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VMware, a Falling Giant?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the netcraft-yet-silent dept.

Cloud 417

New submitter Lashat writes "According to Ars Technica, 'A new survey seems to show that VMware's iron grip on the enterprise virtualization market is loosening, with 38 percent of businesses planning to switch vendors within the next year due to licensing models and the robustness of competing hypervisors.' What do IT-savvy Slashdotters have to say about moving away from one of the more stable and feature rich VM architectures available?"

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417 comments

Microsoft Virtual PC (2, Interesting)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949570)

Microsoft started offering their own Virtual PC software for free, but it's shit compared to features of VMware products. Granted, it's not really an enterprise product either. But VMware's products will save you lots of headaches, they perform better and offer much more features. It's sad to see companies don't appreciate quality software anymore, because VMware has always produced just that. That has been the trend lately, just like companies are moving towards Google's products just because they are free, even while there are much better products on the market.

Re:Microsoft Virtual PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949600)

What?

Re:Microsoft Virtual PC (4, Informative)

motd2k (1675286) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949610)

Chalk / Cheese? Virtual PC is positioned no where near VMWare - try HyperVM/Xen/KVM

Re:Microsoft Virtual PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949656)

Chalk / Cheese? Virtual PC is positioned no where near VMWare - try HyperVM/Xen/KVM

HyperVM this is a joke right?

Re:Microsoft Virtual PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950034)

I will assume that they meant HyperV... and not the web gui frontend to OpenVZ in which the developer killed himself.

Re:Microsoft Virtual PC (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950112)

Hyper V is the virtualization software where enabling remote management requires you to either
a) use an unsupported utility to enable remote management: http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/HVRemote [microsoft.com]
or
b) Go through a multipage web article: http://blogs.technet.com/b/jhoward/archive/2008/03/28/part-1-hyper-v-remote-management-you-do-not-have-the-requested-permission-to-complete-this-task-contact-the-administrator-of-the-authorization-policy-for-the-computer-computername.aspx [technet.com]
or
c) spend way too much time mucking around.

After all that don't be surprised if remote management still doesn't always work, or some little change somewhere could break it.

In contrast, with VMware it mostly just works (I'm not too fond of the recent remote consoles but it's still better than HyperV).

If you've figured out an easy reliable way to get Hyper V remote management to work do let me know. Some people at work are complaining that it stopped working for them.

Re:Microsoft Virtual PC (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949638)

Sun had Virtual Box. Dunno if it is Oracle or just plane OSS now. Either way, I use it at home (VMWare at work). I'd rather have VMWare but can't quite warrant the cost. The VMWare I use at work is 5 or 6 years old, whereas VIrtual Box is less than a year old, and the VMWare install still works better for most operating systems as guests (Using Windows as a Host for VMWare, Windows or FreeBSD as a host for Virtual Box)

Re:Microsoft Virtual PC (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949720)

Virtualbox is all well and good, but it doesn't have the infrastructure stuff. It fills the niche that "VMware Workstation" fills, with -some- parts of the server stuff too.

Re:Microsoft Virtual PC (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949772)

TFA is talking about Type1 yypervisors. ESX and threats from Citrix/Xen, KVM, Hyper-V, etc. Type2 hypervisors are like Virtual Box, Virtual PC and VMWare server is another topic.

I've switched away from EMC and VMWare in our datacenter. With as much as we have going on day to day and as fast as things are scaling I don't have the time or willpower to keep up with vendors with horribly complex licensing schemes. Cost isn't even a factor. We've switched to Xen and are loving it. We're keeping a close eye on hyper-v. Microsoft's new licensing model for the next version is spot on.

Re:Microsoft Virtual PC (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949908)

It is both. Sun, and now Oracle, have their own non-OSS version, and there's also an OSS version that has a few features missing.

Re:Microsoft Virtual PC (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949664)

This is about enterprise server virtualization, not desktop virtualization. Virtual PC and Virtual Box are not for enterprise server virtualization.

Re:Microsoft Virtual PC (2)

dc29A (636871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949666)

That has been the trend lately, just like companies are moving towards Google's products just because they are free, even while there are much better products on the market.

GMail runs great on my Home PC (Ubuntu), Laptop (Arch), Gaming PC (Windows 7), Work PC (Windows XP), iPhone and wherever I am that has an internet enabled device with a non retarded browser. Any other email programs that run on all those platforms and cost the same as GMail (free) and are as feature rich?

Re:Microsoft Virtual PC (2, Interesting)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949742)

Bonus points as with a google "domain" - all I do is point my MX records at google and I get gmail on the backend.

You can only have 10 users for free, but you essentially have an unlimited number of 'groups' - and when you set those groups so that "anyone on the internet can post" they turn into forwarders.

Meaning you have 10 discrete accounts on the domain, but more aliases than you'll ever need.

Re:Microsoft Virtual PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949682)

As you already pointed out, Virtual PC wasn't meant for the same type of usage as VMWare's products. So why are you rambling on about it? Is it because you're that much of a Microsoft troll or because you don't really understand the virtualization environment better? I'm really having a hard time coming to grips with the hell you're posting this for.

