fine to be SMBs—you don’t care if it’s
Xen, VMware, or Microsoft. You want
simplicity, availability, security, and
you want something that can be supported by your staff.
aLLen steWaRt: If you’re an SMB
and already running Windows Servers
2008, you enable Hyper-V, use the same
management tools that you have been
using, and depend on the management construct to help you beyond the
In the SMB market, Microsoft has
pushed System Center outside of the
enterprise to System Center Essentials.
If you have a small amount of servers,
buy Essentials, and you can inexpensively manage the platform.
existing player. They challenge the OS
guys because virtualization separates
them from the hardware; the storage
guys because storage management for
virtualization is done on the host and
that threatens the whole Symantec/
VERITAS model; and the management
VMware confronts a lot of entrenched interests and threatens them.
So VMware could end up as a systems
management play, a storage management play, or a big brain that manages
the future data center—and that would
threaten Cisco or their competitors.
The interesting thing for VMware is
where does it go from here? Every step
they take threatens an established ven-
us or other large enterprises today, but
may at some future date. These are the
real bleeding edge, radically thinking
folks. One of the things we saw was that
people are putting management in the
software deployment layer on top of
My advice for SMBs able to tolerate
offsite data processing is that management options, possibly from third
parties, will be available in the not-too-distant future for EC2 and other cloud
models and provide management flexibility similar to solutions from VMware, Veridian, and Xen. Even in the
cloud, where you literally care about
nothing, third-party vendors will come
in to provide common abstractions.
Pho TograPhs by jasoN gardNEr
tom BishoP: I think that’s right. I
think you start with what you know,
stick with the vendors you know and
the technology you know, and it’s going to allow you to get the biggest bang
for the least cost.
mache cReeGeR: If you run lots of
Oracle would you work backward from
Oracle and ask what would work best?
Gustav: No, I’d work backward from
the OS level you manage because that’s
really what you’re managing. But back
to your point of “I’m not worried that
there are three hypervisor vendors,”
companies should worry less about
that because hypervisors from all the
vendors are slowly but surely providing
the same functionality.
simon cRosBy: But then it’s about
virtualization management. As the
market leader in a new category, everything that VMware does challenges an
dor in an existing market sector.
tom BishoP: SMB players that pur-
chase management software will get
it from the virtualization vendors and
the rest will to do it by hand, which is
what they’ve always done. I am not say-
ing that their management functions
aren’t important. It’s just that the prob-
lems to be solved for the SMB market
are not big enough, hard enough, and
expensive enough for management
companies to address.
mache cReeGeR: Well, what happens
to the management business when
management companies cede it to virtualization companies on the SMB side
and alternatively get squeezed by offerings from the cloud?
Gustav: It’s a counter-trend. One of
the things we do at our CTO event in
California is to bring in early-stage companies that have little chance to sell to
As a classic example, one of the
things that I’m most interested in vir-tualizing right now is the desktop. I
might actually use Citrix on top of Xen
or VMware, or CXD on top of VMware
to do that particular function.
The Citrix technology is much better
for the presentation layer of virtualization. At the present state of technology,
I find VMware’s framework for doing
physical–to-virtual migrations and
similar functions to be better. In addition to that, I may do an application
virtualization layer with a Softgrid-like
I might use all three major vendors,
depending on their strengths, and
a Amazon’s cloud product offering—http://aws.