A Bit Harsh, Don’t You Think?

Yesterday, Alex Barrett of TechTarget posted a tweet about her predictions for 2010:

No wishy washy 2010 predictions from me: VMware will cut prices, and Citrix will give up on XenServer: http://bit.ly/75vDxc

The link in the tweet corresponds to this TechTarget article in which Alex predicts that VMware will cut prices and Citrix will dump XenServer and focus instead on its management products like Citrix Essentials. Citrix Essentials, as you probably know, already supports Microsoft Hyper-V. Alex’s prediction is not an unusual one; others have made this prediction before. Quite honestly, based on the progress we are seeing on XenServer’s development, I can see the logic behind Alex’s prediction.

Then along comes Simon Crosby and posts a rebuttal to Alex’s prediction, citing XenServer’s growth, industry partnerships, and projected development goals. OK, that’s fine and all; I would certainly expect Simon to be an ardent supporter of Xen and XenServer. I don’t take issue with his rebuttal; what I take issue with is this statement:

I think I’ve concluded that there are a few people whose predictions about the future I will never believe. They are precisely those who are compensated based on clicks and not insight, and who seldom take the time to check for data or accuracy.

To prevent any question of the individual about whom he was speaking, Simon added a hyperlink (recreated in the quote above) to point to Alex Barrett’s author page at TechTarget.

Ouch—that’s a bit harsh, don’t you think? It’s just bad form to say something like that about someone. First of all, a prediction isn’t exactly something you can “check for data or accuracy”; it’s a prediction. No one, including me, begrudges any vendor from defending itself. But there are ways of defending yourself without personally attacking others. There are ways to disagree respectfully and courteously. There are those out there that might want to try this approach.

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  1. Stu’s avatar

    Although I also disagree with the XenServer prediction (having made the same prediction myself last year and not seeing it happen), I entirely agree with everything above. Simon has always been one of those “any publicity is good publicity” types, Citrix would do well to use someone else as a frontman IMHO.

  2. Dave

    Well said Stu. If I predicted that the Browns were going to win the super bowl next year, should I be personally attacked for it? I would expect to be referred to as “off my rocker” or “out in left field”. I would not expect someone to ask “Where’s your proof?” Predictions are guesses, you don’t need credibility to make them.

  3. Eric Siebert’s avatar

    That’s Simon for you, a bright guy but not very classy. He might be better suited as the CTO for Vince McMahon at the WWE.

  4. Duncan’s avatar

    I don’t know…. Techtarget is about “clicks and hits”. This is what they are looking for. Although there is no need for Simon to respond this way I do understand where it is coming from.

    A week, or so, ago Hannah made a comment on the internet “when it bleeds it leads” when I responded to a misleading blog title. My reaction to that was “blood attracts sharks”, and that’s exactly what happened. So far they are lucky they attract an occasional shark. Next time it might be a whole bunch of piranhas.

  5. slowe’s avatar

    TechTarget (the organization) is different than Alex Barrett (the individual). While I might agree that the policies of TechTarget (the organization) are less than ideal, that still doesn’t justify a personal attack against Alex (the individual). That would be like someone attacking you (the individual) for a decision made by VMware (the organization).

    So I think we are on the same page—Simon might have had recourse to speak out against TechTarget (the organization) but didn’t need to single out Alex (the individual).

    Thanks for commenting, Duncan!

  6. Duncan’s avatar

    It was Alex who wrote the article wasn’t it? He attracted the sharks that’s why they went after him. Alex made a decision to write and let it get published, with someone like Simon he knew this was bound to happen. I bet that neither TechTarget or Citrix cares about it as this fuzz is what they are both after.

  7. Schley Andrew Kutz’s avatar

    Alex Barrett knows more about the virtualization industry and in some cases technology than most analysts and developers I have personally met. Certain people would be making poor choices if they choose not to listen to her just because TechTarget eats up 5 MB of their mailbox every day. That said, Alex (and TechTarget) are not without reason to say that Citrix might give up on XenServer. Even VMware is pushing management more than hypervisor to sell their software. Not only that, but KVM is pushing against Citrix from the bottom up. I’ve recently made the foray into the land of KVM, and I have to say, if there were some decent Enterprise-Class management tools, I’d very likely never pay to use VMware tech again for server virtualization. KVM has some pitfalls (network issues), but nothing that cannot be solved by some dedicated KVM appliances/distributions (there are some network driver / kernel issues with some distributions — ex. Ubuntu 9.10).

    Of course, take everything I’ve said with a grain of salt. TechTarget has paid my rent in the past, and I’m also a vExpert and somewhat of a VMware evangelist. I’ll say this, the Xen technology is solid, and Simon Crosby should certainly be able to make a point without personally attacking a class act like Alex. He loses some points in my book for doing so.

    Like it or not, VMware owns the virtualization market, and if RedHat and Ubuntu make some strategic decisions about focusing on management software (integrate KVM management in a big way into RedHat Network and Canonical Landscape for example), then I don’t know of a compelling reason to pay money for any hypervisor, VMware’s or Xen’s. And when all that is left is to pay for management software, why not use the same software I’m using to manage my physical servers, such as RHN or Landscape?

  8. Schley Andrew Kutz’s avatar

    Re: Duncan — Alex is a woman. Calling her a “he” is not very accurate.

  9. Duncan’s avatar

    Sorry for that. Alex is a typical “male” name in the Netherlands.

  10. ?’s avatar

    After seeing that battle between Crosby and Drummonds, I’m in no way surprised by Crosby acting like that. What a laughing stock.

  11. Nick Howell’s avatar

    Oracle might be Xen’s saving grace, as their OracleVM product is going to be a direct competitor for VMware.

    Having just come out less than a year ago, I’d give it some time to take hold.

    I don’t see any open-source platform able to do enterprise virtualization going anywhere anytime soon.

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