Virtualbox was always my favorite (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949584)

VMWare is in my opinion a good solution, but not the best.
If you want the more advanced features you have to get the most expensive package to get everything you would need.

Virtualbox has been very feature rich and very fast, so no loss for me!

Re:Virtualbox was always my favorite (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949768)

I don't think you know what enterprise means.

Re:Virtualbox was always my favorite (5, Funny)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949836)

Expensive, bloated and chock full of unnecessary middleware and abstraction layers? That's usually what "enterprise software" means.

Re:Virtualbox was always my favorite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949994)

In this case it means esx/esxi. Basically server management in terms of virtualization. The open source solution that is comparable is Xen.

Re:Virtualbox was always my favorite (5, Funny)

Znork (31774) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950096)

Enterprise Solution - Solvent used for dissolving piles of cash in corporate vaults.

Re:Virtualbox was always my favorite (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949844)

So, which features are these that Virtualbox provides and are in the most expensive package for vmware? I was under the impression that everything virtualbox does vmware does for free as well, and the cost only comes in should you want the infrastructure stuff... which is completely absent from virtualbox.

Re:Virtualbox was always my favorite (2)

Galactic Dominator (944134) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950082)

Both of your points are incorrect. Virtualbox does do far more for free on it's *open-source* product, and if you need the infrastructure support you can purchase it from Oracle. Their current product is called Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.2.

I'll Take +2, Enterprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949590)

z/vm

Yours In Marxism,
K. Trout
   

Nope (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949592)

VMWare has a proven history. They have set the bar and when potential problems are brought to their attention, they address it. Everybody else is simply a VMWare wannabe.

Re:Nope (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949876)

... meanwhile the vmware tools still won't build on anything newer than Linux 2.6.32 without happy-fun-patching-time. Or just using open-vm-tools, if you can't get them to build at all - it does require some elbow-grease but it does work.

Re:Nope (1)

Dredd13 (14750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950138)

I don't know about that statement. I'm running VMware tools on CentOS versions from 5.1 to 5.5, all of which are running 2.6.18 variants, and never had a single lick of problem installing the vendor-provided tools.

Re:Nope (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949954)

The problem is that they VMWare is too expensive. So you get a high end Server that can handle 10-20 VMs then you need to pay for the OS licences and software licenses then you add VMWare and it is only a little bit less then having separate servers with a Single Point of failure being that all these systems are on one system. So you get a VMWare wannabe that doesn't even cover 10% of the feature and you pay 90% less the cost and more often then not they still make out.

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950046)

when potential problems are brought to their attention, they address it

That has not been my customer service experience with VMware, particularly as a partner. To me, they seem bloated and their effective employees are massively overworked. They grew too much too quickly...

Free Advertising Survey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949594)

What is this an advertising survey?

Show me the money! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949620)

Fat clients need love too. But they gotta pay.

Not soon (1)

drdanny_orig (585847) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949654)

Management may think they're going to make the switch, but when it comes to actually doing it, it'll prove to cost more in terms of effort than they'll save on licensing. There's a hell of a lot more to VMWare than just the virtualization of servers, and it doesn't take a propeller-head to effectively use the tools. Can the same be said of the alternatives?

Re:Not soon (3, Insightful)

tysonedwards (969693) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949764)

ESXi / vSphere Hypervisor provides identical functionality (with the exception of vCenter for Centrally managing multiple vSphere servers) freely.

What you get when you buy vSphere is VMware's support, including their involvement to write additional modules to run in conjunction with some obscure aspect of your deployment (read: the slight issues experienced within the ESX when using an LSI iSCSI HBA in conjunction with a NetApp Filer that do not exist within an QLogic iSCSI HBA).

Support is worth something, especially in Production environments. The problem here is that VMware decided that they could wring more money from their customers within ESX 5, and it has proven to be more than the market will bear.

Re:Not soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949934)

Now that you have to buy the capability to use more than 32 GB of RAM, which is all you get in the free version, we'll be sticking to version 4.1 instead of moving to v5. But switching to to Hyper-V or others is not going to happen.

Re:Not soon (1)

MikeB0Lton (962403) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949988)

They adjusted the vRAM entitlements after the initial reaction to the change in licensing. Fact is, most customers will not be affected, a some that are can just dial back the allocations which not only gets them within the entitlement, but also reduces overhead. How many users of vSphere really set the vRAM on a virtual machine to the minimum required amount to get the job done?

Re:Not soon (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950020)

Bullshit. Most customers are impacted. I will have to more than double my licenses if I go to Esxi 5. The adjustment is still no where near enough. Maybe 64GB per license would be enough, maybe. 128GB would be more realistic. A 2 socket 24 core 128GB server is plenty cheap these days.

The point is to use the ram you bought, not to use the bare fucking minimum.

Re:Not soon (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949922)

Then fire the morons and bring in the propeller heads.
This is work for smart folks, not idiots.

PowerVM (1)

Funk_dat69 (215898) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949658)

Bar none, PowerVM still has VMWare beat in most areas that matter, but vSphere 5 is a step in the right direction.

If we're just talking x86, though, I keep hearing that KVM will be the top virtualization solution going forward.

