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VMware, a Falling Giant? 417

Posted by Soulskill
from the netcraft-yet-silent dept.
New submitter Lashat writes "According to Ars Technica, 'A new survey seems to show that VMware's iron grip on the enterprise virtualization market is loosening, with 38 percent of businesses planning to switch vendors within the next year due to licensing models and the robustness of competing hypervisors.' What do IT-savvy Slashdotters have to say about moving away from one of the more stable and feature rich VM architectures available?"
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VMware, a Falling Giant?

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  • Microsoft Virtual PC (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SharkLaser (2495316)
    Microsoft started offering their own Virtual PC software for free, but it's shit compared to features of VMware products. Granted, it's not really an enterprise product either. But VMware's products will save you lots of headaches, they perform better and offer much more features. It's sad to see companies don't appreciate quality software anymore, because VMware has always produced just that. That has been the trend lately, just like companies are moving towards Google's products just because they are free
    • by motd2k (1675286) on Friday November 04, 2011 @01:20PM (#37949610)
      Chalk / Cheese? Virtual PC is positioned no where near VMWare - try HyperVM/Xen/KVM
    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      Sun had Virtual Box. Dunno if it is Oracle or just plane OSS now. Either way, I use it at home (VMWare at work). I'd rather have VMWare but can't quite warrant the cost. The VMWare I use at work is 5 or 6 years old, whereas VIrtual Box is less than a year old, and the VMWare install still works better for most operating systems as guests (Using Windows as a Host for VMWare, Windows or FreeBSD as a host for Virtual Box)

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        Virtualbox is all well and good, but it doesn't have the infrastructure stuff. It fills the niche that "VMware Workstation" fills, with -some- parts of the server stuff too.

          • That's a VDI link. Virtual desktop technology is vastly different than desktop hypervisors, and boot-time hypervisors like Xen, Hyper-V, ESXi, etc.

            So instead of Oracle, I'll tell you: oranges and tomatoes.

        • by lgw (121541)

          I used VirtualBox until recently, and liked it, but the most recent VMware Workstation blows it away. There's enough 3D acceleration for desktop bling, USB actually works (dunno why Sun had such a problem with that, but maybe that was just me), snapshotting is easy, and it's trivial to encrypt the VM I use for financial stuff. It's mostly just usability, but it was enough to get me to switch.

      • It is both. Sun, and now Oracle, have their own non-OSS version, and there's also an OSS version that has a few features missing.
      • by Gerzel (240421)

        For the moment is it Oracle supported.

      • What costs? Have you ever heard of VMWare Player [vmware.com]? Does not cost a thing and works great.

    • by dc29A (636871) *

      That has been the trend lately, just like companies are moving towards Google's products just because they are free, even while there are much better products on the market.

      GMail runs great on my Home PC (Ubuntu), Laptop (Arch), Gaming PC (Windows 7), Work PC (Windows XP), iPhone and wherever I am that has an internet enabled device with a non retarded browser. Any other email programs that run on all those platforms and cost the same as GMail (free) and are as feature rich?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by X0563511 (793323)

        Bonus points as with a google "domain" - all I do is point my MX records at google and I get gmail on the backend.

        You can only have 10 users for free, but you essentially have an unlimited number of 'groups' - and when you set those groups so that "anyone on the internet can post" they turn into forwarders.

        Meaning you have 10 discrete accounts on the domain, but more aliases than you'll ever need.

    • by JWW (79176)

      Microsoft's Virtual PC software may be crappy. But XEN's is not.

      VMWare shot themselves in the foot on this one.

      We are now investigating XEN as a replacement for VMWare because of the licensing debacle.

      The fact is that while we're willing to pay for good software, dramatic price increases and new licensing restrictions will lead us to look for less pricey options. Especially when VMWare is apparently punishing customers for buying large servers with a lot of memory, exactly the kind of servers we are buyin

  • Nope (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2011 @01:18PM (#37949592)

    VMWare has a proven history. They have set the bar and when potential problems are brought to their attention, they address it. Everybody else is simply a VMWare wannabe.

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      ... meanwhile the vmware tools still won't build on anything newer than Linux 2.6.32 without happy-fun-patching-time. Or just using open-vm-tools, if you can't get them to build at all - it does require some elbow-grease but it does work.

