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

A Quick Note to VMware

To Whom It May Concern at VMware:

If I had to choose only one thing that I wanted VMware to be sure to do in the next few months, here is what it is: join the Microsoft Server Virtualization Validation Program and get VMware Infrastructure validated. No, I don’t want you to finish VI4. No, I don’t want you to concentrate on Continuous Availability. I want you to join SVVP.

Why? I can answer that question with only one word: support.

As fully expected now that Microsoft has a more robust virtualization solution, there has been a sudden about-face on the use of server virtualization in conjunction with their products. Consider this announcement regarding support for Exchange Server 2007 SP1 (quoting from this blog entry):

Microsoft now supports Exchange Server 2007 SP1 running Hyper-V or hypervisors validated under the Microsoft Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP).

I can hear you at VMware now: “We don’t need to validate our technology by signing up for some program run by Microsoft! Our hypervisor is the best! We have the best feature set! 100% of the Fortune 100 use our products—what do we need SVVP for?”

Relax, I understand where you’re coming from. But, honestly, let’s get real about this. VMware, do you want to remove the #1 obstacle to customers adopting your technology? That #1 obstacle is support, and whether you like it or not the introduction of the SVVP by Microsoft gives you a vehicle whereby you can remove that obstacle. A refusal to participate in the SVVP—even if you disagree with the program in principle—merely locks VMware out of many opportunities where Microsoft will be able to walk right in. That’s right! Your superior technology is going to lose out to technology that is just “good enough” simply because of support. Is that what you want?

So go sign up for SVVP now. If you don’t, you’re giving the competition a great big weapon to use against you. The power to remove that weapon is yours.

UPDATE: Looks like I waited a bit too long to chide VMware on their lack of inclusion in SVVP. In any case, I’m glad to see the news. Good job, VMware! (My thanks to Dave, who pointed this out to me.)

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