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Virtualization Mania: Elusive strategies OR plain market thrust?



Ok so VMware is on to the 15 Billion dollar track (do I hear a Gartner analyst telling me that it has doubled, given the the Desktop virtualization and server-server, desktop-desktop, server-desktop virtualization screaming for attention?) and their message is "X86! here we come!". But I am seeing (all around me) an ever increasing community that is growing and is realizing its own powers of a multi-tasking mini-versatilists. I am about to launch my Avastu Transnational firm (Not anymore Multinational as we could dare to speak in the older days)and I would like to believe in the "ship with cargo to destination" strategy will get us to steer the ship to safety. Plain and simple!

Looking at VMware, I don't see it as a big and heavy ship. No sir, but it is pretty clear to see players like Parallels playing the flute to the "fan communities". Sure network ladies like techcrunch, gigaom, readwriteweb do also fan the flames. They scream on the web telling how they like the product so bad. Or the cool features that a product X might have. I won't downplay any of those tones as I do too get carried away myself sometimes.

More tech and nerd-friendly folks like the Digg and Slashsdot slash stuff left and right. So what is elusive about it? Well pretty simple! Communities today rule the web and proliferate within organizations. Thet talk to people (users, managers, bosses, and even CEOs about the cool things that an organization is missing out on -- ahem you can surely count someone like me to be in this league of people). They go ahead and talk on web and hold lots of online webinars. (We at Avastu will do that too besides our real cargo!) You need to take the competition somewhere else. There I must say Parallels is doing a pretty good job. They took the Mac community and are giving them all the goodies. The latest feature is neat. Lets just admit it. But wait!!! It is still elusive. Remember my destination. The ship (VMware) is set to the "X86 land" and is heading towards it. Desktop market may be getting all kinds of twists and turns to it but still its the "reconfiguration of the stowage" in your cargo holds. ( for layman Stowage = products/offerings, Cargoholds = Available capacity) So you see, Its the "ship2destination" strategy.

This strategy is pretty simple. You need clients! VMware HAS clients (although I do think that some real progress and client acquistions need to be made in Asia, Africa and South America). They do have EMC as well. Although Register had some other ideas about EMC letting VMware go . And to top it all (which I personally see as the strongest pillars of VMware ) all solid partnerships and (not to forget) the tech savvy bloggers (VMware's corporate as well as others) who go nuts about the nitty-gritty of the products. The product line is awesome. We all must admit it. Sure a cool feature will attract a developer. And warez bunnies are gonna go nuts with the torrential rain of the products in their P2P networks. But unfortunately it all dies in the developer's den. So I'm not downplaying it. I will be trying out the cool features of parallels myself. (In fact we are working on a product offering which will try to take a broader look at the Virtualization software that are available)

So these developments get attention. They should too. But what kind of impact do they have on a customer, to an enterprise crying for virtualization? I remember talking to a guy in Africa who was complaining about VMware playing the market leader and other software vendors like XenSource or other virtualization software like that of Microsoft. All I asked him was (He was a dutch guy, had his own consultancy shop) "Are you willing to sell any other Virtualization technology to a prospective client today?" "Are you willing to risk that"? Don't forget every market segment has its own ways of screaming out should things go wrong.

So getting back to the discussion of strategies. Its an (sometimes tasteless) amalgam of elusive strategies (curveball strategies), disruptive and anti-disruptive moves, masketbusting tactics,that are going to bring the ship back home.

PS: The next we will blog about management and I'm beginning to see openQRM emerge as a solid Linux DataCenter Management solution! We will surely talk about the others as well ;-)

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