      • by Dredd13 (14750)

        I don't know about that statement. I'm running VMware tools on CentOS versions from 5.1 to 5.5, all of which are running 2.6.18 variants, and never had a single lick of problem installing the vendor-provided tools.

        • by tom17 (659054)

          re-read the parent post :)

          • by Dredd13 (14750)

            I have re-read the parent post, he says "the vmware tools" won't build on 2.6.32 without "happy fun patching time".

            I'm saying I'm using "the vmware tools" on kernels 2.6.32 (specifically 2.6.18 variants provided in RHEL/CentOS5) with no difficulties whatsoever.

    • The problem is that they VMWare is too expensive. So you get a high end Server that can handle 10-20 VMs then you need to pay for the OS licences and software licenses then you add VMWare and it is only a little bit less then having separate servers with a Single Point of failure being that all these systems are on one system. So you get a VMWare wannabe that doesn't even cover 10% of the feature and you pay 90% less the cost and more often then not they still make out.

      • Re:Nope (Score:4, Informative)

        by Karl Cocknozzle (514413) <kcocknozzle AT hotmail DOT com> on Friday November 04, 2011 @02:16PM (#37950330) Homepage

        The problem is that they VMWare is too expensive.

        "Expensive" is relative to your needs. If you only need to host VMs on one or two hosts, don't need live guest migration, storage migration, high-availability, or the ability to manage a farm of VM hosts, then VMware's licensing will cost you exactly nothing.

        Where you get into non-trivial costs is when you need guest-migration, HA, or some of their (quite awesome, by the way) power-saving features (i.e. DRS) because at that point you end up needing shared-storage and a license for vCenter and a license for vSphere (varies based on your needs.)

        Dynamics on this are changing, though... Except for the recent price spike, the cost of storage has been on downward trend for some time. And the availability of tools like FreeNAS and OpenFiler mean even a small company can afford to stand up a relatively robust shared-storage platform for not a lot more than the cost of the hardware and the time required to set it up. If you married this, (or even a simple EqualLogics device, which are also darn competitive anymore) to VMware vSphere for Small Business, you're into a solution where you've spent under $1,000 to license everything you need from VMware, $0 to license the storage product, and your only other costs are hardware and licensing for Guest OS, which would also be $0 if you're running all Open Source.

        Of course, there are exceptions... There are plenty of $100 million companies that are 24x7 operations and need a tighter RTO than VMware Small Biz can provide. For them a simple SAN unit without two, three or four-way mirroring is an unacceptable risk. But I've worked with companies at the $100 million level where they're so buried in server bloat and ad hoc purchasing that the thought of a VMware environment that lets the shut-off 80% of their hardware sounds fantastic.

        • Re:Nope (Score:4, Interesting)

          by sarhjinian (94086) on Friday November 04, 2011 @03:28PM (#37951122)

          ^ This.

          If you don't need HA and can live with a little guest downtime to migrate from a downed host to a cold spare, and have the wherewithal to figure out how to use the host efficiently, ESXi costs nothing and shared iSCSI or NFS storage that performs reasonably well is pretty cheap.

          I've seen such a setup: a bunch of commodity Xeon 5520-equippped boxes attached to an EqualLogic SAN stuffed with SATA drives. It could have been cheaper if Equallogic would support customer-provided disks, because the premium on rotating rust, while not at EMC's level, was still pretty steep.

    • Yes, they have a proven history. Yet Citrix and Xen has made lots of gains, into places like AWS, etc. Hyper-V, despite its being hamstrung, isn't bad, either. KVM and LVM are pretty darn good, but work only with Linux (a good or bad thing depending on your choice).

      So they're not wannabes. VMWare has priced itself at an insanely high price point, making many organizations want to leave. Yes, there's a great ecosystem and lots of attachments, options, third party support, and it's all REALLY EXPENSIVE. Got b

    • I agree with you 100%. Everyone else is an imitator, but Linux is also a Unix imitator. The issue is not who has the better product, it is who offers better value. Sometime recently opensource solutions reached/are reaching/will reach the level of stability and features needed by different users. The better free (as in beer) alternatives get, the small the market place for paid for visualization will become.