Aren't they getting into services, too? (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949680)

If not, they should be. I mean, if they're going to continue being the best in the business, it makes sense for them to build and run an environment as part of their business which simulates the extremes of the challenges that their clients experience. If they build a competitor to Amazon's EC2 or SliceHost or other systems which make heavy use of virtualization, they could really increase their own bottom line. In fact, there's no reason that they couldn't get big enough to convince those sorts of companies to outsource their infrastructure.

Oracle now... (1)

freshlimesoda (2497490) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949702)

Oracle VM 3.0. Xen based enterprise product with 24x7 global support. Check that!

Re:Oracle now... (2, Informative)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949802)

Friends don't let friends rely on Oracle support.

Shame on you. Or maybe you don't know how useless it is.

Re:Oracle now... (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950050)

What? You don't like trying to understand dozens of different thick accents and new support reps every month?

Re:Oracle now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949820)

Like most oracle products, the maintenance costs will come home to own you

I ca see why (4, Informative)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949714)

We use OpenNebula/KVM here.
Both are free as in speech, I can do live migration, it's easy to manage, etc.
I'm running the whole thing on an NFS share from an AoE storage backend.
100% libre software solution, and it kicks ass.

Good luck vmware.

Re:I ca see why (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950054)

I looked into doing something like that, the one killer feature is migrating legacy windows machines into virtualization or from one virt system to another. Only vmware seems to do that really well. I do use KVM for some other stuff, but that is a huge checkbox for a lot of folks.

Re:I ca see why (1, Interesting)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950092)

Sounds like a pretty sweet setup.

So, when a production server refuses to boot after you've just done a P2V migration, who do you call for support?

Another question mark story (1, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949734)

Why should be pay attention to stories where the headline ends with a question mark?

Re:Another question mark story (1)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949744)

I thought the same thing. It's a good indicator of an opinion piece.

Re:Another question mark story (2)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950164)

For those of us considering moving to virtualization in the next few months, the discussion that follows can be VERY valuable.

Numbers can be deceiving (1)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949736)

Sure, VMWare is dominant in business virtualization. It has great features and if you're going to do some server consolidation inside a single facility it makes great sense. So there are 1000's of corps out there invested in it. Now, look at the really big virtualization facilities like RS, Amazon, etc and they're never going to touch it with a 10k foot pole. It has its niche, and as long as that niche remains relevant VMWare will probably dominate it. The real question is whether in 5 years anyone really gives a poop about that market segment anymore. Beyond that what's going to happen with Xen/KVM/etc. It is out there getting hammered on everyday in huge web-scale facilities. At a certain point can VMWare compete with that any more than IIS was able to compete with Apache? IIS is AROUND, and not even irrelevant, but it is still basically a bit player. The same thing is likely to happen in the longer term. Nor do I think HyperV is going to be relevant in the longer term. It might eat VMWare's lunch some day? Yeah, by which time nobody will care.

Failing of VMware? (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949740)

Anyone mind extrapolating on what VMware's demerits may be? I've only used their virtualization products on a desktop and they work lovely. Full Linux support (both as the host and the client) and very easy management tools. Getting a vm up and running from an .iso file of Windows was just a few minutes of point and clicking in a well made gtk gui. In my experience, it is a very good and user friendly product.

Re:Failing of VMware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949822)

Anyone mind extrapolating on what VMware's demerits may be? I've only used their virtualization products on a desktop and they work lovely. Full Linux support (both as the host and the client) and very easy management tools. Getting a vm up and running from an .iso file of Windows was just a few minutes of point and clicking in a well made gtk gui. In my experience, it is a very good and user friendly product.

Well I think it's a question of price (value). Getting a vm up and running for a windows .iso file is similarily easy with free tools such as virtualbox. I can't speak to enterprise features, but at least for the example you give there are equally good/user friendly products for $0, and that's the knock on vmware.

Re:Failing of VMware? (1)

skovnymfe (1671822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949826)

I can't speak for vpshere 5, their newest version which isn't very old yet, but my experience with vsphere 4 is all but good. While making the client crossplatform using java is a strong business tactic, I just hate it. I've yet to find an enterprise java application that doesn't feel heavy, cumbersome, slow and horribly outdated. I'd even use a Microsoft MMC snapin over the vsphere client. Yes, I said it. Microsoft.

Re:Failing of VMware? (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950010)

I can't speak for vpshere 5, their newest version which isn't very old yet, but my experience with vsphere 4 is all but good. While making the client crossplatform using java is a strong business tactic, I just hate it. I've yet to find an enterprise java application that doesn't feel heavy, cumbersome, slow and horribly outdated.

I think you are a bit confused. The 4.x vSphere Client is a .NET application, not Java.

I haven't used vSphere 5 yet, so perhaps that has a Java client?

Re:Failing of VMware? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949952)

Crap documentation. VMWare's documentation seems to have been written by drones who have no idea how their own product works, full of tautologies like "Reserved memory shares -- edit this field to change the reserved memory shares". It doesn't look like it was written with the intention that anyone would actually learn the product by reading the documentation, maybe so they can sell overpriced, time-wasting "certification" classes.

