Competitors include Citrix, Virtual Iron Software, VMware, and most recently Oracle, all of which layer management software on top of their hypervisors. Microsoft last week released System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007, its answer to other tools. Management could be the layer where Microsoft has an advantage. "System Center is a much broader infrastructure than [VMware's] Virtual Infrastructure," says Gartner analyst Thomas Bittman.
Hyper-V Server will ship within six months of Windows Server 2008, which is due in the first quarter of next year. It could be the second half of 2008 before Hyper-V Server ever gets to market. As IT departments move hurriedly toward virtualization, that would put Microsoft further behind VMware and others.
It's just that Microsoft is running late. They will ship their "bare-metal" hypervisor by second half of 2008. That can be a bit too late.
Also we shouldn't forget Sun is going strong on its xVM path, actually stronger than Oracle since they are tying deal with Dell, Dell is tying deals with everyone else. Sun too is supporting Microsoft's OS, so lots of interoperability there.
This is all the sign that firms, consulting or vendors, have to change their game and this better start happening in 2008, and while I will not layout all that in this blog post, I can tell you one thing: In this game , if you are "the nice guy in the middle", you have more trust from customers and vendors, than any one else. Proprietary vendors will continue to defend their products, even if they are using Linux kernel to make their product (like VMware's ESX Server) or forking from an existing Virtualization project like Xen, something what Oracle, Red Hat, Sun, Novell etc are doing while bundling the Xen in their OS.
So you can read between the lines, the guy in the middle will have to heavily rely on the open source brother. Why?
- They are better recession-ready than their proprietary friends. So Sun, Red Hat have a better chance of surviving this recession than the others. Obviously the ones with deeper pockets will start getting ready again to start taking a deep breath (read "quickly acquire others") and get ready to hold their breath under water.
- Globalization : Companies going global have to suddenly adapt to all those foreign customers who "get their software for free". Try telling them about your big and expensive software and see how quickly they will disappear!
- Consumerism within corporate worknets: Corporate world will require a lot of interoperability and customization, open source developments can mobilize workforce across the world in no time. How can you compete against the power of 1.2 Million (and increasing every day), developers around the world, against a mere thousand for some "hot shot" company?
- They are light-weight: They are easy-to-build and easy-to-tear down.
- Collaboration, demands community-influenced innovation. We are into a very highly, collaborative world or should I say increasingly unifying world (flat world as Friedman would say). This unification can be built on the building blocks of community driven architecture. That open architecture is open source. Not closed but open.
Here's the article.