      I'm not predicting the death of VMWare. But I would not be surprised to see them go the way of Unix

  • Management may think they're going to make the switch, but when it comes to actually doing it, it'll prove to cost more in terms of effort than they'll save on licensing. There's a hell of a lot more to VMWare than just the virtualization of servers, and it doesn't take a propeller-head to effectively use the tools. Can the same be said of the alternatives?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tysonedwards (969693)
      ESXi / vSphere Hypervisor provides identical functionality (with the exception of vCenter for Centrally managing multiple vSphere servers) freely.

      What you get when you buy vSphere is VMware's support, including their involvement to write additional modules to run in conjunction with some obscure aspect of your deployment (read: the slight issues experienced within the ESX when using an LSI iSCSI HBA in conjunction with a NetApp Filer that do not exist within an QLogic iSCSI HBA).

      Support is worth somet
      • They adjusted the vRAM entitlements after the initial reaction to the change in licensing. Fact is, most customers will not be affected, a some that are can just dial back the allocations which not only gets them within the entitlement, but also reduces overhead. How many users of vSphere really set the vRAM on a virtual machine to the minimum required amount to get the job done?
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Bullshit. Most customers are impacted. I will have to more than double my licenses if I go to Esxi 5. The adjustment is still no where near enough. Maybe 64GB per license would be enough, maybe. 128GB would be more realistic. A 2 socket 24 core 128GB server is plenty cheap these days.

          The point is to use the ram you bought, not to use the bare fucking minimum.

          • Then I'm pleased to inform you that with VMware vSphere Enterprise, you'd have a total vRAM entitlement of 128 GB per physical host at those specs. Enterprise Plus is a 96 GB per CPU entitlement. If you've allocated more than 96 GB per CPU to virtual machines I'm going to venture a guess that you've overallocated the memory or your density is way too high, but maybe you just have unique requirements. I have been fine scaling out with dual Intel quad-cores and 48-64 GB each host with the virtual machines
            • by h4rr4r (612664)

              Which again costs almost twice as much as what I have now.

              I am using dual 6 core opterons. My density is very high because I have a lot of machines that don't use any disk and very little CPU. The simple fact is ESX 5 was a giant screwjob that will probably mean 4.1 is the last version of vmware we use.

              • Re:Not soon (Score:4, Interesting)

                by swb (14022) on Friday November 04, 2011 @03:47PM (#37951300)

                I don't know if you're a marginal case or not, but I had a VMware employee that they felt that they had to raise prices because server core and memory densities were getting to the point where they were going to start losing revenue.

                They said they had seen a tendency among very large customers to actually cut CPU licensing. Earlier adopters had started smaller on older hardware that didn't have the massive amount of CPU and RAM that's common today and the old per-CPU licensing model meant that growth in these environments meant more licenses.

                But with memory and CPU densities growing, these customers now need fewer licenses, even though they still have VM growth, because they have been buying 24 core, 128GB boxes to replace 16/64 or smaller boxes. Each new box can replace 2 or sometimes 3 older ones.

                IMHO, they're just making up for the general reduction in price they had once they started offering EssentialsPlus ESXi. This was much cheaper than ESX 3.5 with vCenter and vMotion licensing.

                I also wonder if maybe they shouldn't have switched from per-socket to per-core licensing, but charging less per core than they had per socket. This would have allowed stable revenue with increased core counts.

        • Although it's true they raised the vRAM entitlements and this won't destroy 100% of the cost-advantage of VMware overnight, this may change when we get into future iterations of Windows, which will almost certainly will have memory requirements that could blot out the sun at high-noon.

          But I'm glad they adjusted the vRAM thing... Of course, my first choice would have been to scrap it entirely and just raise the baseline price. ...But you can't have everything.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Then fire the morons and bring in the propeller heads.
      This is work for smart folks, not idiots.

  • Bar none, PowerVM still has VMWare beat in most areas that matter, but vSphere 5 is a step in the right direction.

    If we're just talking x86, though, I keep hearing that KVM will be the top virtualization solution going forward.

  • If not, they should be. I mean, if they're going to continue being the best in the business, it makes sense for them to build and run an environment as part of their business which simulates the extremes of the challenges that their clients experience. If they build a competitor to Amazon's EC2 or SliceHost or other systems which make heavy use of virtualization, they could really increase their own bottom line. In fact, there's no reason that they couldn't get big enough to convince those sorts of compa
  • I ca see why (Score:5, Informative)

    by liquidweaver (1988660) on Friday November 04, 2011 @01:28PM (#37949714)

    We use OpenNebula/KVM here.
    Both are free as in speech, I can do live migration, it's easy to manage, etc.
    I'm running the whole thing on an NFS share from an AoE storage backend.
    100% libre software solution, and it kicks ass.

