VMware vs. Microsoft: The fight heats up again

VMware's response to Microsoft's negative server virtualization and cloud claims proves Hyper-V is a threat that can't be ignored

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The right hook
For years, Microsoft has been telling anyone who will listen that VMware's solution is more expensive than Microsoft's when it comes to building a virtualization environment. To refute that statement, VMware commissioned an independent company called Principled Technologies to create a TCO report comparing vSphere and Hyper-V.

The research findings claim that vSphere infrastructure costs are about the same as Hyper-V infrastructure costs after you include server and facilities costs. They also claim that vSphere and vCenter are cheaper to operate than Hyper-V and System Center when carrying out five typical data center tasks. These tasks, according to the research firm, took 78 to 97 percent less time to complete when using vSphere. VMware attributes that time savings to the more advanced capabilities built into vSphere and the more efficient and optimized implementation of those features, which the company says it has perfected over many years by focusing on the delivery of virtual infrastructure and cloud platforms.

The upper cut
VMware has also launched a new marketing campaign called "Get the Facts," complete with a website featuring rebuttals to several of Microsoft's recent criticisms. VMware takes another swipe by calling out that the facts presented on the site are "Not the Microsoft Hyperbole." The site also claims Hyper-V 3.0 will still fall short of vSphere 5 in critical areas like virtual security, storage management, and business continuity.

Microsoft likes to tout its System Center heterogeneous hypervisor management capability while going after VMware vCenter's lack thereof. But the now outspoken VMware is responding, claiming System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) lacks basic management functions for vSphere environments, like managing a vSphere host, cluster, or resource pools and provisioning storage and networking. VMware also dings Microsoft by reminding people that SCVMM requires vCenter Server to manage vSphere environments, and that requirement results in redundant costs and more complex processes.

For the most part, VMware has remained quiet all these years, choosing to let its technology speak for itself. But what's significant to me about this latest scurry of punches is that VMware is now going on the offensive and challenging Microsoft's marketing. This tells me that for the first time, VMware really believes Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor is a credible threat in the server virtualization market and it can no longer simply be ignored.

This article, "VMware vs. Microsoft: The fight heats up again," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.

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