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Application Virtualization: Why applications are so crucial

I like reading chuck's blog. I do that primarily because he is focused and addresses issues that we all tend to forget in all the hullo-bullo of virtualization game.

No IT user wants support hassles.

So it's routine to ask any OS vendor, "does application vendor X support your operating environment?". True for all the UNIXes. And true for server/desktop virtualization.

Now, it doesn't matter if the application in question works perfectly; the real question is that -- if there's a support problem -- will the ISV in question will step up and fix the problem?

I think there are two reasons why the answer will usually be a rather unclear "well ...", especially for things like VMware.

First, it costs more for the ISV to support an additional environment, and unless they can see clear incremental revenue (e.g. licenses, maintenance, etc.) it's hard to make an internal case.

Of course, customers beating you over the head helps a bit to move that discussion along.

Second, I think no major ISV really wants interloping vendors below them in the stack. Look at Oracle's repeated efforts to commoditize everything below the database: remember "bare metal" Oracle? Or SAP's preference for Linux? Even Microsoft doesn't have a strong incentive to let others in here.

Ask any ISV of any size a direct question: do you support VMware? -- and you'll get a very contorted answer as a result. It has absolutely nothing to do with technical realities and everything to do with business models and strategic advantage.

Anyways read his insightful post.


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