    Good luck vmware.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      I looked into doing something like that, the one killer feature is migrating legacy windows machines into virtualization or from one virt system to another. Only vmware seems to do that really well. I do use KVM for some other stuff, but that is a huge checkbox for a lot of folks.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Sounds like a pretty sweet setup.

      So, when a production server refuses to boot after you've just done a P2V migration, who do you call for support?

      • Re:I ca see why (Score:4, Informative)

        by IMightB (533307) on Friday November 04, 2011 @02:10PM (#37950252) Journal

        Damn, you're lazy, try http://http//opennebula.org/support:contracted [http] took me all of 30 seconds to find. Your argument is old and tired, most serious OSS solutions have options for commercial support.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        You fix it yourself, or go back to the physical box until you can migrate by rebuilding from scratch if need be.

        Not everything needs tons of support contracts. Centos is widely used in the enterprise market with no support at all. Support is by far and wide over rated. I would 90% of the support tickets I open with companies I find a resolution before the support person does.

      • Re:I ca see why (Score:5, Informative)

        by liquidweaver (1988660) on Friday November 04, 2011 @02:28PM (#37950474)

        I'd imagine they could call anyone on our team, including myself. We know the code intimately at this point, and have put it through extensive testing.
        This is more of a problem in the proprietary wold - there is a certain point that when something doesn't work you are forced to call for support because the logs only say so much. If you can trace the software and have access to the source, you honestly don't need to call anyone. At that point, it's just a matter of your own determination and the skill set of your team.

        As an aside, we did not have to address P2V migration, because this was part of a new product offering. We are considering replacing our internal infrastructure with this, but that's probably going to happen gradually over time. We have very few windows servers left, and I'm frankly considering phasing them out so we don't have to go through the hassle of activation and the big problem Windows has with changing hardware.

      • I wanted to explain why are are almost 95% free software house now.
        About 4 years ago, I and a few guys spent an all nighter when our Exchange server myseriously stopped working. It was obscure enough I don't rememeber what the issue was at this point. We followed that up a couple months later by spending a few weeks wrestling with Sharepoint.
        The logs only helped with superficial issues, and calling MS is downright expensive so it was only an option when we were at the end of our rope.

        The whole time, I weigh

        • Re:I ca see why (Score:5, Insightful)

          by swb (14022) on Friday November 04, 2011 @03:15PM (#37951010)

          Calling MS is expensive?

          I'd eagerly agree its often frustrating, but AFAIK, a support ticket is only $350 for something like Exchange and they will work the ticket 24/7 until its fixed.

          I've even had refunds when they couldn't fix it or for fixes that couldn't be implemented for reasons outside their control.

          I had one client use Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 for Exchange 2007. Not the R2 version, but the R1 version (which isn't called R1, but...). A disk went full, the system blue screened and something in IIS was fucked and required a re-install per an MS support call. The client couldn't produce the media and neither could I -- Exchange 2007 was released after 2003 R2 and nobody I've ever seen used the R1 x64 version for anything -- it wasn't even media I could download from what I could see on VLSC.

          Needless to say, we did an emergency upgrade on a new VM to 2010 and migrated mailboxes because the downtime waiting for media would have been too great. MS ended up refunding the charge because they didn't fix the issue, despite the fact that the paying customer was the real problem.

          Now, I thought that the 5 hours I spent on the phone was excessive for the troubleshooting work that was done (a lot of steps repeated to failure needlessly, and a lot of time spent on hold "researching..."), so it wasn't overall a great experience, but it ended up being free and even if it wasn't, it would have been worth the $350.

    • VMWare supports live replication. Why just migrate when you can have automatic, near zero downtime fail over with live replication?

      Good luck, VMWare? Hehe, you seriously overestimate the live migration feature. Or rather, it is no longer that special. Even HyperV has live migration. The difference is, VMWare does it VERY well. And I've yet to see anyone come close to the live replication that VMWare does.