Allocating resources on a large host with many VMs can be tricky, and I'm still trying to figure out why my Linux VM takes 6 minutes to start aptitude, despite VMWare's claim that there are plenty of free RAM and CPU resources on the host, and no resource limits on the guest machine. We never had these problems with Xen.

Re:Failing of VMware? (2)

Funk_dat69 (215898) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950100)

Some of the pain points of VMWare:

number of vCPUs, vMemory per VM
vSphere 5 now lets you have up to 32 vCPUs and 1024GB in a VM, which is good. vSphere4, which most people still, have is limited to only 8/256 per VM.

overhead:
VMWare takes a good 15-30%. Again the hypervisor in vShere 5 is a bit better performer.

stability:
I/O drivers are included in the hypervisor, which is a bit scary.

Pricing
The VMWare pricing model is overly confusing. Costs for added more vRAM to the pool? yuk.. vsphere5 makes this even worse.

I kinda see KVM as taking off here in the future. A lot of development is focusing that way..

XenServer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949758)

We use the free XenServer from Citrix. Works fine. Someday we'll upgrade to the paid version.

VMWare, like many leaders, did a lot of the work for the competition. Thanks, VMware! :)

VMware is obsolete technology (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949760)

First of all let me say VMware makes one rock solid hypervisor. Out of all of the hypervisors I have used theirs is the least prone to issues.

VMware has a couple of really BIG problems in their platform.

1. Their management tools are windows centric and so is Virtual Center for that matter
2. Their licensing model is confusing as hell and requires a spreadsheet to figure out what you need without overpaying
3. They have so many products that it gets downright confusing to determine which one works for your purpose.
4. They use "old school" sales tactics that just don't work for more modern companies.

When I am engineering a solution and have a problem to solve I am presented with many challenges to present VMware as a solution. Finding the product that suits our needs, Figuring out what license would suit our needs, getting a quote from the vendor without a lot of harassment after the fact trying to close the sale. Rather than deal with all of that many people have found that the open source projects like KVM and XEN are good enough for their needs. Not to mention the huge numbers of free cloud products such as Openstack that gives you enterprise features "for free". At the end of the day I don't care what product get's used as long as the problem is solved with the minimal amount of budget and effort.

A small startup does not want to deal with legacy software and maintaining licensing and dealing with windows boxes. They do great with the "enterprisey" douchebags with their complex setups that cause more outages than they solve but lean and small companies don't want their stuff.

The reality here is the world is slowly changing. Big monolitic companies are failing because their business models are unsustainable without cheating and people are getting fed up with the cheating. VMware has to answer a question to themselves. Do I want to serve the needs of the dying dinosaur companies or do I want to be in business in 10 years?

Re:VMware is obsolete technology (1)

phoebus1553 (522577) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949930)

VMware has a couple of really BIG problems in their platform.

1. Their management tools are windows centric and so is Virtual Center for that matter
2. Their licensing model is confusing as hell and requires a spreadsheet to figure out what you need without overpaying
3. They have so many products that it gets downright confusing to determine which one works for your purpose.
4. They use "old school" sales tactics that just don't work for more modern companies.

Your first point is slowly becoming less of an issue. With vSphere 5 you can now run a Linux appliance for Virtual Center which will do for starters, and it doesn't even require (or support) an external database. Hopefully this will expand to be the only way to get VC, but they'll expand it to use a DB when you get big enough, and make plugins work with it. There's also supposed to be a '75%' web client, e.g. good enough for 75% of tasks and a full web client in the next major update, (5.5?) That's how VMView has been for at least the last major release too, the previous might have been web too, I can't remember.

They have a lot of products because they do a lot of things... regular old server virtualization, enterprise grade server virtualization with HA, desktop (I want a test box), desktop (VDI), disaster recovery (with a replicating san), disaster recovery (without a replicating SAN)... If you don't know what you want to do, looking at their product sheet won't help you any.

I'll give you that vRAM is evil and sales people are douches, but isn't that one a given?

Re:VMware is obsolete technology (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950014)

totally agree with points 2 and 3: I don;t even know what half of the products do - vSphere? is that a hypervisor, or a management package addon? How about Fusion? it's all so unclear and confusing that I can;t go to their website and find out exactly WTF it is that they're selling in clear and simple terms.

It doesn't help that they jiggle the names and features around every so often too. Licencing... I just don't bother, I stick with the free stuff from them and don't even bother trying to navigate the nightmare.

So: VMWare, you need to make things clear, then people might start to buy your stuff from you again. ('cos it is really good stuff).

It's all in their licensing. (1)

sco_robinso (749990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949770)

Although VMware made no new friends with their v5 licensing debacle, they're still the undisputed technological king-of-the-hill. Microsoft, Citrix, and KVM are slowly catching up, but they're still a ways off on many fronts (DRS, storage DRS, HA, etc). Hyper V (R2 SP1) is just now adding overcommit - a technology that's been in vSphere for years..

