Archive for January, 2008

Now That The Hype Over VMware 3i Has Finally Died Down!

Know What Virtualization Is, But What Is Next? – Chapter 09

VMware has released ESX 3.5, has released 3i installable, and many of us in the information technology industry are waiting for 3i on SAN disk, embedded USB, etc. But how long will we have to wait? I am not talking about 3i embedded its-self, no. I am talking about how long we will have to wait to be able to use 3i in any effective manner. The vaulted, the earth shattering next quantum step in virtualization, the oh-my-gosh, I can not believe how cool this is…are you sure it was not invented by those guys at Apple Computer, and just licensed to VMware? The great nirvana, no better yet, utopian, Zen state of virtualization, 3i is a complete and unabashed flop. Yes, a complete disappointment at general release.

Support for 3i out of the box, cough out of the solid-state memory, is not here. IBM, can not even get ESX 3.5 support documented right, HP is at least 60 to 90 days away from any significant support of 3i, and Dell, yes, Dell, which talked up VMware 3i 3.5 what? At least 3 or more months ago? Has yet to say much of anything. At VMworld 2007 everyone, yes, everyone in the exhibit booths was all, 3i, 3i, 3i! All we needed was hard-bodies on stage in cheerleader outfits, with the 3i logo stitched in interesting places, to have typical home team game rally. The hype, which was really hype, was so obvious it frankly should have embarrassed VMware then, as it is in true reality now doing. A home team rally has a bond fire right? Can we burn 3i on it as well? Sending 3i to the Halls of Valhalla!

Of course 3i has potential, of course it will take some of the major issues with deployment and configuration consistency of VMware ESX server out of the picture, it will be more secure, leaner, and meaner, and the ease of setup alone is going to be wonderful! At least compared to Anaconda/Kickstart, which is now 20+ years old no? But notice, please, that I said going to be…no one is there yet, in any realistic sense of the word. Monitoring for 3i is a joke, scaling of VirtualCenter is a joke, and now we have a virtualized appliance node, 3i, that depends on a single point of failure for monitoring and configuration, which is VirtualCenter. Talk about the cart before the horse, VirtualCenter enterprise view should have been release before 3i, hello, anyone thinking? Combine this weak infrastructure design issue, with the fact that you can not get any realistic information out of the hardware state of a 3i server, and 3i is, in not uncertain terms, dead on arrival. Enterprise use of 3i, which is the true long term cash cow for VMware, and the key threat that Microsoft is on target to nail, is left hanging in the wind.

Google has its yellow box appliance, so what color should 3i boxes be? How about pink? Since I don’t know what color signifies a colossal miscalculation? Until management, control, monitoring and system administrator level of access, be it scripting, or such, for 3i is as good as, if not better, than ESX console of service model, the enterprise client base will not adopt 3i. If Microsoft does not learn from this mission critical mistake, then Microsoft will never over take VMware by competitive advantage.

Who is on the hook for this release 3i screw up? Well, everyone, yes, everyone, IBM, Dell, and HP, but not ignoring Sun, and a few other smaller hardware platforms, contributed to VMware making this obviously stupid mistake.  We, the clients, are to blame as well, did we yell loud enough? Or more to the point, did we have the opportunity to do so? I am sure a small group of early demonstration observers or beta testers gave input on 3i issues, but did VMware listen? Right now we have nothing but a finger pointing game, hardware vendors are saying VMware API based on CIM is weak, or incomplete. VMware is saying the hardware vendors are moving slower than expected, what the heck is slower than not having a complete solution before anything was released? What good is any of these so called strategic alliances or partnerships between hardware vendors and VMware, if they can not coordinate something as dead-bang straight-forward as 3i as complete solution on initial release? An alliance or partnership is supposed to produce results, where are they, in reference to 3i? It is obvious that 3i design and development coordination between VMware and the hardware vendors was hype as well.

How do we explain to our enterprise customers that 3i is, in any reasonable fashion, at least one (1) year away from deployment? That 3i is nothing but hype, is still nothing but hype. I am sure just about everyone at the enterprise level sees 3i as hype. The final question is whether this silent majority have the guts to kick 3i back into the teeth of VMware and the lame hardware vendors that claimed support for 3i, but have absolutely nothing to show for it. Guess, not, we are all still trying to get closer to the stage, to see the cheerleaders, to get a better look at which interesting places, where the 3i logo is actually stitched. Hey, dude, have a care with that elbow will ya. Watch who you poke with your Blackberry too.

14 comments January 25th, 2008


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