What is the Upside to VMware to the SMB?



  • I'm reading this thread on SW and it is clear that there area number of people passionately pushing spending money on VMware ESXi because it "isn't that expensive" and try to mock people for not spending money but never justify why they would spend any money at all when they don't get the features of free options, the scale of free options, guarantees of always being free (not that I doubt that) and still have to deal with license management nonsense.

    I totally get that at massive scale VMware has some unique features that can make sense. And I'm aware that lots of shops have VMware already and it isn't worth removing. And I'm aware that there are political situations where "good IT" isn't an option because we aren't doing IT but are playing politics. But outside of those cases, why is VMware on anyone's short list in the SMB? What features is keeping it on the radar? It feels like, in all of these threads, there is an emotional push to justify money already spent by telling others that they would be silly to not spend money with VMware and mocking free products or trying to imply that "free isn't free" as if somehow VMware is actually cheaper than the alternatives - ignoring that it takes more work to maintain than its competitors while also costing more up front and providing fewer features.

    So I'm honestly asking... Am I missing something? Does VMware offer something that I can't see (outside of niche needs?) What is driving VMware to even have a presence in the SMB? From my view, it seems that it should be discounted and almost treated as if it doesn't exist there like HP-UX or AIX or IBM zOS mainframes. Sure they have their place, but in normal SMB conversations?

    Every time I point out why VMware isn't better I get clearly misleading responses over there. Some of the misdirection includes:

    • $500 isn't that much money. Correct, it is not, but it is still $500 too much AND even if Vmware Essentials were free, it's still not as good as the free alternatives. So that $500 isn't that much in no way justifies VMware at all in the SMB.
    • VMware is easier. Is it? Sure not in my experience. Easy, yes. Good, yes. Easier than Hyper-V? I'd agree with that. Easier than XenServer? No, don't agree there. I've used both and XS is easier than just downloading ESXi let alone using it. All are pretty easy, none are hard. But VMware's lack of features and constant need to deal with licensing even for the free version keeps it, in my experience, from being on par with XenServer.
    • VMware has a bigger ecosystem. Read: More people trying to sell you stuff. So? Why do people act like this is a good thing? VMware needs a big ecosystem because it doesn't have its own functionality like RAID, RAIN, VSAN, Backups, etc. Why is "lack of capabilities" a selling point?
    • VMware is the market leader. Um, isn't "following the crowd" a bad thing in IT? Not that we should avoid it just because it is the leader, but skipping IT decision making processes and just doing "what everyone else who just listens to sales people does" is almost guaranteed to screw us. This is the same logic as "No one ever got fired for buying IBM" that people use to either skip doing their jobs or to play politics instead of doing IT.
    • VMware comes with support. Not in the $500 essentials package it doesn't. You still have to buy it. You can buy support after the fact for all of them. VMware the least, I believe.


  • Can you fix the link to the thread?



  • I do realize that a lot of these folks work for VMware resellers, partners, vendor partners and VMware themselves - so I am very aware that many of them are paid sales people pushing VMware. But of the IT Pros, why would they recommend even considering VMware let alone pushing it as the recommended solution?



  • @coliver said:

    Can you fix the link to the thread?

    LOL, the letter M isn't doing it for you? This thread is brought to you by the letter M



  • Fixed. It is not so much this particular thread, but there are tons of these, a few per day. There is a huge number of people pushing VMware hard, but I've yet to see anything that seems like a logical argument (outside of the ones that I mentioned as those are valid.)

    I used to push VMware and I believe that it used to be a good choice. But XenServer is now free, Hyper-V is now mature and VMware has fallen dramatically behind them. It's for today, for current recommendations, why would anyone support it. It's not that it isn't a good product, it's just the "least good" of all available options, in most cases.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Fixed. It is not so much this particular thread, but there are tons of these, a few per day. There is a huge number of people pushing VMware hard, but I've yet to see anything that seems like a logical argument (outside of the ones that I mentioned as those are valid.)

    I used to push VMware and I believe that it used to be a good choice. But XenServer is now free, Hyper-V is now mature and VMware has fallen dramatically behind them. It's for today, for current recommendations, why would anyone support it. It's not that it isn't a good product, it's just the "least good" of all available options, in most cases.

    Plus when you have things like Scale that do literally everything (not everything VMware does, but everything period) for a similar price to what you get with VMware, why choose them?



  • Another thread, seconds later. OP is looking at VMware and people defend it, at least cursorily. It seems like people should be warning about it. IT is always in the context of business and wasting money just for the sake of wasting it is always bad. Free is always better than not free, all other things being equal. But there seems to be a drive to "spend, just because you can."



  • @johnhooks said:

    Plus when you have things like Scale that do literally everything (not everything VMware does, but everything period) for a similar price to what you get with VMware, why choose them?

