VMware Never Said Virtualization Was Easy; Google+ Pains

Griping about VMware price changes? It's time to get practical. As for early users of Google+, the bumps continue.
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Remember when virtualization was the hot young technology that none of the old codgers in your company knew about and you were the smart hotshot that explained it to them? That was about four years ago, and no one knows better than VMware that those days are never coming back. IT pros had the early, sweet wins with server virtualization. Now you're into the hard part, reworking your IT teams and provisioning just enough resources, but not too much, to keep your highly-virtualized data center running smoothly for the business folks. Your ability to throw a lot of memory at this second problem, without any cost penalty from VMware, wasn't a situation that could last forever, as's Charles Babcock points out today in his expert analysis of continuing gripes surrounding VMware's recently announced pricing changes.

Microsoft and Oracle have pulled worse stunts with surprise customer audits, Babcock points out. That doesn't mean that IT directors like Jonathan Feldman will like the price change very much. "Enterprise IT is from Venus; software vendors are from Mars," quips Feldman.

A more complex problem looming for VMware will be how widely Microsoft and Citrix make gains. "Customers will increasingly find themselves confronted with the choice between continuing to pay a premium for advanced virtualization, or settling for the gains they have and resisting further advances with more charges," Babcock notes. Automation tools will be hard to say no to for most shops.

Look for automation, proving ROI, hybrid clouds, security, and dealing with IT staff politics related to virtualization to be among the hottest topics at the upcoming VMworld conference in late August.

Meanwhile, while VMware deals with admins who are not happy about having to work harder at provisioning, Google+ deals with early adopters who were not delighted to get the boot from the new social service darling. Just what gets you kicked out of Google+?'s David Carr explains. Google has said it will tweak its policy on real names vs. nicknames. Look for more coverage on this later today from's Thomas Claburn.

Google has yet to address some other significant minuses that Google+ poses.

Finally, from the interesting stats department, check out this little gem: 35% of people surveyed by PriceGrabber say they already plan to buy the unannounced iPhone 5.

Mind you, they have no solid information about the price, features or timing of that phone, which is rumored to ship in September.

As a journalist, it's sometimes maddening to have to play the game of trying to keep readers informed while not spreading Apple rumors that have morphed inexplicably. (No other tech company inspires so many weasel-words such as 'expected', 'reported,' 'predicted',' much-rumored' and the always handy 'likely.')

Imagine if VMware could whip up that much excitement among its user base. Well, they certainly do have mobile plans.

Laurianne McLaughlin is editor-in-chief for Follow her on Twitter at @lmclaughlin.

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