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Microsoft to Sales Partners: Sell Hyper-V Along with VMware

Nice find by Alessandro Perilli at Virtualization.info. He came up with a "call-to-action" written by David Greschler, Microsoft director of Virtualization, that appeared on the company's partner network channel, and talked about the strong competition VMware is throwing at Hyper-V. Bottom line: Despite the heaping helpings of hype, Hyper-V is not capturing the hearts, minds, or pocketbooks of Microsoft's sales partners at the expense of VMware.

That swishing sound you hear is VMware CEO Paul Maritz rubbing his hands together with glee.

In support of Microsoft's new "Virtualization Partner Profitability Toolkit," Greschler begins, "Every partner knows about the great opportunity to sell virtualization technology and services. For a while, that meant one thing: working exclusively with VMware.

"Times have changed."

Greschler goes on to cite the relative affordability and technical prowess of Hyper-V compared to VMware, while noting that IDC says Hyper-V "continued its ascent" in Q4 09, growing 215% year over year.

But then the tenor changes dramatically when he goes on to declare: "Nearly every VMware partner we talk to recognizes that Microsoft is a major player in virtualization and tells us they would like an opportunity to build a virtualization practice that includes both VMware and Microsoft."

While this is not tantamount to raising a white flag, it is a stark, public acknowledgement of VMware's deeply embedded pre-eminence.

The Virtualization Partner Profitability Toolkit, which is available on the Microsoft Partner Network, includes a "profitability modeling tool" in the form of a interactive spreadsheet designed to depict the advantages of adding a Microsoft practice to their business.

So what will Microsoft partners find if they dutifully use this tool? According to Greschler, "As much as we'd like to tell you otherwise, if you plug the numbers in to look at your work on a project-by-project basis, the numbers could favor VMware. But if you take a practice-level view, and look at the numbers over the long term, the tool is likely to show partners making far more money with Microsoft."

The company says that claim is true because Microsoft virtualization offerings are "three-to-five times" less than VMware, a claim that VMware would hotly dispute, arguing that while Hyper-V is free, customers have to buy it along with an operating system, and they have to manage it, neither of which occurs free of charge.

At any rate, in conclusion, Greschler declares, "The takeaway from all this is pretty simple. If you're just selling VMware today, then you are in the VMware business. If you want to be in the virtualization business, look at building a virtualization practice where you're technology-agnostic and offering more choice to customers."

If you are one of those customers, you probably won't be hearing this particular call to action.

Question: Why should Microsoft sales partners add Hyper-V to their arsenals?

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 05/24/2010 at 12:48 PM


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