Has Virtualization Stalled?

April 28th, 2010

RHEV and Hyper-V Gaining or Losing Ground against VMware?

Has virtualization stalled? It is a straight forward question. But I would say to be fair a trick question. From a customer, or end-user perspective, virtualization has not stalled, in fact, if the percent of adoption is any indication, some organizations are just at 10% virtualization of total targeted server infrastructure, many others even less. Never mind desktop infrastructure. A few surveys I have read focused on 2010, suggest that although some organizations have yet to embrace clouds, virtualization in its own right, is still going strong. For example, BMC surveyed 400 some IT organizations, where just about any solution that has proven to save capital expense, and/or reduce TCO was noted, as important if not critical, including virtualization, but clouding, was not that popular per the results of the survey? If you have read my blog, I believe a couple of months ago I noted clouding is not for faint hearted? The learning curve is steep, the implementation plans complex. It appears to have scared off more than a few.

So, has virtualization stalled? The question is not in doubt from and end-user perspective, the key benefits are still there, faster provisioning, server sprawl avoidance, infrastructure consolidation and improved resource flexibility, incremental stability improvements, etc. Therefore, why am I asking if virtualization has stalled? Because my friends, the 800 pound gorilla, Microsoft, seems to be more interested in Datacenter scope solutions than hypervisors. Is Microsoft really going to take another two years to get the next major release of Hyper-V out the door? Moreover, the Imperial penguin, Red Hat, is taking forever to add basic functions to RHEV or enhance existing functions to even be par with Hyper-V? We are talking about the basics, things Xen perfected years ago? RHEV maybe suited better as a desktop infrastructure solution, yet another nick name for VDI? Maybe, just maybe, the race to establish the next killer hypervisor has been won? Or defaulted to VMware? Has VMware freaked everyone out with the potential of stateless ESXi? As fellow blogger Chris Wolf has noted (http://www.chriswolf.com/?p=182). But is that it?

Can VMware establish enough barriers to the competition to hold the high ground for another 5 years with ESXi stateless? What will VMware show off this year, 2010, at VMworld to continue to maintain a strategic advantage for years to come? Come on, it is in Las Vegas, where image is everything right? Will there be lap-dances in the vendor exhibit exposition booths, all flash and no substance, that is the next logical step right, for the vendors in the exposition, right? There were a few hot numbers walking around at VMworld 2009, oh yeah! What happens in Vegas, for the most part stays in Vegas? The gloves or more… are going to come off this time! Maybe it will be a class act, and just the gloves come off? Rather, I hope VMware knocks our socks off, not to mention anything else? Since this is a G-Rated blog, nothing more needs to be said? Would suggesting that virtualization needs a boost? Be just a bit too suggestive at this point? The problem is the cat is out of the bag… ESXi stateless is a known animal to some extent. vCenter of course needs some help to resolve scaling and scope issues, but that as well, is a very tired horse, and is an expected promise from VMware to customers that must happen sooner than later.

The buzz is… that hot-plugging of things will be big this year for virtual instances. Hot-add of CPUs, hot-add of memory, hot-add this, hot-add that, hot, hot, hot, etc., etc., etc. Some are using terms like quick this or quick that. Everyone loves… a quicker solution, cough. Although Microsoft quick, is years away? Of course, this only makes sense of the operating systems support… hot or quick features well. I believe Linux will adapt faster than Windows. However, I believe VMware needs something outrageous, and over the top, something that none of us saw coming! Something that is all VMware, not just repackaged or realigned or repackaged technology! Just like when vMotion was first released, it was geek tech, it was surreal… remember that? It was technology that was an obvious and simple winner, hands down, it was, well… hot-migration, not just quick-migration! Yes, I hot-migration. Now, go take a cold shower, VMworld 2010 is still 6 months away.

Entry Filed under: A Proper Virtual World

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Clint  |  May 10th, 2010 at 8:21 am

    First off I work as a consultant for Microsoft helping VARs sell Hyper-V and System Center products.

    I think virtualization is actually still picking up steam, however the “buzz” is not them as much as it was in the past as more focus as been on certain variants of what virtualization meant in the past. That being VDI and Cloud.

    Microsoft has actually built up a large campain in the background working with VARs including the major ones like Dell, HP, and CDW to focus heavily on Hyper-V in the SMB market. It is not really making that public effort, but more of a grass roots.

    I think over the next year or two there is going to be a rejuvinated focus as people start opening up projects once again instead of holding on to those servers for an extra year or two due to financial crunch.

  • 2. Keith Townsend  |  May 10th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Great post. I’m very happy with VMware and where the platform has gone over the past few years. However, I’m pretty disappointed in the competition. They just haven’t pushed VMware hard enough. It’s great that you can get ESXi for free now but I want to see more value for the $$$ given to VMware. The only way to have that happen is for MS and Citrix to push these guys.

  • 3. Alex Bakman  |  May 17th, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I agree with Keith. Competition to VMware has been nothing but lame. Customers need more choices, because no one wants to pay VMware prices

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