      Don't be offended by this post. I just don't think you're talking real business. Maybe it's "kick

      • No offense taken. The replication is something we have looked at, it is possible and we are talking about solutions right now.
        I think you should take AoE a bit more seriously, to be honest. We're getting better perfomance on a 10Gb ethernet switch as a backplane with AoE that the bazillion dollar iSCSI fibre channel solutions we demo'd from HP and Dell.
        This is running on a multiple racks in a leased floor in a datacenter downtown - not my basement - and provides a somewhat data intensive (backups among

  • Why should be pay attention to stories where the headline ends with a question mark?

  • Sure, VMWare is dominant in business virtualization. It has great features and if you're going to do some server consolidation inside a single facility it makes great sense. So there are 1000's of corps out there invested in it. Now, look at the really big virtualization facilities like RS, Amazon, etc and they're never going to touch it with a 10k foot pole. It has its niche, and as long as that niche remains relevant VMWare will probably dominate it. The real question is whether in 5 years anyone really g

  • Anyone mind extrapolating on what VMware's demerits may be? I've only used their virtualization products on a desktop and they work lovely. Full Linux support (both as the host and the client) and very easy management tools. Getting a vm up and running from an .iso file of Windows was just a few minutes of point and clicking in a well made gtk gui. In my experience, it is a very good and user friendly product.
    • Some of the pain points of VMWare:

      number of vCPUs, vMemory per VM
      vSphere 5 now lets you have up to 32 vCPUs and 1024GB in a VM, which is good. vSphere4, which most people still, have is limited to only 8/256 per VM.

      overhead:
      VMWare takes a good 15-30%. Again the hypervisor in vShere 5 is a bit better performer.

      stability:
      I/O drivers are included in the hypervisor, which is a bit scary.

      Pricing
      The VMWare pricing model is overly confusing. Costs for added more vRAM to the pool? yuk.. vsphere5 makes this even wor

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2011 @01:32PM (#37949760)

    First of all let me say VMware makes one rock solid hypervisor. Out of all of the hypervisors I have used theirs is the least prone to issues.

    VMware has a couple of really BIG problems in their platform.

    1. Their management tools are windows centric and so is Virtual Center for that matter
    2. Their licensing model is confusing as hell and requires a spreadsheet to figure out what you need without overpaying
    3. They have so many products that it gets downright confusing to determine which one works for your purpose.
    4. They use "old school" sales tactics that just don't work for more modern companies.

    When I am engineering a solution and have a problem to solve I am presented with many challenges to present VMware as a solution. Finding the product that suits our needs, Figuring out what license would suit our needs, getting a quote from the vendor without a lot of harassment after the fact trying to close the sale. Rather than deal with all of that many people have found that the open source projects like KVM and XEN are good enough for their needs. Not to mention the huge numbers of free cloud products such as Openstack that gives you enterprise features "for free". At the end of the day I don't care what product get's used as long as the problem is solved with the minimal amount of budget and effort.

    A small startup does not want to deal with legacy software and maintaining licensing and dealing with windows boxes. They do great with the "enterprisey" douchebags with their complex setups that cause more outages than they solve but lean and small companies don't want their stuff.

    The reality here is the world is slowly changing. Big monolitic companies are failing because their business models are unsustainable without cheating and people are getting fed up with the cheating. VMware has to answer a question to themselves. Do I want to serve the needs of the dying dinosaur companies or do I want to be in business in 10 years?

    • VMware has a couple of really BIG problems in their platform.

      1. Their management tools are windows centric and so is Virtual Center for that matter
      2. Their licensing model is confusing as hell and requires a spreadsheet to figure out what you need without overpaying
      3. They have so many products that it gets downright confusing to determine which one works for your purpose.
      4. They use "old school" sales tactics that just don't work for more modern companies.

      Your first point is slowly becoming less of an issue. With vSphere 5 you can now run a Linux appliance for Virtual Center which will do for starters, and it doesn't even require (or support) an external database. Hopefully this will expand to be the only way to get VC, but they'll expand it to use a DB when you get big enough, and make plugins work with it. There's also supposed to be a '75%' web client, e.g. good enough for 75% of tasks and a full web client in the next major update, (5.5?) That's how V

      • by sexconker (1179573) on Friday November 04, 2011 @02:21PM (#37950402)

        VMware has a couple of really BIG problems in their platform.