Most big entireprise clients are leaving VMware for licensing and cost reasons, not technological. Microsoft is not a small player, so when you can save hundreds of thousands a year of licensing costs for a product that does more or less the same thing (minus the higher end features), there's a compelling arguement to be had. Not to mention, with the v5 licensing debacle, many customers are having to shell out big $$ just to upgrade. VMware softened the blow by re-tooling the licensing after community outrage, but they're still very expensive.

VirtualBox? VirtualPC? (4, Insightful)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949774)

The number of people talking about VirtualBox and VirtualPC in this thread is astounding. We're talking about "enterprise" virtualization here, not keeping some dev boxes on your desktop. I think you need to be talking about Hyper-V and Xen, as well as all the competing VDI solutions.

Re:VirtualBox? VirtualPC? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950060)

Forgive them... It's what most people get exposed to. After all you can quickly run that on your desktop to do cool stuff. Try setting up a Xen Server at home and run a few instances. Not that it's hard (I've done it on an old Athlon MP 2400+/4GB RAM as I got exposed to Xen at work and wanted to look deeper into it), but it's far from typical desktop use. Add in "weird" (for the desktop world) hardware like fibrechannel SANs, etc, and the population who have gotten exposure to enterprise level virtualization dwindles.

Re:VirtualBox? VirtualPC? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950168)

Generally, I agree... but VirtualBox is only a few features away from competing.

At *HOME*, I run VBox on my OpenSolaris box... four SATA drives in Raid-Z2... phpVirtualBox to manage...

the new phpVB allows allocating memory to the host, which allows me to block out 3gb for ZFS (I found that loading VMs over ZFS memory would cause crashes... set arcmax and VB limit, no crashes)... and it's gaining features fairly quickly.

Given a little bit of fiddling (which would need to be resolved for it to be "enterprise ready"), the server has been quite reliable.

That said... there is NO integration with host shutdown/startup... which would be critical... and the live migration support is not yet easily exposed... plus the host could use a lot of improvements to manage the network... but... I think with a little bit of focus by the VirtualBox team, they could really start competing here.

Sticking with vSphere 4 for now (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949796)

I really like the functionality, stability, and feature set of VMWare, but due to their licensing change, I'm sticking with vSphere 4 for now -- I'd have to buy too many new licenses to move to vSphere 5 because of the amount of memory we have.

We're evaluating HyperV now and may end up with a split cluster - HyperV for our Windows servers and VMware (or maybe even Xen) for the Linux side.

Redhat KVM (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949806)

We've already started the migration to Redhat's KVM. Our testing environment has been completed. We beginning the rollout for Production now.

Why switch? The price.

Re:Redhat KVM (1)

amunter (313014) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950104)

We have a big investment in VMWare at the moment, but will seriously be looking at RedHat Enterprise Virtualization going forward. Their management client is starting to look as good as vCenter and the price is way way way less. We're looking at about a factor or 8 less. So do we want to spend $40,000 for finicky hardware requirements and constant marketing-driven name changes or do we want to pay $5000 to install RHEV on whatever nice servers we have already sitting around. We're going to be voting for the latter.

VMware and Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949812)

VMware took a nosedive for us when their Linux support began to suck. When VMware Server 1.x and Ubuntu 9.04LTS was around, I could compile the vmmon and vmxnet modules and the virtualization software worked very well. When I upgraded to 10.04 and all the way to current, VMware Server 1.x refused to compile despite the patches offered by VMware. I tried using other distros as well but all resulted in failure.

Vmware Server 2.0 was such a huge pile of crap, I tried it once and found that it was all web-based and ditched it. Even if the networking worked properly (which it STILL didn't), the fact that I couldn't use the VMware Server Console except through a web browser was beyond irritating and forced me to look elsewhere.

I now use VirtualBox with the Extensions pack and can access my VM consoles via MSRDP and it doesn't use a web browser at all. I can build, start, and stop vms through an SSH session with no difficulties. The only downside is that while VMware Server would allow you to build networks of VMs tied to multiple Virtual Networks that stayed on the host but could be bridged or natted to the outside world, VirtualBox only gives you the same (Host Only, NAT and Bridged) three options, but if you have two VMs running together in any mode but Bridged, they cannot communicate with each other.

This appears to be a Linux Only issue, as in Windows, the VMware networking works exactly as it is expected to which lead us to believe that VMware just doesn't care about their Linux users and would prefer to sell their other products rather than attempt support of their existing lines of supposed Linux-compatible VM server products.

Re:VMware and Linux (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950044)

VMware took a nosedive for us when their Linux support began to suck. When VMware Server 1.x and Ubuntu 9.04LTS was around, I could compile the vmmon and vmxnet modules and the virtualization software worked very well. When I upgraded to 10.04 and all the way to current, VMware Server 1.x refused to compile despite the patches offered by VMware.

You do realize that VMWare server 1.x is older than dirt, right? And even VMWare Server 2.x is old. They are free products and do not (admittedly) get much love. However, there are patches available from Ubuntu and other groups that will allow you to compile the tools for whatever Ubuntu distor you desire. I do not know about other distros, as I typically only use Ubuntu at home.

which lead us to believe that VMware just doesn't care about their Linux users and would prefer to sell their other products rather than attempt support of their existing lines of supposed Linux-compatible VM server products.

