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Quick Take: Virtual Iron Amnesty from VMware

July 7, 2009

From now until September 30, 2009, Virtual Iron customers will be able to cash in their licenses for a 40% discount on comparable VMware products including:

  • VMware vSphere™ 4 Advanced Edition
  • VMware vSphere™ 4 Enterprise Plus Edition
  • VMware vCenter™ Server Foundation, and
  • VMware vCenter™ Server Standard

Support and Subscription Contracts are eligible for a 10% discount as well – longer terms are not eligible. Virtual Iron customers should check with their VMware integrator for more details and migration options. VMware’s has posted its entire offer – including exceptions and rules – on the VMware website.

Such an offer begs the question: should Virtual Iron customers migrate to VMware or XenSource? While both Virtual Iron and XenSource are based on the Xen VMM, the capabilities of Virtual Iron Extended Enterprise Edition would suggest either VMware Enterprise (about $4,175/2P server with 1-year support and announced discount) or XenSource Enterprise Essentials (about $4,250/2P server with 1-yr support) – or 2.5 times their current Virtual Iron investment.

On the VMware side, the switch will add DPM, Fault Tolerance, VCB and Storage vMotion to the equation plus a significant number of additional non-Windows guests. On the XenSource side, the switch will add XCB and some additional guest support.

SOLORI’s Take: Virtual Iron customers may eschew the “for pay” route altogether and either pocket the money awaiting a more valuable market shift, or evaluate the remaining “no cost” alternatives to VMware and XenSource. Our recommendation is to consider any shift in vendor based strictly on ROI and need. There will be many of the (reportedly) 3,000+ Virtual Iron customers that will show no immediate need to shift over the next 6 months.

Between their remaining support contracts and the relationship with their virtualization infrastructure reseller, very few Virtual Iron customers will be left in the dark. The death of a VMM is much like a server model being discontinued: the server keeps working well after the factory shuts down and so will the VMM. However, as newer features and capabilities move forward with the competition, the old server starts to show its age…

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