VMware's complaints come across as self-serving however. The company's grown organically by developing software products that people want to buy, not by whinging about how its competitors are doing stuff that limits its market.That's capitalism. And you can expect Microsoft to be as aggressive as it can — while, one hopes, remaining within the law — and to use all the weapons it has available.So to complain when it does it smacks of disingenuousness. What did VMware expect when it started prodding the grizzly bear — one that's know for its voraciousness — all those years ago? That it would turn over and go to sleep?Just what are customers supposed to make of it? Will it help with buying decisions? It might even delay them, as potential buyers reconsider whether the advent of Microsoft might open up the shortlist.
Bruce McMillan, manager of emerging technologies at Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Marietta, Ga., is using Windows servers in a VMware virtualized environment. McMillan has read the white paper posted by VMware and said he thinks it "is there as a means to help educate people about what's going on."
But he said he hasn't run into the issues outlined in the document. And just because Solvay is using virtualization technology, McMillan added, "it doesn't mean we're going to buy less [Windows] licenses."
Many of the points cited in the white paper are industry-wide issues, much bigger than this apparent turf battle. Is VMWare out to change the entire software industry's practices? Or perhaps it’s nervousness over an upcoming IPO?
Computerworld also hit on some of these industry-wide issues a few months back:
a few of Dattilo’s vendors, such as Hyperion Solutions Corp. and Business Objects SA, have begun supporting virtual machines since he started working with the technology. As for the others, Dattilo says that most software vendors’ support organizations will still work with his staff on problems, but he hasn’t had any so far.
Nordin says the fact that some software vendors still don’t support applications on virtual servers is evidence that the market still isn’t fully mature.
“Those types of issues have been long resolved in the MVS, VM and Unix space,” he says, adding that server virtualization products “need to get going.” With Red Hat, SUSE and Microsoft embedding hypervisors into the Linux and Windows operating systems, however, application vendors will have little choice but to support it, analysts say.
Software vendors aren’t the only ones who’ve been slow to support their products running in virtual servers. Jon Elsasser, CIO at The Timken Co. in Canton, Ohio, says IT staff resistance to deploying homegrown applications on virtual machines has stopped some projects. “Some internal application-support personnel are a bit leery of it,” Elsasser says, but he expects attitudes to change over time.
VMware would have to demonstrate that Microsoft's actions are having a significant impact on competition, increasing costs and lowering quality, Gavil added. "They would have a lot to prove," he said.
The research firm surveyed about 1,770 enterprise and smaller companies and found that use of server virtualization grew from 29% in 2005 to 40% in 2006