If you buy one of their paid products (Fusion, Workstation, etc), then you will find that you have absolutely no problems with any of the modern, or ancient distros I have tried (Ubuntu 11.x, RHEL 5.1,5.2,6.0, etc). In fact, if you have VMWare Fusion 4, you can even create VMs of Mac OS Server 10.6 and any release of Mac OS 10.7.

Re:VMware and Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950058)

I hate to break it to you, but nothing you just said has anything to do with enterprise software. Good luck with your desktops. If you want the good stuff, be prepared to open your wallet, or if you keep insisting on Linux, load VMware ESXi on the server and create a Linux VM. Your call.

Xen (1)

dan2550 (663103) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949832)

I recently built a new server and decided to go with Xen using HVM. Although this is mainly a personal project, I can't really see the point in purchasing closed source software when the open source alternatives support everything I need and more. I admittedly am pretty new to this game but what advantages can I get from VMware when Xen runs a VPS totally seamlessly?

Hopefully the answer is yes. (2)

Demoknight (66150) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949834)

I'm a fan of VMware but clearly any competition - and specifically, the more robust the competition gets the better the pricing models will be for the end users.

Right now we have very little if any issues with our virtual infrastructure - although View could use some work (we're still on 4.0 though...). VMware's support is excellent. Their tools are excellent. Their online documentation is excellent. Other than $ there wouldn't be a lot of motivation to start shopping for another vendor anytime soon.

But I also trust and expect that VMware will continue to be cutting edge in the VM sphere since it's the focus of their business (vs. Microsoft - who's focus is who the hell knows these days).

D

That survey is borked! (1)

gentryx (759438) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949850)

After having a look at the PDF I wonder which businesses they did ask. First, most large companies that I know of run their servers with Linux, no one would even dare to suggest a MS hypervisor. Second, the hypervisors that I've seen in the wild are (apart from Citrix and some VMWare hosts) mostly OpenVZ, Virtuozzo or Xen. Just think of all those root v-servers you can rent for cheap. Xem is big in companies and backed by major players, e.g. IBM. The survey numbers just don't make sense.

x86 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949856)

I love how slash-dotters spout off x86 like that's the ideal platform for virtualization.
pHype anyone? z/VM?
It still amazes me how myopic people can be with their fisher price hardware

Still VMWare (1)

doomicon (5310) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949886)

With production enterprise experience with Xen, HyperV, and VMWare hosting linux VMs.

It's still VMware, just based on some of the showstopping issues encountered with Xen and HyperV.

It's only a matter of time until VMWare competitors catch up, which is good for all of us, however based on my personal experience VMWare is still my preference.

Note, environments vary. Just based on environments I've worked with.

what do I say? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949910)

> What do IT-savvy Slashdotters have to say about moving away from one of the more stable and feature rich VM architectures available?"

Um, how about "over my dead body"?

If you want free stuff like VirtualBox or VirtualPC, more power to you. It helps push the envelope and provides for competition.

For large enterprise installations, there is VMWare. I'm sure that won't always be the case, but for now, you'll have to pry my vCenter from my cold dead hands.

Re:what do I say? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949956)

Xen is quite nice, so is KVM packaged up by RHEL.

Neither is as nice with the pointy clickey stuff, but do you really need that? Real Vmware admins use the CLI anyway.

If it's better, switch (3, Interesting)

jpvlsmv (583001) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949916)

Two years ago, VMware was the only serious player in the enterprise hypervisor market. It could demand a price premium and had weight with other software platform vendors to demand support.

Now, with Hyper-V being somewhat more mature and with the Xen product line, VMware is falling into a competitive market. Naturally, there will be an erosion of market share in that case.

The bigger threat that faces VMware is the same threat that faced Netscape in the 1990s-- VMware is a competitor of Hyper-V which Microsoft can include "for free" in its server operating systems. And Microsoft still has the same monopoly influence over the major hardware vendors (to discourage pre-installs or reseller agreements). And it can control the licensing for its operating systems to inconvenience VMware customers (you have to buy a separate license for each ESX VM, but if you run on Hyper-V you get 10 VM licenses for free) and/or control its support of its enterprise application stack (We'll only support Exchange/Sharepoint/SQL Server/Link/IIS/whatever if it's running on Hyper-V. If it's ESX, please reproduce the problem on physical hardware to make sure it's not an ESX issue)

--Joe

So who owns them now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949918)

You don't need an oracle to tell you why their market share is dropping.

VMWare: Complex and expensive licensing (1)

DigiTechGuy (1747636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949928)

I had considered VMWare for our virtualization needs but the licensing was a nightmare. Complex and very expensive. It seemed like the price was alright up front but then figure in teh costs for everything else you need to manage it. This is a big part of what pushed us to Hyper-V. Licensing is simple and affordable. I can't really complain much about Hyper-V, it suits our needs for a reasonable cost and I've had no major issues with it. I don't see the benefit to switching to VMWare, for us. We are smaller than most companies that use ESX though, so that may be worth considering. I do not have any extensive experience with ESX though do have some experience with VMWare on top of Windows.

