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Deals and Diatribes

On Thursday, VMware and Novell announced that they were expanding their strategic partnership via an OEM agreement that would enable VMware to distribute and support the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) OS. Under terms of the deal, VMware intends to standardize its virtual appliance-based product offerings on SLES.

After VMware and Novell announced, Team Virtualization Blog Microsoft reacted.

More on that reaction after a further description of the joint deal, which states that "Customers who want to deploy SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware in VMware vSphere virtual machines will be entitled to receive a subscription to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server that includes patches and updates as part of their newly purchased qualifying VMware vSphere license and Support and Subscription."

According to the release, VMware and its extensive network of solution provider partners will also be able to offer customers the option to purchase technical support for SLES delivered directly by VMware for a "seamless support experience."

What's in it for customers?

According to Raghu Raghuram, VMware senior vice president and general manager, Virtualization and Cloud Platforms, "By delivering SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware with every qualified VMware vSphere subscription, customers can more easily and cost-effectively virtualize Linux applications, accelerate their evolution to a fully virtualized datacenter and simplify portability of their applications to cloud environments."

Patrick O'Rourke, Microsoft director of Communications, Server and Tools Business, responded congenially by accusing the "vFolk," as VMware is evidently referred to in Redmond, of "further isolating themselves from the industry, " while praising Microsoft's relationship with Novell and pointing out that Microsoft's interoperability efforts have provided more "choice and flexibility" for customers, including Microsoft's work with Novell. (Please note that the key words "choice" and "flexibility" as used by Microsoft in this context are used judiciously to convey truth and meaning).

Continuing in the same warm spirit, O'Rourke declared--and not in a derisive fashion--that "It looks like VMware finally determined that virtualization is a server OS feature," adding that "The vFolks (I'm thinking hobbits here) have plans to ship a full version of a server OS with vSphere (which we all know sprang from the deepest depths of Hades), and support it, to fulfill their application development and application deployment plans (Feel free to insert the word "evil" between "their" and "application"). Finally--yes, nostalgically--O'Rourke notes calls the VMware-Novell agreement a "bad deal for customers because they're getting locked into an inflexible offer," and quotes from the terms and conditions as follows: "Customers may run SLES with the accompanying patches and updates subscription entitled by a VMware purchase only in virtual machines running on VMware vSphere 4.0 and 4.1 hosts that have vSphere SnS with VMware."

Of course, what's buried in the fine print of these same, seemingly innocuous terms and conditions is the fact that anyone taking advantage of this agreement must first turn over their youngest child to the vFolks for use as subjects in an extensive battery of experimental brain surgeries.

And if you think that's bad, you should see what VMware said about XenServer.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 06/10/2010 at 12:48 PM


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