Mental Ward

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Slinging the YouTube Mud

YouTube has become a force on the Internet. That's not news, of course. What is interesting from a virtualization perspective is how it's being used for marketing purposes.

One of the first instances of this was Microsoft's now-infamous "De-bunking VMware myths" video. In this, two Hyper-V Microsofties call foul on VMware's superiority. Unfortunately, they do a lot of FUDging to make their points, and they've rightly been eviscerated by many in the blogging community for this not-well-thought-out attempt to promote Microsoft virtualization.

Now, the YouTube is on the other foot. A video has been posted of VMs in Hyper-V repeatedly crashing, followed by a bluescreen of the host itself. It's pretty scary stuff if you're using, or considering, Hyper-V.

Unfortunately, the video is no more convincing than Microsoft's comical attempt at FUD. There is no context given at all. No parameters of the test. No sense of whether something unrelated to Hyper-V caused the crash. Without any additional information, how can this video possibly be judged accurately? Answer: it can't.

This hit-job video was then highlighted on the popular, and normally quite good, Yellow Bricks virtualization blog. I'm more in agreement with the comments posted under this entry. One of the best was from "TimC," who said the following:

Hyper-V doesn't just randomly crash on "consolidated workloads". Anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes with the product can tell you that. I can make VM's crash left and right on ESX if I set it up the right (wrong) way as well. Does that mean I should post up a video proclaiming ESX is only fit for crashing VM's on a consolidated workload?

Right on, Tim.

Digging a little deeper reveals the source of the Hyper-V video, and the root cause of the VMware FUD: Scott Drummonds. The author of the video is listed as "drummonds1974." Checking out his other videos shows a definite pro-VMware slant. And he identifies himself as "Scott Drummonds" in this video. He's as far as one can get from a disinterested third pary. Here's his profile on VMware:

Scott Drummonds has been working for VMware since January of 2007. He participates in a wide variety of performance issues including VDI, performance probli solving, field support, competitive analysis, and general marketing activities.

So his job basically is to look at the competition and spread the word about VMware superiority. Unfortunately, Drummonds doesn't identify himself on the Hyper-V crashing video. Why not? Cynics might say because the video would have less impact if they knew it came from Microsoft's chief virtualization competitor. I don't know if that's the reason, however. Scott, if you read this, I'd love to hear from you.

In the meantime, the lesson, as always: don't believe everything you read (or see) on the Internet. And VMware and Microsoft, can we please stop this infantile video mud-slinging? It doesn't help customers, either present or potential. Put the facts out there and let people decide honestly, without this bloviation.

Update: Drummond has a blog entry that gives some details of the test. From what I've seen, the details are somewhat sketchy, and Drummond doesn't deal with the fact that he didn't identify himself and his company at the beginning of the video. Still, it fills in some gaps, and is worth reading.

Posted by Keith Ward on 05/07/2009 at 12:48 PM


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