Virtualization Pro

Jan 5 2009   3:06PM GMT

Open letter to VMware: Suggestions for 2009



Posted by: Eric Siebert
Tags:
Eric Siebert
VCP
VI4
VMware
VMware ESX
VMware ESXi
VMworld 2008
vSphere

Dear VMware:

1. Please slow down a bit. Produce a quality bug-free product and not try to rush out new versions, features and functionality until they are ready. Stop with the experimental features and only put them in the finished product unless they are ready and you are going to fully support them. I know it’s almost impossible to produce 100% bug-free code, especially as your product code grows larger and larger in size, but please catch the major ones that can cause outages for your customers. If you can’t slow down, at least hire more QA personnel and do more public Betas so your customers can help you with this. You can’t afford another mishap like Microsoft is currently experiencing with their Zune music players.

2. On the release of VI4 (or vSphere as you now call it): This should be an exciting upgrade and further distance you from your competitors, but please don’t release it before it’s fully done, polished and tested. I can wait an extra month or two if necessary.

3. Please, no more product name changes. Enough is enough with the name changes! You’re just confusing your customers and complicating things. Instead, get your marketing department to do more to attract new customers, keep your current ones and fight all the HyperV vs. ESX misinformation that Microsoft releases. Also please leave ESX named ESX, I know your marketing department is probably itching to change it so something like vHypervisor but resist and leave it as ESX. (For those who don’t know ESX stands for Elastic Sky X which was the name used in the development of the original version.)

4. More competitive pricing. You have lots of competition now and the hypervisor is becoming commoditized. Giving away ESXi for free was a good start. Why not give ESX away for free also and sell all the advanced features as add-ons? You also have plenty of automation and management products that you can sell to complement it. Also, please reduce the price of Workstation. It’s too expensive for many. You’d probably sell a lot more if you reduced the price so it was close to the price of Fusion.

5. On VMworld presentations: Please go back to releasing these to non-attendees after the show ends as you did in previous years. Not everyone can afford to go to it and the information in the sessions would be valuable to both your current and potential customers. It’s to your benefit to educate your customers and provide as much information to them as possible. At the very least, allow people to purchase a subscription to the sessions so they can access them right away after the show ends.

6. Relax the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) certification requirements. I shouldn’t have to take a class to become a VCP, if I have the knowledge and experience to pass the VCP exam that should be enough. Many qualified people can’t afford to take a class just so they can take the test.

Well VMware, I hope 2009 is a very good year for you, I look forward to the release of vSphere and any other great things that you will deliver to us in the upcoming year.

Best,

A VMware aficionado

8  Comments on this Post

 
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  • Tlyczko
    Thank you Eric...these are all awesome, wonderful, sensible suggestions. I would add #7: Reduce the price on SRM. Or have 2 tiers: 1) 10 hosts, get good $$$ from big companies. Thank you, Tom
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  • COPRob
    Couldn't disagree more on the VCP. At least this way we don't have the typical braindump paper certs floating around degrading the certification to the value of an mcse since anyone can go download the "knowledge and experience" to memorize for the test. It is unfortunate for those that somehow have the knowledge of an enterprise environment infrastructure without the 3k for the class, but I'd rather my cert mean something.
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  • vanzylw
    Make the test more difficult and dynamic then so only knowledgeable and experienced people can pass it. I know there are many VCPs out there that already degrade the value of the VCP as they simply took a class and then a test and have very little knowledge and more importantly experience.
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  • Kcmjr
    The name changes VMware has been going through is giving me flashbacks to the time I worked with Citrix products. Consistency is a GOOD thing although these companies don't seem to get that. I'm torn on the cert subject. Although I agree there needs to be a way to filter out the paper certs, I don't see a reason why I should be forced to attend a class if I don't need to. If I can pass the test, then let me.
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  • JSTAR
    Great comments! Producing high-quality code takes guts to stand in front of management and say "No, this is not ready for prime time." As someone who has managed enterprise-level software products, your customers must be the focus and not the bottom line at this point. Our solution was to hire more QA, SLOW DOWN and get management to realize that you get less black eyes when you produce quality products!
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  • Flicka7
    Thanks for taking the time to post these thoughts. The majority of our business in the SMB space is managed backups and DR, so VMware is an important vendor for us. Although I agree with most of your points, I don't want to see the VCP given without a class. This is because experience is absolutely crucial in a production environment. Most businesses will eventually be run on virtualized machines-- it is important that inexperience hotshots don't poison the waters. This wasn't a problem in 2005-26 when it took a major effort to set up a lab to practice for the test. Now that is easy, however, and people who memorize instead of doing the work are a danger. Is $3K+ a lot of money? Yes... but not if you are serious about being effective in a production environment. Sincerely, Ted T.
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  • Eric Siebert
    Hi Ted, I agree that experience is what counts, it's more important to me about what you've done instead of what you know. I would argue though that 1 week in a classroom is not a whole lot of experience. I would prefer working with someone who has had years of experience working with VMware and was not a VCP rather then someone who has very limited experience and took a 1 week class and passed a test. Knowledge comes with experience and not vice versa, working hands on is much more valuable to me then reading a book or taking a class. Classes are good ways to kickstart the learning process for someone who is new to VMware but experienced vets should not need to take one to become certified. I'm all for only having qualified people with the VCP certification and thats why I feel they should make the test so only knowledgable AND experienced people can pass it. And for those people who are more then qualified to take the test while $3K may not be a lot of money for some it certainly is a waste of money if they are not really going to gain anything from the class. Also in these times many companies are forced to cut back their training budgets and can't afford to send someone to a class forcing them to learn by alternative methods such as hands on, books, websites, etc. Therefore someone who has worked hard and learned by other methods and may be qualifed is excluded from becoming a VCP. Best regards, Eric
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  • Stb
    Great article. I'd like to add that VMware offer a subscription similar to the Microsoft Action Pack. That is an invaluable tool for developers and home geeks to become more familiar with all the different VMware products. I know VMware used to offer this years ago, don't know why they stopped it. http://communities.vmware.com/thread/184268 Thanks, Steve
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