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Fixes from Microsoft and VMware not quite crowd-pleasers

While Microsoft and VMware offer fixes to soothe unhappy users, Red Hat hopes to break into the storage market, and the virtualization industry has plenty to say.

Problem-solving has been a priority for both VMware and Microsoft, or so their actions of late would indicate. VMware officially put an end to its unpopular vRAM licensing scheme at last month’s VMworld, while Microsoft released the first service pack for System Center 2012, both vendors hoping to appease unhappy customers. Yet neither fix has been met with universal praise.

Meanwhile, Red Hat is giving itself a pat on the back for (it hopes) shaking up the storage market with its software-based clustered network-attached storage.

"That is a big problem, since … there is still no enterprise class way to manage or backup Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012."
Rob McShinsky, senior systems engineer at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

You have to wonder why Microsoft has kept the name System Center 2012 when the company doesn’t plan to release final SP1 code until early next year (read: 2013). Upon the System Center 2012 release in April, the product lacked several important features, including the capability to manage Windows Server 2012. Though the service pack will offer support for deploying and managing Windows 8, IT pros will have to wait a little longer for Hyper-V support.

 “We’re excited about the potential to disrupt traditional market plays for big data.”
Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO, Red Hat Inc.

Still riding a high from hitting the one billion-dollar revenue mark earlier this year, Whitehurst cited “significant interest” in Red Hat Storage Server at the company’s earnings call this week, and alluded to plans to integrate storage with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. As an open-source vendor, Red Hat often serves as a cheaper alternative to VMware or Microsoft. Despite the cost advantage, however, Red Hat still lags far behind in terms of adoption rates. Nevertheless, Whitehurst certainly seems hopeful about the future.

“Whether you like Hyper-V or not, it is providing a checks and balance for VMware on features, price and now simplification of licensing.”
Rob McShinsky

VMware pros still debate why exactly the vendor implemented vRAM licensing in the first place, but at last month’s VMworld customer conference, user complaints were at least part of the reasoning behind the policy change. McShinsky intimates that the move was also prompted by competition from Microsoft, which recently updated and simplified Windows Server 2012 licensing. Given the constant comparison of the two vendors, and the debates over pricing and licensing, competition played a role in the death of vRAM, regardless of whether VMware will admit it. 

For more virtualization news and updates, follow on Twitter: @ServerVirt_TT 

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