    Exactly, why get lots of vendors pointing fingers, products that might not work together and pay a fortune to do it yourself when you can get everything integrated, tested and fully supported.

    I totally get paying for support and am all for that. And I totally understand going cheap, especially in some of these tiny deployments.

    The thing that confuses me is the moderate VMware "tax" penalty with no visible benefit. If they were getting something for that money, sure, it might make sense. But they appear to still be getting far less while also paying the tax plus the license burden on top of that.



  • I mean... I have to be missing something, right? Some feature or use case that makes it almost universally better but no one ever discusses? What is it that I am missing as I mention this often and no one ever tells me why they are promoting it.



  • A huge part of this problem is XS | Hyper-V | etc. have all done a piss-poor job of messaging & letting folks know about the value they bring.

    Example, XS has a Tech Preview that "supports" SMB3. You can only get access to this preview if you have existing retail licenses.

    Why make it tougher for anyone to try a product?



  • What turned me off almost immediately from VMWare when I first started virtualization, was the confusing licensing. It wasn't explained well, and i couldn't figure out what I really needed (its better now). But that and the pricing was what led me to use Hyper-V.



  • I asked in that one thread and so far the only things I get are the very obviously defensive comments like "if you run XenServer you'll be the only person in your whole city with it." The inability to defend Vmware in the thread is high. Every comment comes with misdirection to try to make it sound viable without actually stating why it is worth consideration.

    They will say things like "You need to consider the individual situation", which is totally true, but in doing so it seems that again, VMware isn't a reasonable option. But they don't say why that wouldn't be right, they just try to mislead the OP by stating things in a marketing way to lead them to fill in the blanks that they didn't say.



  • I saw you said in the thread about the niche stuff for really large scale deployments. Even Apple, who has a fairly large scale deployments decided it was too much. I'm pretty sure these are all people who have taken a computer science class and are now IT professionals. Or they made a website in 1995 and used tables to format everything, so now they are virtualization experts.



  • I honestly believe VMware is paying (directly or in-directly) people to push it's product.



  • @anonymous said:

    I honestly believe VMware is paying (directly or in-directly) people to push it's product.

    I would not be surprised. And I don't mean that in a "Vmware is evil" way. I totally think that they are a great company full of great staff. But they are a huge vendor (and part of Dell and EMC) with a massive ecosystem that has its fingers everywhere. Nearly every primary vendor, support vendor, MSP and VAR in the industry has money coming to it from VMware or VMware's ecosystem products. Everyone. The influence is incredible, even if very indirect. Anyone not on the customer side of the table has a financial incentive, to some degree, to push VMware.



  • One of posters there was singing the praises of VMware up and down, and could not figure out why..... Then I found out his company "won" $100,000 from VMware.....



  • @johnhooks said:

    I saw you said in the thread about the niche stuff for really large scale deployments. Even Apple, who has a fairly large scale deployments decided it was too much. I'm pretty sure these are all people who have taken a computer science class and are now IT professionals. Or they made a website in 1995 and used tables to format everything, so now they are virtualization experts.

    I don't feel VMware is as prevalent in the enterprise as people say, but it is very hard to know. KVM and Xen are often used with no one knowing it. Shadow IT, which runs a lot of enterprises including IBM, don't report to the business what products they use. So the CIO might report a 100% VMware shop, but in reality it's a fake environment for political reasons and the actual IT department can't get purchasing help so is forced to use Xen or KVM, for example.

    Reporting of usage is always tough. By financial terms, VMware is the leader of course. By top level usage everyone knows that Xen is the leader, thanks to Amazon and its kin. Netflix is all Xen, for example, and no one has a bigger Internet presence. Google sure doesn't use VMware. Microsoft doesn't. Apple doesn't. IBM doesn't. Oracle doesn't. I've been in a lot of banks and the good ones don't, the bad ones with embarrassing IT departments did - the same ones running Windows 2003 and had never heard of RSAT in 2014 and had no idea how to use PowerShell and brought in paid consultants for even the simplest of tasks!

    Who knows what real usage is, but as companies move to OpenStack, I find it hard to believe that they are choosing to pay for ESXi as the hypervisor underneath.



  • @anonymous said:

    One of posters there was singing the praises of VMware up and down, and could not figure out why..... Then I found out his company "won" $100,000 from VMware.....

    Ding Ding Ding



  • That wouldn't be JeffNew, perchance, the one that is always a bit belligerent about VMware?



