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Some refreshing honesty on vendor relationships

As you know, vendor relationships in the virtualization market are extremely complicated. (See: Oracle, Dell and Hewlett-Packard; VMware and server OEMs.)

Making matters worse is the jargon these vendors spew when they announce new or expanded partnerships. How many times have you seen two vendors, who may not have the most friendly relationship, put out a joint announcement that goes something like, “With these joint solutions, Vendor X and Company Y affirm their strong commitment to each other as partners and leaders in the space.”? Then the next day, they’re back sniping at each other over some other products that directly compete with each other.

With all this double-talk, it’s nearly impossible to figure out where vendors stand. That’s why I have to give kudos to Symantec for some refreshingly honest comments about today’s joint announcement with VMware.

The two companies launched two new virtualizaton high availability products today, but they haven’t always been pals. (When they were in a dispute over clustered file systems two years ago, former Symantec CEO John Thompson said, “We’ve been in the file system business longer than VMware has been a company.”)

Our sister site SearchDisasterRecovery.com asked Symantec’s Niraj Zaveri about their relationship with VMware, and Zaveri didn’t try to make it sound like they’re best buddies. Instead — are you sitting down for this? — he told the truth!

“They needed us and we needed them,” he said.

What a breath of fresh air. “They needed us and we needed them” is the reason for the vast majority of vendor hook-ups in the first place. It’s too bad more vendors just won’t admit it.

Hey Oracle, why are you letting Dell and HP resell Oracle VM, Enterprise Linux and Solaris?

“They needed us and we needed them.”

Yo hardware vendors, why do you resell VMware when virtualization cuts down on physical servers?

“They needed us and we needed them.”

Transparency is becoming an increasingly important part of marketing. Consumers have more resources available to them than ever before. If Vendor X and Company Y have some behind-the-scenes rivalry, their customers will know, and the “strong commitment” line will come across as phony.

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