Wednesday, 13 May 2009

And the VM war continues....

VirtualIron has finally been bought by Oracle with a finalised acquisition which has been an industry suspicion for a few months now, see;jsessionid=2FZ22WY3F2H1WQSNDLPCKHSCJUNN2JVN

This really is quite a tactical move by Oracle, as I have highlighted before on a previous post see >, Oracle's main Virtualisation platform currently is the Oracle VM hypervisor which is a hypervisor offering that quite clearly lacks any tangible benefits which are available within market leading products such as Vmware, HyperV and Xen, and with the recent acquisition of Sun Microsystems provides Oracle with the brains in a jar responsible for current xVM architecture and Unix offerings, both Oracle VM and xVM are XEN based hypervisors which ensure that he can relatively just bolt on the best bits of each component without having to do major architectural changes to the underlying hypervisor method.
This may see increase in development of heterogeneous migration/management of x86/Unix hypervisors from Oracle, they may develop xVM manager to be the ultimate management product similar to Microsoft SCVMM which can manage competitors to suck them up and then move across to Oracle offerings.
On a hot topic and providing some possible general views, this purchase may also see some interesting developments within the VM Hypervisor Wars that are currently going on which is like a really fast rollercoaster at the moment and I am sure that many customers are considering what options they have based on what they spend in other areas of IT. For example if you are a large Oracle shop and are already forking out for Licensing or have an ELA with them, you run high end systems with Solaris then Oracle growing in size on the Hypervisor front may just kill any current and future aspiration you have as a techie with your current preferred virtualisation technology, it will simply come down to the fact of cost and the bottom line figure, they won't care if you can hot add CPU/RAM, scale to excessive amounts of RAM and all that good greatness in Vsphere...fact.
Current competitors to VMware entering the hypervisor market with dominance in other areas of IT infrastructure such as Microsoft don't have the luxury of being able to charge customers for maintenance costs on every level of the Infrastructure stack (if you have this that is) IBM have done this for eon's with mainframe except they missed a trick and do not now have an x86 offering (yet), now that Oracle has bought SUN and your datacentre starts to look like an Oracle datacentre.
If your a VMware customer today it is probably not going to be the breeze to gain buy in for it or keep using it within your organisation as it was 12-18 months ago, Put the costs of VMware (with recent rises) in front of your beancounters and that cost and end figure being spent on alternative hypervisors today is at heavy risk of being on the next Oracle license negotiation being thrown in the direction of Oracle HQ (if they have any sense that is)
It is a shame, I feel VMware is likely to start losing "some" ground on the Virtualisation market at a time when they have just announced technology we wouldnt have thought about 3 Years ago. Back in the boardroom this may mean that any VMware evangelist who is passionate and wants to keep VMware within their architecture and roadmaps definitely will be needing solid core business case and technical benefits/drivers to ensure you can keep using the technology in force, so be prepared!!.
Amongst many requirements main ones needed to succeed in gaining VMware buy in get to know your product further than just what it offers within the technical benefits and product feature set, get to know really how licensing works based on the overall cost and value add that is wrapped around this and also ensure you liaise with a dedicated VMware SE and make sure they do large amounts of selling for you if you are that passionate about VMware.
As a summary overall changes with Oracle are not likely to not start to start to hit IT departments for 12-18 Months, so lets hope current changes adrift at Vmware with licensing in vSphere and other nonsense that may arise doesn't make this more difficult to determine the decision makers purely on cost and ease of licensing renewals.


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