I for one am looking forward to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949936)

the results of the conferencing going on right now for oVirt [ovirt.org].

Not a Bad Thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37949938)

The VM environment space is growing into a robust, competitive market. This is not a bad thing.

I love VMware's management features, but am not in love with VMware's management tools--XenServer is improving rapidly in that regard and has near feature parity (the constantly-rebranded vSphere is an unstable mess by comparison).

ESX(i) is a great hypervisor, but has horrible hardware support (try to make a Realtek 8111/8168 work, e.g.), but Hyper-V and XenServer run on basically any reasonable server hardware.

VirtualBox, while not in the same class, really REALLY runs on damn-near anything and is what I always throw inspired interns at (since they can just install it on their laptop or whatever to play with it). And it can directly import most ESX-targeted OVFs trivially.

KVM (+libvirt) is already there if you're running Linux (but it unfortunately doesn't have a good import/export package story like the others do).

In short, the improving nature of the market hurts VMware shareholders but helps basically everyone else. Folks can use the right tool for the job, be it one with all kinds of enterprise features or one that MUST run within Windows Server or one that needs to install on client PCs. I don't see how this can be a bad thing (unless you're a VMware shareholder or a company trying to QA virtual appliances targeting all these environments).

Re:Not a Bad Thing... (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950114)

ESXi 5.0 has native driers for Realtek 8111/8168 and many more consumer-level devices, just so you know.

Too expensive, weird licensing models (2)

forrie (695122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949942)

I work for a major *.edu -- we use VMware, we pay their exorbitant pricing, and subsequently get threats of additional fees for not renewing support on time (an amusing tactic). We don't really find ourselves using the fancy feature sets. In fact, a large part of our *.edu is going KVM -- probably for similar reasons, more likely pricing. As others have said, VMware continues to change their licensing models -- it ends up being nickle-and-diming for features, where I'd just rather pay one flat price and just be able to use the entire product. KVM/Xen, et al, are still being actively developed and hammered on. I don't see any reason why those products couldn't eventually, significantly supplant VMware in areas such as mine where they get the job done effectively. If we want support for KVM/Xen, we can pay for that... much less money in the end.

KVM + management suite (2)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949948)

Libvirt and the improvements to KVM plus Xen getting mainlined (is that the right term?) has to be hurting VMWare. Rackspace, along with a lot of major players, are spearheading OpenStack which ought to be a major open source enterprise player when it matures. Also, cloudstack recently went 100% open source which puts even more pressure on VMWare.

Also, projects like OpenVSwitch are putting major pressure on the proprietary vendors too.

It's price. (1)

skgrey (1412883) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949950)

Plain and simple, VMWare is pricey. I'd love to run them where I work, but it's extraordinarily expensive compared to Xen and Hyper-V.

Hyper-V is about 5 years behind and XenServer is about 3 years behind in terms of functionality and stability, mainly due to the fact that VMWare has been doing it for so long. VMWare is rock-solid and feature rich, and I'd love to use them. Currently we use XenServer, but with Citrix recently closing down their hardware API's and not playing nicely with anyone it looks like it is going to be the first casualty. I've been very upset by XenServer's HA so far, plain and simple it has sucked. I've had hosts reboot from crashes and the virtual machines go down, but the host thinks it has the machines and all of the other hosts think it has the machines. I've done everything XenServer has asked (HA quorum on a separate LUN, patches, etc), but it still just sucks. I've yet to see a host fail and the machines to go elsewhere, and the configuration is absolutely right and has been reviewed by Citrix. Maybe 6.0 will be better, but I just heard of major issues today with it. Hyper-V is really where the competition is going to come from, especially with how engrained it is in everything coming up. Want to run Exchange 2010 SP2? Recommendation is Hyper-V virtual machines.

God I miss VMWare.

VMWare only please! (0)

rec9140 (732463) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949976)

Not interested in prodcuts from three companies KVM=RH, no thanks, any thing from larry the tyrrant, or that washington state company. Duh thats why I am a LINUX USER!

VMWare just needs to step away from the rpm flavorade or at least a DEB over the shell script, and keep up with the current kernels for Server and ESXi(VSphere) as they tend to do for Player.

Oh, and two things:

1)FIX your !(@*&$!(*&!(&$! plugin for Server management! Its been dead since some dolt at mozilla borq'd plugins in the 3.6 branch. Create a stand alone native Linux client to manage Server VM's! I don't want to use some browser I detest to start with! Especially some ancient version I have to keep on some machine to manage the VM's on the server!

2) Management tools for LINUX, BSD! ! ! I only use Player, Server ESXi(VSphere) to manage MULTIPLE REAL OS VM's ie: multiple *NIX/BSD etc.... its not used to allow infections in! So what good is trying to sell me features I can not use as I can't do it on my systems!

