VMware isn't letting much moss accumulate under its feet as it continues expanding what it plans to do with its virtualization software portfolio. VMware executives have taken to expressing the expanding horizons of virtualization as a theme. They say they refer customers to "the journey," not one set of limited data center goals.On the second day of VMworld, CEO Paul Maritz announced six new products that help redefine the virtualized part of the enterprise data center as a private cloud. We've said it before. A full embrace of the potential of virtualization leads straight to cloud computing, specifically, the enterprise private cloud. VMware is proposing to manage its virtual machines inside the enterprise in a way that's compatible with shipping them off to a public cloud through a single management interface. That public cloud, of course, would need to be compatible with ESX Server and VMware management products.
During a press conference Aug. 31, he was asked whether many customers want to go there, given the growing strength of Microsoft, Maritz minced few words. The questioner had asked about Microsoft's 29% share of the market; Maritz didn't spare his former employer. "You have to be careful how you view virtualization market share figures. Both Microsoft and VMware have free versions of their hypervisors," and market share figures that count every free hypervisor shipped may not be reflective of the market as a whole, he said. (Hyper-V now ships as part of Windows Server 2008.)
Maritz went on to assert that VMware has a larger share of the large enterprise market, where virtualization is being implemented on a large scale, than the IDC market share figures show. "In terms of serious usage of hypervisors in business, we have far and away the largest market share," a percentage higher than the IDC figure that pegs VMware at close to 50% of the market.
Asked about the exchange, Richard Whitehead, director of a product to be announced by Novell Sept. 13, estimated VMware's share of the enterprise market at 80%. Novell is taking a cross hypervisor approach to the virtualization market and has a keen eye on what both VMware and Microsoft are doing.
On another matter, how seriously should we take little Veeam's discovery of how to restore a production virtual machine from a back up file? Veeam's Backup and Replication, already a popular product in VMware environments, can restore a backup file to a format recognized by ESX Server in the 5.0 version of the product, due in October. Most backup files can't be used for this purpose without a lengthy reconstruction and conversion process. The move means that the backup files can be used for quick recovery of failed VMs, with a provision for recovering a single item out of an application, such as an Exchange mailbox or email message, as well as the whole virtual server. Veeam's CEO Ratmir Timashev said the company originally planned to extend Backup and Replication to Microsoft's Hyper-V virtual machines but instead has concentrated on developing the fast restore capabilities for VMware virtual machines. I can think of many uses for such a system, such as setting frequent backups for some systems as an alternative to a separate disaster recovery system. One measure of Backup and Replication 5.0's worth is Veeam's decision to pursue patents on the new functionality. Timashev said in an interview Veeam has applied for five patents.
As virtual servers, storage, and applications become the norm in the data center, vendors are offering products to consolidate host communications into a single channel and manage that channel with a central appliance. Get the lowdown on the various options before diving in. Download our report here (registration required).