        1. Their management tools are windows centric and so is Virtual Center for that matter
        2. Their licensing model is confusing as hell and requires a spreadsheet to figure out what you need without overpaying
        3. They have so many products that it gets downright confusing to determine which one works for your purpose.
        4. They use "old school" sales tactics that just don't work for more modern companies.

        Your first point is slowly becoming less of an issue. With vSphere 5 you can now run a Linux appliance for Virtual Center which will do for starters, and it doesn't even require (or support) an external database. Hopefully this will expand to be the only way to get VC, but they'll expand it to use a DB when you get big enough, and make plugins work with it. There's also supposed to be a '75%' web client, e.g. good enough for 75% of tasks and a full web client in the next major update, (5.5?) That's how VMView has been for at least the last major release too, the previous might have been web too, I can't remember.

        They have a lot of products because they do a lot of things... regular old server virtualization, enterprise grade server virtualization with HA, desktop (I want a test box), desktop (VDI), disaster recovery (with a replicating san), disaster recovery (without a replicating SAN)... If you don't know what you want to do, looking at their product sheet won't help you any.

        I'll give you that vRAM is evil and sales people are douches, but isn't that one a given?

        I defy you to go to VMware's website and tell me what the current version of ESXi is, what the free license includes, what the cost is for an academic institution that wants the cheapest licensed version, what features that includes - with specific descriptions, not just names and vague "Enable more robust blah blah" horseshit, and what exactly you would need to download.

        The site is intentionally a mess in order to trick people into buying more than they need. It also makes getting updates and changelogs near impossible because you never know what version of what shittily-named product you have. They recently went to ESXi 5, and there was a press release that touted hundreds of new features, and explained about 5 of them in the vaguest detail possible. There are links to various pages on their site to learn more about the hundreds of other new features, but that information simply doesn't exist. All you can get is the shitty presser.

        And look at this fucking 10 page topic on "Is there a free version of ESXi 5?". http://communities.vmware.com/thread/320883 [vmware.com]

        The short answer is "Yes, just install it with no license.", but the real answer is there is no fucking specific license for a free version, so there is no guarantee it will remain an option, or that anupdate won't break it, or that your trial license won't be invalidated at some point, or that features won't be turned off for no reason as they did when going from ESX 3 to ESX 4 / ESXi 4.

        VMware is fast approaching IBM and Cisco levels of intentional ambiguity. All they need is a shitty "brand awareness" marketing campaign that doesn't feature a product or service, but shows school kids in china teleconferencing with school kids in the US, with no lag, in the middle of the day at both locations.

        • by swb (14022)

          I couldn't agree more. I actually sent a nasty email to some VP at VMware chiding them for making downloads so difficult to do, despite the fact that I was a VCP.

          So I get to be a VCP and work selling/installing your product and when a client needs a critical upgrade/patch but nobody knows the support login, you're going to block me from downloading it? It was just stupid.

          BTW, love the Cisco insight. I didn't notice that when I saw the commercial and it's totally hilarious.

    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      totally agree with points 2 and 3: I don;t even know what half of the products do - vSphere? is that a hypervisor, or a management package addon? How about Fusion? it's all so unclear and confusing that I can;t go to their website and find out exactly WTF it is that they're selling in clear and simple terms.

      It doesn't help that they jiggle the names and features around every so often too. Licencing... I just don't bother, I stick with the free stuff from them and don't even bother trying to navigate the nig

  • Although VMware made no new friends with their v5 licensing debacle, they're still the undisputed technological king-of-the-hill. Microsoft, Citrix, and KVM are slowly catching up, but they're still a ways off on many fronts (DRS, storage DRS, HA, etc). Hyper V (R2 SP1) is just now adding overcommit - a technology that's been in vSphere for years..

    Most big entireprise clients are leaving VMware for licensing and cost reasons, not technological. Microsoft is not a small player, so when you can save hundre
  • by Joehonkie (665142) on Friday November 04, 2011 @01:33PM (#37949774) Homepage
    The number of people talking about VirtualBox and VirtualPC in this thread is astounding. We're talking about "enterprise" virtualization here, not keeping some dev boxes on your desktop. I think you need to be talking about Hyper-V and Xen, as well as all the competing VDI solutions.
  • I really like the functionality, stability, and feature set of VMWare, but due to their licensing change, I'm sticking with vSphere 4 for now -- I'd have to buy too many new licenses to move to vSphere 5 because of the amount of memory we have.

