Is VMware losing its hold over its third-party software ecosystem?

VMTurbo is one of the latest companies to stretch its hypervisor support beyond vSphere and into Microsoft Hyper-V

VMworld is only a week away. For virtualization enthusiasts, this has been the must-see show for years, and that doesn't seem to be changing. I've always enjoyed the show's large solution exchange where VMware, its partners, and competitors from around the globe come together under one roof to show off their virtualization wares.

This year's show in Las Vegas should be no different, except that attendees can expect more and more third-party vendors to become multi-hypervisor capable and to support heterogeneous virtualization and cloud environments rather than focusing support on VMware alone. VMware is still the big dog on campus -- this is its show, after all; but the word "heterogeneous" will be thrown around as each vendor tries to differentiate itself from VMware's software management stack.

[ Also on Five vSphere 5.0 enhancements that you may have missed because of the vSphere licensing changes | And read how Altaro readies a Hyper-V backup tool for small businesses. | Keep up-to-date on virtualization by signing up for InfoWorld's Virtualization newsletter. ]

One of the companies I recently spoke with, VMTurbo, earlier this month added support for Microsoft Hyper-V into its virtualization and cloud management software and will be showing off this new version at VMworld.

The company's solution focuses on items such as infrastructure monitoring, performance reporting, problem detection, and capacity reporting. The latest release added a number of new enhancements, such as updates for its policy builder, improvements to its user interface, support for automated VM configurations in response to VMTurbo performance recommendations, email notification policy enhancements, as well as automated storage vMotion updates. VMTurbo added two other cool new template capabilities: one to help with the price/performance benefit analysis between two different hardware vendors and the other to help simulate the work load of various VMs with application stacks that may not currently exist in inventory.

But according to VMTurbo, no capability has generated as much interest as the release of Hyper-V compatibility. Instead of supporting multiple instances of one brand of hypervisor, the company has extended its platform offerings to include heterogeneous environments. From a single pane of glass, VMTurbo says it can provide its customers with visibility and insight into a diverse infrastructure, something that more companies are beginning to ask their IT staff to manage.

"I think ISVs are recognizing that there's lots of value to be added in the Hyper-V space, including in virtual infrastructure management," said Jeff Byrne, senior analyst with the Taneja Group. "System Center is solid in its physical infrastructure management capabilities, but it's still playing a bit of catch-up in managing virtual environments. The upcoming System Center VMM release will help close some of those gaps, but there is still plenty of opportunity for value-add in VI-specific performance management and real-time analytics."

VMTurbo seems to agree with the Taneja Group findings, which is why it's added Hyper-V support to its platform. But what's interesting is the company not only sees a growing market for heterogeneous virtual environments but also a growing Hyper-V-only market.

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