMware in almost every area. But Version 3? Let's be quite clear about this: When Server 8 comes out, Microsoft will finally have a serious server virtualization platform on its hands that will do everything most companies require of it. In other words, it will be Good Enough--in some areas better than VMware--in many cases at a fraction of the cost of a vSphere implementation.
Virtualization systems are not something most companies change at the drop of a hat because of the significant investments in software, processes and training they entail. But there's no doubt VMware is going to have to offer more to justify the premium prices it charges for vSphere and the rest of its virtualization system. Otherwise, it will need to cut its prices to bring them more in line with what Microsoft will be charging, when Hyper-V 3 is released. If it doesn't, then it will find it much harder than it has been in the past to get new customers. VMware may not hemorrhage current customers immediately, but it may find that its customer base slowly evaporates.
Read the rest about Microsoft's virtualization solution at Server Watch.