Feature

Everyone has an opinion on VMware vs. Microsoft

For all the new startups that entered the virtualization market in the last year, it was still two familiar names – VMware and Microsoft – that demanded the spotlight through most of 2012. Fresh products and updates from both companies drew a mix of praise and criticism from IT pros. In fact, just about everyone had something to say, and they often turned to colorful language or unexpected comparisons to say it. Let's take a look at what had IT pros buzzing over the last year by highlighting the best quotes of 2012.

“It isn’t just, ‘Do I buy an orange or an apple today?’ It’s, ‘Am I investing in the future of apples or the future of citrus products?’ It’s a whole different animal.”
Jonathan Eunice, principal IT advisor at Illuminata Inc. in Nashua, N.H.

The VMware vs. Microsoft decision is only getting more difficult for IT pros. As more IT department begin to consider the advantages a private cloud can offer, it will be each vendor's

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cloud management software that drives future business. The problem is, comparing cloud management platforms and features is much more complex than comparing competing hypervisors. Check out the rest of this four-part series comparing pricing and licensing of the two top virtualization vendors.

 “Simplification of licensing is what Microsoft has been trying to do for years and years and years, and failing every single time. At least here they’re trying to make an effort to simplify it so the average mortal can understand what’s going on…and trying to embrace how virtualization is affecting licensing.”
Chris Steffen, principal technical architect for Kroll Factual Data.

After years of user complaints, Microsoft made a move this year to simplify its licensing model by removing the Enterprise edition with Windows Server 2012. The move was met with mixed reactions, but overall, IT pros were pleased, saying the Enterprise option often proved more trouble than it was worth. Organizations will now have two options for licensing Windows Server 2012: Datacenter edition and Standard edition.

 “Some of my customers are switching to Hyper-V just because of the premium they have to pay for vSphere without getting much extra value. I am very happy, and seeing the responses on Twitter, everyone in the VMware eco-system is happy, [that] this bad idea called vRAM is off the table.”
Marcel van den Berg, a virtualization consultant from the Netherlands.

When incoming VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger announced the end of vRAM at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco, the audience of nearly 20,000 cheered and applauded. The unpopular licensing model had irked VMware customers who saw the change as an unfair money-grab by the vendor. For many IT pros, vRAM put vSphere on the losing end of the VMware vs. Microsoft comparison. VMware abandoned  the vRAM model only a year after its initial release with vSphere 5.

"I'm part of my company's Open Source Technology Team, so we run mostly Unix and Linux. I feel like I'm dying inside a little bit, every time we have to install Windows just to run VMware."
Mike Rios, distributed systems administration specialist at Argonne National Laboratory

For years, even Linux shops needed to install Windows when working with vSphere. This summer, however, VMware announced it was rolling out a revamped vSphere Web client that would eventually replace the Windows-based client. Rios, and many other IT pros, welcomed this news along with the other vSphere 5.1 improvements that VMware announced at VMworld 2012.

"Frankly, the head of vCenter [quality assurance] should be fired over these blatant lapses in quality control."
Derek Seaman, a vExpert at a major telecom company.

Hiccups are expected with any new product, but some are more serious than others. Problems with the new vSphere 5.1 Single Sign-On feature plagued IT shops that had made the upgrade. Frustrated IT pros took to forums and social media to vent, with many saying the problems were unacceptable – especially from a company like VMware. 


This was first published in January 2013

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