Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

VI 3.5 Expected in December broke the news that VMware is expected to announce next week that version 3.5 of Virtual Infrastructure will be generally available in December. Of course, that’s not the only news released (new editions and such), but I’ll leave it to others to comment on those items.

I’m not surprised by Alessandro’s announcement, but I am concerned at the speed with which VMware is releasing this new update. Let’s hope that the software quality doesn’t take a hit.

Clearly, VMware is feeling pressure from its up-and-coming competitors, namely Citrix (via XenSource and the Xen hypervisor) and Microsoft (with Windows Server Virtualization, aka Viridian). In my opinion, Citrix is closer to being a real threat but the inevitable reorganization that occurs after an acquisition introduces delays that give VMware a bit more time to respond. So, VMware needs to react quickly, before Citrix/XenSource can get their act together; hence, the (in my mind) accelerated release schedule.

(I know that it’s always been said that the next version would be available before the end of the year, so technically this isn’t really an “accelerated” release schedule. It’s just that something about this expected announcement gives me the impression that it’s coming earlier than anyone really thought.)

On the other hand, VMware has done a reasonably good job of delivering quality products that actually work (and work well), and with the relatively hefty set of new features slated for inclusion in the next version, I hope that VMware can maintain the software quality. A misstep in software quality at this point in the game, with Citrix hot on their heels and Microsoft looming on the horizon, could be disastrous. The last thing VMware needs is a major flaw in VI 3.5 or one of its major new features. That would do almost irreparable damage to the company’s reputation.

Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to get involved in the beta program, so I have no idea of whether VMware is on track with software quality or not. (Of course, even if I were on the beta program, I wouldn’t be allowed to comment about it anyway, but that’s another story…)

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