    We're evaluating HyperV now and may end up with a split cluster - HyperV for our Windows servers and VMware (or maybe even Xen) for the Linux side.

    • by Vancorps (746090)

      I was in the same boat, went to Citrix and Xenserver and never looked back. I have a few servers that I even paid for, at less than a quarter of the price of VMWare and with much simpler licensing it was definitely one of the easier decisions I've made.

      VMWare licensing is so bad that I bought a HP blade enclosure and filled it with 12 servers. The VMWare representative couldn't even get the licensing right. After the third time I sent it back to him I discovered XenServer, had it installed with a 12 node p

  • We've already started the migration to Redhat's KVM. Our testing environment has been completed. We beginning the rollout for Production now.

    Why switch? The price.

  • I'm a fan of VMware but clearly any competition - and specifically, the more robust the competition gets the better the pricing models will be for the end users.

    Right now we have very little if any issues with our virtual infrastructure - although View could use some work (we're still on 4.0 though...). VMware's support is excellent. Their tools are excellent. Their online documentation is excellent. Other than $ there wouldn't be a lot of motivation to start shopping for another vendor anytime soon.

    But

  • With production enterprise experience with Xen, HyperV, and VMWare hosting linux VMs.

    It's still VMware, just based on some of the showstopping issues encountered with Xen and HyperV.

    It's only a matter of time until VMWare competitors catch up, which is good for all of us, however based on my personal experience VMWare is still my preference.

    Note, environments vary. Just based on environments I've worked with.

    • by Vancorps (746090)
      What showstopping features are you referring to with Xen? As someone that migrated away from VMWare to XenServer I'm definitely confused.
  • > What do IT-savvy Slashdotters have to say about moving away from one of the more stable and feature rich VM architectures available?"

    Um, how about "over my dead body"?

    If you want free stuff like VirtualBox or VirtualPC, more power to you. It helps push the envelope and provides for competition.

    For large enterprise installations, there is VMWare. I'm sure that won't always be the case, but for now, you'll have to pry my vCenter from my cold dead hands.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Xen is quite nice, so is KVM packaged up by RHEL.

      Neither is as nice with the pointy clickey stuff, but do you really need that? Real Vmware admins use the CLI anyway.

    • by Vancorps (746090)
      I suggest you try some of the real enterprise alternatives. vCenter is a great product I'll admit but it's definitely not worth the price and the licensing ridiculousness from VMWare. I migrated to XenServer and XenCenter has indeed caught up. Of course I find it hard to imagine a scenario where anyone is so dead set on a platform that they would make comments such as your's.
  • by jpvlsmv (583001) on Friday November 04, 2011 @01:44PM (#37949916) Homepage Journal

    Two years ago, VMware was the only serious player in the enterprise hypervisor market. It could demand a price premium and had weight with other software platform vendors to demand support.

    Now, with Hyper-V being somewhat more mature and with the Xen product line, VMware is falling into a competitive market. Naturally, there will be an erosion of market share in that case.

    The bigger threat that faces VMware is the same threat that faced Netscape in the 1990s-- VMware is a competitor of Hyper-V which Microsoft can include "for free" in its server operating systems. And Microsoft still has the same monopoly influence over the major hardware vendors (to discourage pre-installs or reseller agreements). And it can control the licensing for its operating systems to inconvenience VMware customers (you have to buy a separate license for each ESX VM, but if you run on Hyper-V you get 10 VM licenses for free) and/or control its support of its enterprise application stack (We'll only support Exchange/Sharepoint/SQL Server/Link/IIS/whatever if it's running on Hyper-V. If it's ESX, please reproduce the problem on physical hardware to make sure it's not an ESX issue)

    --Joe

  • I work for a major *.edu -- we use VMware, we pay their exorbitant pricing, and subsequently get threats of additional fees for not renewing support on time (an amusing tactic). We don't really find ourselves using the fancy feature sets. In fact, a large part of our *.edu is going KVM -- probably for similar reasons, more likely pricing. As others have said, VMware continues to change their licensing models -- it ends up being nickle-and-diming for features, where I'd just rather pay one flat price a

  • by trybywrench (584843) on Friday November 04, 2011 @01:46PM (#37949948)
    Libvirt and the improvements to KVM plus Xen getting mainlined (is that the right term?) has to be hurting VMWare. Rackspace, along with a lot of major players, are spearheading OpenStack which ought to be a major open source enterprise player when it matures. Also, cloudstack recently went 100% open source which puts even more pressure on VMWare.

