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VMware will cut hypervisor prices, says virtualization guru Chris Wolf

Hypervisor price competition will get intense this year as Microsoft enters the market with Hyper-V, and VMware will have to respond, says Chris Wolf.

Wolf is Burton Group’s senior analyst for data center strategies, and he’s probably everyone’s go-to expert on virtualization.  He predicted how the price wars will shake out in this short interview and said not to expect any vendors’ prices on production-level features to plummet.

I talked with Chris during TechTarget’s Advanced Enterprise Virtualization Seminar in San Francisco last week. He says to expect price drop and new virtualization product announcements in June, just before Burton Group’s Catalyst Conference in San Diego June 23-27.

If you haven’t heard Chris speak, you’re missing out. He knows virtualization inside out, way beyond the basics. And he isn’t shy about telling it like it is — much to vendors’ chagrin. Check out his sessions at the TechTarget seminars or the Catalyst Conference, or any other chance you get. I read his blog at daily, and he has also written virtualization books, including Virtualization: From the Desktop to the Enterprise.

Get more of Wolf’s expert analysis as he shares his insights on Microsoft’s ecosystem edge over VMware in this post by news writer Pam Derringer. and have been covering cost and pricing wars between virtualization vendors, looking beyond the marketing hype to offer useful info for IT pros who are evaluating products. I particularly liked Rich Brambley’s blog post about the real story behind vendors’ competition for hypervisor market share.

Now that you know Chris Wolf’s views on virtualization product pricing, how about sharing yours? Will better pricing cause you to re-evaluate whether you continuing using VMware? Are you sticking with VMware because you’ve invested in its ecosystem and in staff training? Have you been waiting for Microsoft or Xen technologies to catch up before starting virtualization projects? Tell me about it in your comments below, by emailing me at Even better, respond to Chris Wolf’s interview or sound off on VMware in a video on YouTube, and send me the link. We’ll post it on this blog.

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VMware's Hypervisor (ESX) is already inexpensive and right in line with other virtualization vendors. VMware only charges additional for management and automation functionality the competition has yet to provide. The cost is higher because the value is high. If you're simply looking to run multiple workloads on a single server host, the cost is minimal. Look for Foundation or Standard licensing.
Either way you look at it, VMware's products are more expensive than anyone else's. That's OK for now, because VMware's products are better and you get more features. The other vendors are catching up quickly, however. Even if their technology isn't quite up to par with VMware's, they will offer enterprise grade features at a lower cost. IT shops that don't need all the bells and whistles of VMware will go for the lower cost. If VMware wants be stay the top vendor and maintain their market share, they will have to do something - either lower prices or push the edge technologically!