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Rip and Replace?

A while back, Citrix was running a program designed to induce disgruntled VMware customers to jump ship and sign on with Citrix. I asked Citrix to provide me with a VMware defector, but through various communications breakdowns, it never happened. I remember thinking at the time that it was hard to believe that anyone with a full-fledged VMware infrastructure was just going to rip it all out and start over again with Citrix, or any other virtualization vendor. Maybe they would start using XenServer as a second hypervisor, but there was no way they were throwing VMware under the proverbial bus.

More recently, I was interviewing Gary Chen, IDC Research Manager, Enterprise Virtualization Software, and the switching topic came up again during a conversation on the relative expense of VMware versus the rest of Virtualization Nation.

According to Chen, "The big problem now is that virtualization is not just tied to the server, but people have really customized their whole infrastructures around a certain platform, so they've integrated their storage and their networking. They've built up a history of skills and training, so reversing all that isn't easy. It's fairly sticky--even though people will always consider lower-cost alternatives in the office, I think it's much more than just the pure cost of acquisition, the upfront licensing costs. Going forward, the question may be less about do I rip and replace my existing infrastructure, but as I begin virtualizing more of my infrastructure--that Greenfield opportunity--do I start to diversity my platforms at that point?"

Getting back to the idea of installing a second hypervisor environment, as noted by Gartner Guru Chris Wolf, the most favorable circumstances for that may be in companies where there is a split between the server and desktop business units, because frequently there are separate management tools for those two environments, which makes it easier to install a second hypervisor.

According to Chris, "That's where we've seen the update, for example organizations using XenServer as a platform for their XenApp farm, and at the same time having long-term plans to seriously look at XenServer as a backup for their virtual desktop workloads."

Question: Would you like your company to install a second hypervisor--why or why not? Comment here.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 07/01/2010 at 12:48 PM


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