VMWare’s IPO splash – Wake up call for the others

VMWare rocked the market today, and that really is no surprise. With the most comprehensive product offering of all the Virtualization solutions (and also the priciest), this is THE VM solution to go with for the enterprises that are adopting it. For instance, the company that I work for has already been steadily migrating racks into the ESX environment. If these other competitors don’t shape up soon (and it doesn’t look like they are), EMC’s toy project is looking to become the de facto player in the Virtualization game.

Let’s briefly look at the competitors:

Amazon EC2: This service shows great promise in taking away many of the start up business that VMWare would have had. Can’t see established big corporations utilizing this much though.

Microsoft’s Viridian: So far, it can still be considered vaporware. It may be too late of an entry for Microsoft once it gets released.

SWSoft’s Virtuozzo: Slightly different approach to virtualization, OS based. A little late in getting into the Windows space, but looks to be a decent contender. Unfortunately, marketing doesn’t seem to be doing the product justice.

SWSoft’s Parallels: Toy for the Mac fans. Unfortunately, VMWare’s Fusion is looking pretty capable in stealing quite a bit of this small piece of pie as well.

Xen: Not quite as polished or robust in terms of management as VMWare, but it’s coming along quite nicely. Could be a cheaper alternative than VMWare. Could also benefit from better marketing.

Virtual Iron: Already positioning itself as VMWare’s cheaper alternative. Shows promise, but it’ll probably never overtake VMWare.

The rest of the smaller players out there are probably not even being considered by big enterprises at this point.

As the market currently stands, VMWare seemed to have captured the hearts and the pocketbooks of the majority of the enterprise markets out there.

My verdict? I see great promise in VMW, though at today’s valuation, I would wait a bit before I’d consider picking some up.

What are your thoughts? Which one of these are you a fan of?

UPDATE: Looks like Citrix read my article last night and decided to buy XenSource this morning. 🙂 Check it out here.

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Dual core vs. Quad core for VMs

Tom’s just posted an article on the benefit of going 4 cores vs. 2 cores.  Interesting read, however since the readership is heavily biased toward gaming, its testing apps were mostly games that have not been written to take advantage of the 2 additional cores.

As far as using quad core for virtualization however, the advantage is obvious.  Of course, performance is more dependent on the virtualization architecture than a few mhz in speed, as can be seen here.  If performance is a concern, then be prepared to throw more money on hardware, or stay with paravirtualized solutions like Xen.  My personal recommendation is OpenVZ / Virtuozzo for best performance as they are OS based solutions.  For manageability though, VMWare currently reigns king.  Stick with VMWare server if you want free, but keep in mind that performance will suffer.

Or I guess you can just throw more hardware at the problem like always.  Thanks, AMD & Intel for the price drops!  Please keep them coming!

Dell to start integrating VMWare

Before the digital ink had the time to dry on my previous post, it appears that Dell was already hearing what others have been saying. Apple has been touting its Parallels for a while, and now it looks like Dell will soon be integrating VMWare products into its consumer PCs.

Great move Dell. I already have a few machines here running VMWare server and Xen Express, totaling to approximately 12 VMs running. All I can say is that VM is the way of the future, and getting on the bandwagon early is definitely better than always playing catch up. Dell’s corporate strategy from last decade seemed to have been thrown out the window. Let’s see where Dell 2.0 is taking us.

Update: Dell confirmed this.  We’ll see how this will change the computing landscape next year.