Microsoft: We’re gaining server virtualisation market share

'Free' technology and a lower cost of management is winning customers, says the global head of virtualisation

Microsoft is starting to make serious headway in the server virtualisation market based on a ‘free’ technology and lower cost of management argument, according to the company’s global head of virtualisation, Zane Adam.

Adam, quoting IDC figures on global server virtualisation deployments, said that as of June 2009, Microsoft had a about 23 per cent share to VMware’s 53 per cent.

“A year and a half ago, we were very low … we used to be baselined at 15 per cent or so of virtual servers… and VMware was in the 70 [per cent range], so VMware is rapidly coming down and we are rapidly gaining share,” he said.

“If you were an IT admin and you were going to buy 500 servers, you have a deployment choice: Pay $US2500 a processor or get it for free. There is millions of dollars of difference.”

Along with being able to get “similar technology [to VMware’s] for free”, Adam claimed that lower management costs for Microsoft’s server virtualisation technology were also responsible for the change in market share.

“Our hypervisor is very open, all our APIs are open, so anyone can manage our hypervisor,” he said. “You can use HP, IBM or Microsoft technologies — it’s up to you as a customer.

“If you are an existing or Microsoft Management and Server customer then the [management] cost is zero dollars. Even if you are not a Microsoft Management customer, it is a sixth of the cost of VMware. Plus we throw in physical management.”

Adam also quashed suggestions by a major competitor that the company was counting downloads of its Server 2008 product — which includes the company’s Hyper-V virtualisation client — as actual deployments.

“As far as I remember and recall, we never said we had two million people using [Hyper-V] because those were the Server 2008 downloads. The way I count usage is IDC deployment numbers,” he said.

“If you think about downloads — [Hyper-V] is part of Windows Server, so all the hypervisors shipped combined in the last decade, we’d ship in a year.”

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