Waste of time/money (1)

ctime (755868) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949978)

I like ESXi for the handful of random non-production systems I use. I just don't buy that VM is the right direction for every company as a primary platform. Sure, small scale VM has it's benefits, but in a large scale scenario the overhead and vendor lock in becomes short sighted. Yes, eventually with enough VM in your datacenter, you'll save money, but at what long term expense? What's that vendor proprietary solution going to do for you in 10 years when you want to move to the next big thing? I say build out your DC using commodity hardware and design your applications and network with fault tolerance and efficiency in mind. Need a more efficient footprint? Try microservers http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/poweredge-c5125/pd [dell.com] 1. Focus on getting the best bang for your buck with commodity hardware 2. Focus your people on streamlining operations for this model (instead of focusing on how to integrate VM with existing models, etc) 3. Design your applications/architecture around not having some magical single box with a thousand mac addresses that can move around the data center on a whim. Who would be dumb enough to believe in this model? Google and Facebook, for starters.

Vmware.. how I used to Love you (2)

AdmV0rl0n (98366) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950080)

Dear VMware,

I started out with you at Workstation version2. Since that time, I have never seen anyone really do Virtualisation as well as you did. Ever. Workstation is still sold with new features, and some nice pricing. I played and ran ESXI 3-5 and at each step its been accompanied with a rising tide of pain. No matter how brilliant a product is, if you start throwing in silly licensing and serious costs - and stupid complexity (in licensing) - well - you get what VMware is right now.

And the worst part is if you talk with their low and middle staff, they KNOW they still have the tech, and the cool. They also nod each time you state the obvious thing they can't fix. I have no idea who the board are at VMware. I only know they have the best product, a bleeding edge product, and that they have started the process thats going to actually kill it. Being the best isn't actually relevant. Being the best with a fair and sensible model means people will use you - and not lose you.

Right now, there are only two types of VMware (enterprise level) customers. Those who are paying with eyes watering and teeth grinding, and those who are at least looking seriously at moving away.

And I speak as someone who has serious love of VMware stuff, and they've reached a stage where they are so arrogant they don't even talk to me now. So I guess thats why HyperV sits in my racks these days *despite* being lesser to me.

The problem with being the best, and getting too serious a dose of arrogance, is that come the fall, there is no way back.

I'd really like them to get back to ESXI being the foot in the door brilliance it once was, and to having a sensible curve upwards in cost that people could look at and say its great, "what if we grow?" Now it just seems like growth? Haaa, pay us a lot of $$.

Its still the best virt stuff I have used. Period. But the gap between it and other stuff that works pretty damn well is smaller than its ever been. So they need to wake the fuck up and get real.

VMware not going anywhere anytime soon (1)

XPhiNermal (91739) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950090)

I'm glad Hyper-V, Xen, and to a lesser extent, RHEV are providing some legitimate competition to VMware--and typically at lower software licensing costs. But, the hurdles to adopting these competitors are high: sparse ISV support, less rich ecosystem of 3rd party tools (backup & recovery, capacity planning, etc.), and existing investment in VMware licenses, training, SOPs, etc.

VMware is no longer the only game in town for enterprise virtualization, but their position is firmly entrenched for at least the next 3 years. Switching costs for environments of any substantial size are just too high compared to the licensing cost premium VMware demands.

I'm happy with VMWare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950106)

Maybe I'm not enterprise enough to tell, but we run a few servers on ESXi and I have to say that I'm fairly happy with it.

The integration with the hardware (Dell) is very tight, the cost of the license is unbeatable (FREE!), and it does what we need it to do.

Yes you do need iSCSI connectivity (FreeNAS or OpenFiler for FREE) and yes you do need to roll up your sleeves to work on the perl CLI to make ESXi do the job (or you can pay big money to VMWare for a nicer GUI with more features).

There are plenty of scripts and resources out there for the ghetto ESXi user like us (virtuallyghetto comes to mind), and so, given we already have an infrastructure that works and does what we need it to, and for an unbeatable price, I see very little advantage into moving to a solution from others providers.

Do keep in mind, XEN is a nice and robust open source project... yet the implementations from Citrix, Oracle and others are not free.

sh17 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950122)

Baby 7ak3 my

money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950140)

VMWare is expensive as noted above. nothing else compares to the enterprise lvl of offerings.

if something does please let me know!

VMware's edge disappeared a while ago (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950152)

VMware's original edge was their code patching hack which allowed visualization on hardware that didn't really support it. Once x86 machines got some virtualization hardware support, that hack was no longer needed, and anybody could write a hypervisor.

Now most of the virtualization issues are more about systems for managing instances of virtual machines. The hypervisor itself is a small part of the overall product.

Assumptions on a vague article? (1)

phoebus1553 (522577) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950162)

So 38% of virtualization customers are planning on switching, but 2/3 of all virtualization customers are VMWare with the other 1/3 being somebody else. There's a lot of floating data points here.

We can come up with lots of fun theories...
Maybe VMWare numbers will drop to 30% of the market and those will all get sucked up by Hyper-V.
Maybe everyone using Hyper-V thinks it blows and are going to Xen, leaving 22% of the original survey to allocate to leaving either VMWare and Xen for one of the two they're not using.

Connect the dots any way you want, but without knowing which camps the answers come from, this is a non-story. You probably see a lot of churn in the minds of decision makers, but nothing gets done anyway once they get to planning strategies, or crunching the numbers, as another commenter here said.

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