The Virtualization Room

Feb 25 2011   5:59PM GMT

VMware changes its Hyper-V tune

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

We learned yesterday that VMware will offer Hyper-V management with a new experimental vCenter plug-in, XVP Manager.

This release contradicts everything VMware has said about multi-hypervisor infrastructures. Case in point: CEO Paul Maritz’s comments in this VMworld 2009 recap by Eric Siebert:

Someone asked if vCenter Server would support other hypervisors like Microsoft is doing with Systems Center supporting ESX. Maritz’s answer was no; VMware is committed to focusing on only its own product because this is what VMware’s customers want.

In light of yesterday’s news, that last sentence is especially important. With XVP Manager, is VMware recognizing that its own product isn’t necessarily what customers always want?

Hyper-V expert Rob McShinsky thinks that’s the case. On Twitter yesterday, he said there was “no better validation of a competitor.”

Now, you may look at Microsoft’s relatively stagnant growth in the market and dispute that claim. In our “Virtualization Decisions 2010 Purchasing Intentions Survey,” the percentage of respondents identifying Hyper-V as their primary platform rose from 12% in 2009 to just 13%. But a deeper look at the results showed that more VMware users are letting Hyper-V seep into their organizations.

That’s a problem for VMware, and it’s the real reason the company changed its tune. If vCenter can’t manage Hyper-V, organizations that dabble in Microsoft’s hypervisor could move on to third-party tools, or worse, to Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

XVP Manager isn’t about VMware feeling threatened in the hypervisor market. It’s about VMware feeling threatened in the management market.

And of course, cloud computing played into the decision as well. (Sorry, if you had Feb. 25 in the “When will Colin write a post that doesn’t mention cloud computing” pool, you’re out of luck.) AsĀ Siebert wrote on Twitter yesterday, XVP “fits their cloud vision & puts them on an even playing field with System Center that can manage VMware VMs.”

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