    Also, projects like OpenVSwitch are putting major pressure on the proprietary vendors too.
  • Plain and simple, VMWare is pricey. I'd love to run them where I work, but it's extraordinarily expensive compared to Xen and Hyper-V.

    Hyper-V is about 5 years behind and XenServer is about 3 years behind in terms of functionality and stability, mainly due to the fact that VMWare has been doing it for so long. VMWare is rock-solid and feature rich, and I'd love to use them. Currently we use XenServer, but with Citrix recently closing down their hardware API's and not playing nicely with anyone it looks li
  • I like ESXi for the handful of random non-production systems I use. I just don't buy that VM is the right direction for every company as a primary platform. Sure, small scale VM has it's benefits, but in a large scale scenario the overhead and vendor lock in becomes short sighted. Yes, eventually with enough VM in your datacenter, you'll save money, but at what long term expense? What's that vendor proprietary solution going to do for you in 10 years when you want to move to the next big thing? I say build
    • by dave562 (969951)

      Google and Facebook are working on applications that are much more extensive than VMware customers are working with. It is not a real apples to apples comparison. What kind of organizations besides Google and Facebook really need 1000 web servers? 10,000 web servers?

      Most of the environments I have seen have some big databases on the back end. Those are not virtualized. Then you move up to what I will call the processing, or workload tier. Depending on the size of the workloads, those servers can usual

  • Dear VMware,

    I started out with you at Workstation version2. Since that time, I have never seen anyone really do Virtualisation as well as you did. Ever. Workstation is still sold with new features, and some nice pricing. I played and ran ESXI 3-5 and at each step its been accompanied with a rising tide of pain. No matter how brilliant a product is, if you start throwing in silly licensing and serious costs - and stupid complexity (in licensing) - well - you get what VMware is right now.

    And the worst part is

  • until they started to look and sound like oracle.
  • VMware's original edge was their code patching hack which allowed visualization on hardware that didn't really support it. Once x86 machines got some virtualization hardware support, that hack was no longer needed, and anybody could write a hypervisor.

    Now most of the virtualization issues are more about systems for managing instances of virtual machines. The hypervisor itself is a small part of the overall product.

  • So 38% of virtualization customers are planning on switching, but 2/3 of all virtualization customers are VMWare with the other 1/3 being somebody else. There's a lot of floating data points here.

    We can come up with lots of fun theories...
    Maybe VMWare numbers will drop to 30% of the market and those will all get sucked up by Hyper-V.
    Maybe everyone using Hyper-V thinks it blows and are going to Xen, leaving 22% of the original survey to allocate to leaving either VMWare and Xen for one of the two they're no

  • I stopped caring about vmware when their marketing people got editing rights over their technical documentation. Seriously, go to their website, try to figure out what product will work for you (if you can make it through the marketing drivel) then look at the documentation for it.

    Technical documentation is supposed to be .. technical. If you screw over the IT admins managing your product they're going to search for alternatives.

  • People don't care what software runs their virtual machines. The very target market for this is people who don't want to commit to platforms.

    VMWare doesn't do anything that is substantially proprietary.

    If something comes along which does the same things as VMWare, and reads VMWare disks, but is better in some way than VMWare (for instance by being free for all the freetard masses), it's bye bye.

    Once, the selling point of VMWare was "cool, you can virtualize a machine". That is a commodity now. The selling p

  • IT: VMWare is the best! We need to use it for all our VM needs.

    Boss: It's to expensive. I read that Windows does the same thing for free.

    IT: No, it only does 10% of the stuff VMWare does. We need VMWare!

    Boss: Glad we agree! Start implementing Windows Virtual Server tomorrow....

  • What do IT-savvy Slashdotters have to say about moving away from one of the more stable and feature rich VM architectures available?

    That submitter Lashat is shilling for EMC.

    I've been a VMware customer since 1999, and I must count myself among those disappointed by recent releases and pricing changes. Parallels, Microsoft, Citrix, and Oracle all have competitive offerings, at least two of which are substantially free software. If we hadn't invested so much time and energy into VMware at work, I'd seriousl

  • Vmware+Veeam+Offsite = Perfection.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.

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