Virtualization pricing wars: The future of VMware, Hyper-V and Xen

The impending release of Hyper-V may change the virtualization landscape, particularly for VMware and Citrix Systems' Xen. This special report looks at how price and performance will factor in for users and which technologies might prevail.

Virtualization technology pricing wars: An introduction
Commoditization happens quickly in IT, and virtualization has begun to enter that price-plunging phase. That changes the virtualization landscape for all players, from the reigining king VMware Inc. to those like Citrix Systems Inc. and Microsoft. In the second half of 2008 and beyond, price will be a key sales point for virtualization platforms Microsoft Hyper-V (due out in August) and Xen-based platforms such as Citrix XenServer. Many industry insiders expect that, as a result, VMware's sales will suffer; but others disagree. This special report explores how price and functionality will affect IT organizations' choices and, consequently, the fortunes of major server virtualization vendors.

First up, expert Chris Wolf predicts VMware's pricing moves as well as how hypervisor commoditization will work to the advantage of users. Then, in our section on virtualization news and trends, we ask whether a lower purchase price --such as Hyper-V's, at $28 a server -- really equals lower cost of ownership; whether choosing good-enough, lower-priced virtualization platforms is a good strategy; how brand loyalty might benefit IT organizations; and more. Then, in our face-off on VMware, Hyper-V and Xen platforms, three virtualization experts investigate how these major players stack up against one another and which platform prevails. And in our tips and advice section, our expert contributors offer up concrete advice on getting the most from a vritualization platform. Whether you're new to virtualization or have deployed it extensively in you data center, this special report addresses how IT shops can survive and thrive amid this sea change in the virtualization platform marketplace.

I. Surviving hypervisor competition and chaos
Pricy hypervisors like VMware's are on the road to commoditization. But until the technology comes down in price, data center managers can avail themselves of some survival tactics to maximize hypervisor value without paying a premium.
By Chris Wolf

II. Virtualization costs and pricing: News you can use
As the virtualization landscape prepares for the launch of Microsoft's Hyper-V, there are numerous questions about whether users will defect from the reigning leader -- VMware -- or whether lesser-known players like Citrix and new ones like Microsoft will find new opportunities to gain market share.
By Staff

III. VMware vs. Microsoft vs. Xen: An expert face-off
In this exploration of the merits and drawbacks of Hyper-V, VMware ESX and Citrix Systems' Xen, three experts face off on which technology prevails and the future prospects for each platform.
By Anil Desai, David Davis and Andrew Kutz

IV. Cutting and controlling costs with virtualization: Expert advice
This section provides expert advice on how to use server virtualization to reduce costs, some caveats to beware and how to exploit low-cost virtualization options.
By Contributors

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