I am not sure if you have noticed or not, but I am hearing a lot discussion around server and desktop virtualization. Traditionally these spaces have been owned by Vmware. But based on the feedback and questions that my customers are expressing and asking, I think that the time might be ripe for Vmware to be vulnerable. Dont get me wrong, I think that Vmware is a great product, very robust and it works largely as advertised.
They also have their giant VMworld event happening soon, so I get that they are definitely the dominant player in this space.
But what is undeniable is that Vmware has a very expensive product suite, and the competition is trying to undercut VMware’s value by cutting the cost down. Recently Citrix began offering their Xenserver for free. In addition, with Windows 2012, Microsoft is giving away Hyper-V Hypervisor for free. Lastly, there is of course, the Linux virtualization option-also free known as KVM(Kernel Virtual Machine). All of these forces have conspired along with Microsoft, and the Linux community quickly advancing the feature set of their respected virtualization platforms to begin to noticeably erode VMware’s marketshare. In 2008, VMware’s server marketshare was 65.4%, now it is down to 56.8%. Meanwhile Microsft’s Hyper-V server marketshare is up from 20.3% in 2008 to 27.6% today. And that dosen’t even touch on the fact the IBM is now heavily invested in and using KVM internally to the tune of dedicating 60 members of their staff to full time KVM development.
Of course these observations so far have really just about the server side, lets touch on the desktop side. VDI(Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is becoming a bigger and bigger project catalyst within organizations as the ROI becomes more and more compelling verses purchasing traditional desktops. That is all great news for VMware. But in the desktop space is VMware the dominant player? Currently both VMware and Citirx claim to have a roughly 1% marketshare verses physical desktops. Microsoft has recently lauched their newer updated version of RDP that has virtual desktops are part of the new offering. The early reports are that is fairly robust, but that the licensing is pesky, so Microsoft has some work to do. So to summarize the VDI space, it is still maturing and there is no clear cut winner yet. But when you take a look at the virtual server and VDI space combined, VMware is still the dominant technology. The question is for how long?