David and Goliath: How Hyper-V will kill VMWare

Hyper-V will kill VMWare.

That's a bold statement, especially in a market where VMWare rules with greater than 85% share. However, as Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols from PCWorld put it, "there was a company that had 85% of the buggy-whip market... just before Henry Ford decided that Americans wanted a cheap, dependable car in any color they wanted so long as it was black." Microsoft is in the Henry Ford seat currently. Sure VMWare has a more mature product and a huge headstart. So did Netscape in the browser market and IBM Lotus in the enterprise mail/collaboation market. Where are they now? Rusting junk heaps in a land Microsoft long since conquered.

As Steven mentions, VMWare makes all of its revenue from selling its Virtual Infrastructure suite and a small portion from professional services. The other vendors are giving it away. Microsoft's even been known to include some level of professional services with a large product licensing purchase. Yes, that's free as in beer.

Microsoft's Hyper-V (still in public beta/RC1) has some issues. The NetworkWorld Microsoft Subnet folks posted their thoughts yesterday. The most glaring is the inability to move VMs while active between hosts. Depending on your needs that may or may not be a deal breaker for you. Regardless I'm confident it's something that will be addressed in a future release. Microsoft knows they need to equal/exceed VMWare's offering to dominate the market. That said, Hyper-V is a LOT more friendly for Windows admins and it doesn't require any of the core Linux skills that installing and tuning an ESX server does. The combination of easy to use and free has been Google's trademark strategy. Microsoft may have taken a page from their book on this one and I think it's very likely to succeed.

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