The coming Microsoft-VMWare war in the clouds

The coming Microsoft-VMWare war in the clouds

Summary: If VMWare does become a complete alternative to Microsoft in the enterprise, through the cloud, then Microsoft does indeed have a battle on its hands.


Back in the day, back when Bill Gates was still hungry and Steve Jobs still a failure, Microsoft was well-known for going after one rival at a time.

Usually the rival was bigger (IBM) or older (Novell's Ray Noorda). The point is this concentration worked wonderfully. Microsoft became number one by winning a succession of heavyweight bouts, with the media as its audience.

While I was in Europe our German editor hinted to me that such concentration may be coming to Redmond again. This time it's VMWare that's in its sights.

There are sound reasons for this.

Microsoft is now an enterprise company, and that's where VMWare is strong. The battle is over the cloud and enterprises dig the cloud. VMWare has been expanding from hypervisors into a full cloud stack, and stacks are where Microsoft is at. Clouds are what its enterprise customers are talking about, and Microsoft needs to be in that discussion.

The pending break-up of Novell would pull all this together. The idea is that VMWare would pick up the SUSE Linux piece, mainly for its appliance expertise. Both companies have a sizable German presence, and big European sales. Beer and pretzels for everybody!

All of which may explain the announcement from that it would help avoid "VMWare lock-in" through an abstraction layer allowing Microsoft's Hyper-V to be used with the OpenStack cloud platform. is part of the OpenStack group and is contributing the required code into the next build, dubbed Bexar.

I think the rhetoric is more important than the reality here. Providing options in OpenStack for a variety of technologies is good for OpenStack. A cloud that doesn't demand you change your hypervisor to play in it is a better cloud.

It's the idea that all this is about freedom that gets me. If VMWare does become a complete alternative to Microsoft in the enterprise, through the cloud, then Microsoft does indeed have a battle on its hands.

And they seem up for the fight.

Topics: VMware, Apple, Hardware, Microsoft, Virtualization

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  • MS is not an Enterprise Company

    Never has been, never will be.

    Windows is not stable enough for Enterprise Customers.
    • RE: The coming Microsoft-VMWare war in the clouds


      Putting aside the anti-MS rhetoric, I'm not sure how you can claim that Windows is not an enterprise company. Especially since you'll find Windows products in almost every fortune 500 company.
      • RE: The coming Microsoft-VMWare war in the clouds

        @bmonsterman Agreed. Microsoft has been chasing "the top of the stack" since Eric Raymond wrote "The Cathedral and the Bazaar." A long time. It is true, however, that many people earlier in this decade did not yet think Microsoft scaled to the enterprise mainframe level yet, and I can't tell you what they think today. Anyone?
      • RE: The coming Microsoft-VMWare war in the clouds

        Dana,<br><br>When it comes to comparing Microsoft Windows scalability to enterprise mainframe systems, it seems fair to look at transactional performance. After all, most of business processing is transactional (from a DBMS standpoint). Databases are often the bottleneck with enterprise applications. When I browse around, it looks like SQL Server generally trails DB2 and Oracle, but not by alot. I would say Microsoft as an enterprise solution may not be the most scalable, but when compared to the days of SQL Server 2000 and prior, it seems like the gap has been closing. Will Microsoft continue to be able to stay competitive/relevant as we shift back to a centralized computing model (i.e. the cloud)? Only time will tell.
    • Which is why you are unemployed

      itguy08. Your comments clearly show you do not know about the subject that you are commenting on.
      Tim Cook
      • RE: The coming Microsoft-VMWare war in the clouds

        @Mister Spock

        How so? That's a nice buzzworded statement but without any bite or semblence of validatiion. Which comments "clearly show" whatever it is you meant to comment on? Or are you just shot-gunning?
  • If VM ware wanna defend it self again MS

    First Its a do or die thing there will be no second chance.
    second they should start thee own OS Some BSD maybe to be sure that they are not linux or other foss.

    Third they must be ready to face a hostile take-over by ms ....

    If MS win that would be so bad
  • RE: The coming Microsoft-VMWare war in the clouds

    M$ can F up a wet dream.
  • RE: The coming Microsoft-VMWare war in the clouds

    MS is a stagnant company that is on a downhill slide on the sharp edge of the razor blade of life.
    • RE: The coming Microsoft-VMWare war in the clouds

      @EatingHay You win! First Tom Lehrer reference I've seen in years here. From "Bright College Days." I am given to understand Dr. Lehrer is still among us, a fact for which I am grateful.
  • RE: The coming Microsoft-VMWare war in the clouds

    Windows Server is currently a pervasive Enterprise server platform. Microsoft has to do something radical to preserve it's install base and twart Linux. VMware has been skimming all the cream off the savings from virtualization at Microsoft's expense. Microsoft just needs to structure its fees such that a pure Microsoft virtualization stack has dramatically improved TCO than a VMware/Microsoft hybrid virtualization stack (including management tools). Let VMware or RedHat have the Linux virtualization stack. The other major requirement is to make private/public hybrid cloud deployment seamless and secure.
    • RE: The coming Microsoft-VMWare war in the clouds

      @rograham1@... Great comment! Could not have put it better myself. Makes me proud to write a blog that can provoke such good comments.
    • Windoze not the Hypervisor OS you want...

      @rograham1@... The idea of a VM environment is that you concentrate on managing the VMs themselves not have to take down the Hypervisor every month (or even more often) to apply patches. This is an area where Linux excels and Windoze, while improving, still does not cut it. Once hot application of Kernel patches makes its way into Hypervisor OSes, M$ will be left in a Cloud of dust.
  • RE: The coming Microsoft-VMWare war in the clouds

    @david.hunt@.. Vmware is on the same boat doesn't matter if it's on running ESXi or ESX.. it does requires reboot.. it does have very often PSODs and I could easily say after working for couple of years only on vmware with an enterprise with over hundreds of Vsphere servers in clusters and over 10K VM's I have seen more PSOD's on vmware then BSOD's on Windows..
    Microsoft has really worked hard on OS stablity on server side..
  • Choice of cloud provider

    I think the cloud that people use will depend on what language their software is written in. I don't think Microsoft will be too keen to support programs written in non .NET languages, despite what they say. There are also people with programs written for use on linux OS, and I don't think these will port easily or at all to a Microsoft cloud.