Responding to reports that Oracle has stopped selling Virtual Iron Software, VMware says it will offer "safe passage" to Virtual Iron customers in the form of discounts on its virtualization offerings, vSphere 4 and vCenter Server.
Oracle Corp. acquired Virtual Iron Software Inc. this spring and promptly discontinued its products. At the time, Virtual Iron claimed some 2,000 customers, although as the company's fortunes soured, many users had already defected from the platform.
Meganet Communications, a network services firm based in Fall River, Mass., is a former Virtual Iron customer that will take VMware up on its offer and, by the end of the year, will migrate its 40 or so Virtual Iron hosts to VMware's ESX hypervisor. The company will do so in two phases: first, by migrating its Virtual Iron guests to physical servers, and second, by importing these servers into a new VMware environment, said Meganet president Paul Joncas.
Joncas said he was never tempted by Oracle's own Xen-based Oracle VM virtualization platform. "If I'm going to move, I'm going to bite the bullet and move to the market leader," Joncas said.
VMware's safe-passage offer is a 40% discount off the list price, "although nobody really pays list anyway." Joncas said. He added that the economy appears to have made VMware hungrier for the business of smaller companies. It's not just about the Fortune 500 anymore, "they're refocused on the lower end."
But even if VMware licenses cost Meganet a mint, "it's probably still less expensive than having to power and cool all those standalone systems," Joncas said. Further, "managing standalone systems isn't the way to go either."
Even before Oracle bought Virtual Iron, the virtualization software's place within the Meganet infrastructure was on the ropes. "Virtual Iron was a great local company, but it was the original people that made them what they were. When they lost their team, their software didn't stand up on its own two feet," he said.
Meganet's experience with Virtual Iron hasn't completely soured Joncas on doing business with small companies, but it has made him more cautious, he said. Founded in the early 1990s, "We've been burned before. After the tech boom [of the late 1990s], there were a myriad of companies that just went poof. But it's like that saying, 'You don't get fired for buying Cisco.' I don't take that attitude, but it definitely makes you do more due diligence about the company."Let us know what you think about the story; email: Alex Barrett, News Director.