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The Buzz About B-hive

So what's the deal with VMware’s snapping up of B-hive? Its core product is a virtual appliance already partner-integrated with VMware's management tools. The integrated solution can reallocate VMs on the fly and create additional ones if needed. From a 50,000 foot perspective, this move fits nicely into the company's vision of automated virtual data centers.

Those are the strategic considerations. At a more tactical level, it appears that much of the rationale for the acquisition has to do with the fact that more and more mission critical apps are being virtualized. I recently spoke with Alex Bakman, CEO of VKernel, about the announcement.

His virtualization management company doesn't compete with B-hive but offers a VMware-certified suite of virtual appliances. Like B-hive, the company focuses on resource utilization but from an different perspective. VKernel looks at utilization in hosts and clusters whereas B-hive looks at end user performance that's sourced from the network.

Being a perpetually curious sort, I asked Bakman for his perspective and why VMware seems more interested in what's going side inside the "black box" of the VM. Pointing out that management is the new battlefield in virtualization, he stressed that many more mission-critical applications are being virtualized now than a few years ago.

"Companies are virtualizing SAP and Exchange Servers. They're not going to do that unless they understand performance aspects. If you asked VMware about a year ago about end user performance, they would say 'We don’t get into that… every VM is a black box.' That response no longer flies with customers."

Contrary to some other reports you might have heard, sources at VMware told me the company intends to release a beta product in late 2008 with an initial release in 2H09. Conductor is tied into both VMotion and VirtualCenter today but further integration with the management suite is likely.

What's your take? Comment below or fire off an e-mail. And for more on the acquisition check out Alex's blog.

Posted by Tom Valovic on 06/03/2008 at 12:49 PM


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