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VMware, This is Wrong

UPDATE: VMware has clarified their position; they will allow competitors to exhibit at VMworld. The text in the exhibitors agreement was legalese—supposedly consistent with other major vendor-sponsored conferences—meant to give them an out in the event an exhibitor behaves inappropriately.

I sincerely hope that Brian Madden is wrong about the recent change to vendor policies for VMworld.

This is exactly the wrong thing to do in this sort of competitive landscape. You know, earlier this week on the Virtual Thoughts podcast, I was defending VMware’s move into the territory of their former ISVs with products like vCenter Data Recovery, vCenter Chargeback, and vCenter ConfigControl. After all, VMware is a publicly owned company, and they have to show value to their shareholders. But this? This doesn’t have anything to do with showing value to the shareholders. This is like a spoiled little kid saying, “This is my sandbox, and you can’t play in it.”

What are you going to do, VMware? Let’s see, you’re expanding into the territory formerly handled by many of your ISVs, and now you’re blocking access to competing products at VMworld. So who will be at VMworld? Let’s see…

  • Vizioncore can’t come, because vRanger Pro overlaps functionality VMware will provide in vCenter Data Recovery. And vFoglight overlaps with CapacityIQ.

  • VKernel can’t come; again, they overlap with CapacityIQ.

  • As Brian Madden mentioned, Quest won’t be there due to a conflict with VMware View.

  • Microsoft won’t be there, because they won’t be able to talk about Hyper-V. True, they could come and not talk about Hyper-V, but I suspect they’ll also act like a spoiled child by saying, “If we can’t play by our rules, we won’t play at all.” Hmm…considering 90-95% of all the workloads running on VMware are Microsoft Windows, that’s an interesting situation to create. Oh, and VMware: are you prepared to be excluded from Tech-Ed too?

  • Ditto for Citrix. And probably ditto for being allowed to exhibit at Synergy. So much for VMware vSphere being the best platform on which to run XenApp—you won’t get the chance to make that claim!

  • Leostream? Nope—conflicts/overlaps with VMware View.

  • What about Hyper9? Not sure, vCenter Server 4.0 does provide a Search feature now, so that could potentially preclude Hyper9 from coming, too.

  • Surely Veeam could come, but they can’t talk about Veeam Backup (conflicts with vCenter Data Recovery).

  • esXpress? Nope.

  • Hardware vendors—IBM, HP, Dell—will be there.

  • Storage vendors—EMC, NetApp, HP, Compellent, Dell—will be there.

  • Networking vendors like Cisco and HP will be there. Unless VMware thinks that HP’s networking functionality isn’t complementary enough to its own virtual networking functionality…

I’m sure that I’ve overlooked some companies, but it sounds to me like the vast majority of the third-party ISVs now find themselves precluded from exhibiting at VMworld, in addition to finding themselves competing head-to-head with VMware in their own markets. Looks like the exhibit hall is going to be a lot less crowded this year!

Is VMware the new Microsoft? I’ll let you answer that one on your own.

Disclaimer: Before anyone jumps the gun and says otherwise, note that these opinions are mine, and are not endorsed by my employer or any vendor or other organization.

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