For the past two weeks, I've been covering the "hypervisor wars," a very real battle between the 10-year veteran VMWare and a strong newcomer with lots of resources and a reputation for being competitively tenacious in the past: Microsoft.
In my previous column, I interviewed David Davis about the gap between the two virtualization tools as something that will always exist because even as Microsoft innovates, so will EMC's VMware subsidiary. However, that may ignore a reality of technology product development: We all know that the company second to market has the benefit of "copying" the first-to-market innovator. And inventing and copying have completely different timeframes, so we may see the gap close sooner than you'd expect, especially with Microsoft's ability to focus on the technology.
[ InfoWorld's J. Peter Bruzzese takes a look at the hypervisor war and the new Hyper-V R2. | Keep up with the latest virtualization news with InfoWorld's virtualization newsletter and visit the InfoWorld Virtualization Topic Center for news, blogs, essentials, and information about InfoWorld virtualization events. ]
Is the hypervisor battle becoming irrelevant?
However, is the hypervisor itself going to be the place either company spends its time developing? Greg Shields doesn't think so.
When I spoke wth Shields, the Microsoft MVP and VMware vExpert chuckled a bit about the tit for tat between the two virtualization vendors and said, "I'm going out on a limb here, but it is my firm belief that the hypervisor wars are almost over. Virtualization is more than just the hypervisor; today, it is all about the management. The pace of innovation in core hypervisor technology appears to be plateauing. The real battlefront today is in finding the right products to manage your infrastructure. That can be vSphere, Hyper-V, or Xen Server, but what makes sense for your infrastructure is what you should deploy. I see this reduction in pace as a good thing. Virtualization is the future and those that are arriving late on the scene can learn from the decisions and lessons learned by the early adopters."
(Shields will present his thoughts on the state of virtualization on Tuesday, September 15, in his keynote "Virtualization today: Where we're at, where we're going" at the IT Virtualization Live Conference and Expo.)