  • TBH my view on it is this-
    ESXi = I know the product well so use it when I can 😃 even the FREE version. Yes licensing is a cost and can be complex to understand.
    (Can I win something from VMWare for this post 😃 )

    Hyper-V = I've installed Hyper-V in one place and yes it works great now running we had a few issues getting it running like the extra config to manage the server from a workstation (ok this might be me not knowing the ins and outs)

    Xen - tried but never had the time to fully explore what it could do. Yes I would like to try again maybe when I get a free server to play with 😃



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @johnhooks said:

    I saw you said in the thread about the niche stuff for really large scale deployments. Even Apple, who has a fairly large scale deployments decided it was too much. I'm pretty sure these are all people who have taken a computer science class and are now IT professionals. Or they made a website in 1995 and used tables to format everything, so now they are virtualization experts.

    I don't feel VMware is as prevalent in the enterprise as people say, but it is very hard to know. KVM and Xen are often used with no one knowing it. Shadow IT, which runs a lot of enterprises including IBM, don't report to the business what products they use. So the CIO might report a 100% VMware shop, but in reality it's a fake environment for political reasons and the actual IT department can't get purchasing help so is forced to use Xen or KVM, for example.

    Reporting of usage is always tough. By financial terms, VMware is the leader of course. By top level usage everyone knows that Xen is the leader, thanks to Amazon and its kin. Netflix is all Xen, for example, and no one has a bigger Internet presence. Google sure doesn't use VMware. Microsoft doesn't. Apple doesn't. IBM doesn't. Oracle doesn't. I've been in a lot of banks and the good ones don't, the bad ones with embarrassing IT departments did - the same ones running Windows 2003 and had never heard of RSAT in 2014 and had no idea how to use PowerShell and brought in paid consultants for even the simplest of tasks!

    Who knows what real usage is, but as companies move to OpenStack, I find it hard to believe that they are choosing to pay for ESXi as the hypervisor underneath.

    Kind of like a bank I interviewed at that used VMware. They have a couple Red Hat servers, but when I asked if they had any others like CentOS or Ubuntu the lady said, "Oh no we don't use open source"........



  • I was hoping that someone would have some insight into the upsides of VMware in a greenfield environment.



  • @hobbit666 said:

    Hyper-V = I've installed Hyper-V in one place and yes it works great now running we had a few issues getting it running like the extra config to manage the server from a workstation (ok this might be me not knowing the ins and outs)
    😃

    My experience has definitely been that Hyper-V has a few extra technical hurtles. Nothing big, just not the dead simple VMware and XenServer installs.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @hobbit666 said:

    Hyper-V = I've installed Hyper-V in one place and yes it works great now running we had a few issues getting it running like the extra config to manage the server from a workstation (ok this might be me not knowing the ins and outs)
    😃

    My experience has definitely been that Hyper-V has a few extra technical hurtles. Nothing big, just not the dead simple VMware and XenServer installs.

    KVM is pretty easy too 😛



  • The SMB does not believe in Linux based anything - that fact alone kills XenServer unless the IT person in that spot at that time decides they want to do it themselves.

    Most MSPs don't support Linux solutions - at least from my experience, and reading threads on forums.

    Management doesn't buy into support through forums - Forum support is the general belief by Management on how Linux is supported - be it right or wrong, it's what they believe, and belief is reality.

    You mentioned that ESXi is easier than Hyper-v, well that might be worth $500 to someone.

    These are all of course excuses, not real reasons to no use it.. but does give you a bit of insight.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @hobbit666 said:

    Hyper-V = I've installed Hyper-V in one place and yes it works great now running we had a few issues getting it running like the extra config to manage the server from a workstation (ok this might be me not knowing the ins and outs)
    😃

    My experience has definitely been that Hyper-V has a few extra technical hurtles. Nothing big, just not the dead simple VMware and XenServer installs.

    Really? I've found Hyper-V to be super easy similar to installing XenServer. Especially if you just use the Hyper-V Server standalone software and not the one bundled with Windows.



  • @Dashrender said:

    The SMB does not believe in Linux based anything - that fact alone kills XenServer unless the IT person in that spot at that time decides they want to do it themselves.

    Yet the SMB all think that ESXi is Linux. It's a weird dichotomy of misinformation.



  • @Dashrender said:

    Most MSPs don't support Linux solutions - at least from my experience, and reading threads on forums.

    That's true. And I think one of the biggest selling points. The last thing that you want is a solution that is tempting to be supported by the "MSP down the street."



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    The SMB does not believe in Linux based anything - that fact alone kills XenServer unless the IT person in that spot at that time decides they want to do it themselves.

    Yet the SMB all think that ESXi is Linux. It's a weird dichotomy of misinformation.

    oh - I guess I'm not reading the same posts as you (definitely not as many as you) I haven't seen them equate ESXi with Linux.



  • I suspect that much of it comes down to things like ESXi being what they are used to, it's what they have always heard people using and discussing, they have never really evaluated the options or everyone they know uses it and they do not feel that they can say anything that would be perceived as not supportive.


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