VMware, Microsoft Decide to Play Nice




There are no permanent enemies in politics, just permanent interests, the truism goes;
and this is apparently true in business as well. InternetNews.com has learned that
VMware has joined arch-rival Microsoft’s third-party server virtualization validation
program (SVVP).

Virtualization newbie Microsoft and market leader VMware play nice, up to a point, with validation program.

“VMware is proud to be a part of SVVP,” Carl Eschenbach, executive vice president of
worldwide field operations, said in an email sent to InternetNews.com. “VMware is
looking forward to working closely with Microsoft to complete the certification of VMware
ESX under the SVVP program to provide customers the support they need to gain the
flexibility and benefits of working in virtualized environments.”

ESX is one of VMware’s hypervisors(define),
and Microsoft’s certification is necessary if customers using VMware new policy
Microsoft announced today
. That policy says Microsoft will provide technical support
for 31 server applications deployed on its hypervisors or on “any other third-party
validated virtualization platform.”

The initial announcement of SVVP participants in June named Cisco Systems, Citrix
Systems, Novell, Sun Microsystems and Virtual Iron. A Microsoft spokesperson would not
specifically confirm VMware’s participation and told InternetNews.com to “please contact
‘VMware public relations manager’ with questions regarding VMware’s participation.”

VMware and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) are locked in a battle for the
burgeoning virtualization market. Microsoft released its Hyper-V hypervisor earlier than
scheduled, and it’s believed that EMC, which owns VMware,
forced out Diane Greene
as CEO and replaced her with former Microsoft executive Paul
Maritz to help better combat Microsoft.

VMware’s chief financial officer, Mark Peek, admitted
during its second quarter earnings call
recently that competition from Microsoft will
impact his company’s earnings negatively.

In the same call, VMware’s new CEO, Paul Maritz, said that the key to competing with
Microsoft is “to stay ahead ‘in the market’ and that’s exactly what we intend to do.”
And, shortly after Maritz’s assumption of the reins at VMware, the company
brought out a free version
of its hypervisor, ESXi.

So why is VMware making nice with Microsoft? It really has no choice: Regardless of
its newness, Hyper-V is a definite contender, especially because it runs on Microsoft’s
popular SharePoint Server 2008.

So, an uneasy alliance is good business. “VMware has been collaborating with Microsoft
and other ISVs (independent software vendors) to ensure that our customers are supported
at the highest possible level,” VMware’s Eschenbach said.

Corporations are experimenting with Hyper-V, if only for now, to learn what it can do.
“We’re using Hyper-V right now, it’s another utility for us to go out there and play
with,” Kevin Murphy, chief technology officer at NEI, which makes physical and virtual
appliances for independent software vendors, told InternetNews.com.

For its part, Microsoft gives its users a break by making VMware integration easier
and avoids further controversy: In February 2007, VMware charged
Microsoft
with leveraging its ownership of the Windows operating system and
applications that permeate corporate IT to drive customers to use Microsoft
virtualization products. VMware barely stopping short of accusing Microsoft of antitrust
law violations.

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com

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