back to article Is VMware starting to mean 'legacy'? Down and out in Las Vegas

I love VMworld, as I do VMware. In the last few years VMworld has been “the IT show” if the infrastructure space is your thing. However, it is clear that something is changing and it is changing very quickly. Dell-EMC deal First of all, we are still in the middle of the Dell/EMC acquisition. This obviously doesn’t help; it …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone else notice Win 10 has no Virtual PC?

    Whats up with that?

    1. Calleb III

      Re: Anyone else notice Win 10 has no Virtual PC?

      It has Hyper-V, same as Win 8/8.1

      Virtual PC is legacy type 2 hypervisor

  2. Disgruntled of TW
    Meh

    More hype than reality ... in operations

    @Enrico - containers are still more hype than reality when it comes to revenue processing work. Great fun to play with, if you have budget and time to play, but I haven't seen them doing any heavy lifting outside of the webby world of "here today, gone tomorrow" services.

    Just sayin'.

    I do agree that VMware needs a couple of new shiny technology idea things that last more than a few quarters on the price list, which we'll no doubt hear more about post September 7th. Hopefully.

    1. Calleb III

      Re: More hype than reality ... in operations

      I'm not saying that the future of containers is guaranteed, but given the fact that the majority of the cloud load is from web services, the ability to just dump containerised applications on top of he hypervisor without having to muck about with VMs/Servers and guest OSes is definitely something to look for in the future.

      1. John Sanders
        Linux

        Re: More hype than reality ... in operations

        >> "the ability to just dump containerised applications on top of he hypervisor"

        You mean the OS.

    2. John Sanders

      Re: More hype than reality ... in operations

      Containers fit very well with the workload of I have an unattended compiler server-chain that produces a bottled application+filesystem at the other end each time anyone makes a commit to git.

      Anything outside that model and containers quickly become a chore.

      Sure, you can replace a container with another when upgrading and that is nice, troubleshooting the containers, making non-trivial changes to the container, changing the compiler chain... that's another story, and it is the same with any complex system.

  3. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    why use vmware

    The author of the article said why use vmware when you can just use containers. My specific use case across about 1,000 VMs is probably 700 of which are single points of failure (mostly in test environments), if one VM goes down in an environment that has 5 or 6 VMs quite possible the entire environment is mostly unusable until the VM returns(which in my case really only happens in the rare event a host fails and HA kicks in and moves the VM in seconds). The overhead of having everything redundant in a test environment is overkill (at least when you are dealing with so many environments).

    There are other places where single points of failure are built into the app(s), and even in a world of high stability it is sometimes needed to take underlying hosts offline to do maintenance on them. So being able to live migrate the systems off a host is important. Last I heard containers lack live migration.

    Not that my org doesn't use containers, they are used in production (LXC containers that look more like VMs than they do containers as they run many system level services like postfix, splunk, ssh and each of their own IP). Looking to significantly expand this use case very soon. I wrote more in depth on this last year in one of my last blog posts (http://www.techopsguys.com/2015/09/04/containers-my-experiences-good-and-bad/).

    In an ideal world perhaps everything is automated and everything is redundant, and everything is shiny.

    I'd bet 98% of the organizations in the world don't live in that world and won't for a long time yet.

  4. Yaron Haviv

    Nice post, APIs will win

    Enrico, nice post, i share your views

    Its not about containers, rather moving to an API economy, if you use AWS or Azure you use some Apis to store/query data, APIs to run functions, APIs for AI, APIs to route traffic, .. No infrastructure setup will be involved as they go up the services stack

    If IT and VMware won't internalize it, the developers and biz owners will bypass them a swipe the credit card at AWS (just like w Salesforce, cut a deal w AWS), to gain access to most modern services w/o the deployment hassle

    Yaron

    1. John 104

      Re: Nice post, APIs will win

      If management won't pay for infrastructure up front, the developers and biz owners will bypass them a swipe the credit card at AWS (just like w Salesforce, cut a deal w AWS), to gain access to most modern services w/o the deployment hassle

      Fixed that for ya.

  5. nilfs2
    Facepalm

    Why pay for something that is free?

    Enterprise grade hypervisors like Xen and KVM are free, why on earth is people still paying for that?

  6. CheesyTheClown

    VMware can have and eat well off of legacy

    I am about to deploy a 120,000 user VDI POC on Hyper-V/Azure Stack. I never even considered VMware for the project since it's just not well suited for VDI. I work with about 40 customers in 15 countries and for new deployments 3 years ago, they were 100% VMware. Now, 75% deploy about 80% Hyper-V and 20% VMware. The last 25% are 100% VMware.

    The first reason is simple. Price. If you have to pay $12000 per blade for Windows licenses and $7500 per socket ($15000 per blade) for VMware, you might as well use Hyper-V and skip paying for another VMM

    Memory consumption. Linux containers and Hyper-V integrate tightly with the guest system virtual machine memory managers and allow substantially denser guest deployments than ESXi. VMware still insists on simulating the an MMU as an API for interfacing with the SLAT. Hyper-V and LXC instead integrate via "system calls" between the guest virtual memory managers and the host. This tends to cut memory footprint of VMs on average by at least 60% over ESXi.

    Management. vRealize as a suite looks like an absolute joke written by a retro software freak next to Azure Stack and Ubuntu's OpenStack management systems. If VMware would quit competing against themselves and focus on doing it once and doing it right, they could get somewhere.

    vCenter... Let's be honest... vCenter is the best tool on the planet if you plan on automating absolutely nothing. No other product gives you that "I'm an NT 4 sys admin" feel better than vCenter. But if you actually want to manage more than 50 VMs, you don't manage it from there. That's what vRealize, UCS Director, Nutanix, etc... are for.

    Storage. Am I the only person who looks at VMware's storage solutions and wonders "Did EMC tell them they can't make anything that might compete with their stuff?" and "Did someone tell VMware that storage is something you can charge for?". Cisco released HyperFlex with a 3rd party storage solution which I think is just GlusterFS and pNFS configured for scale-out and a VAAI NAS plugin. It blows the frigging doors off anything VMware makes and most of it's open source and freebies. Are you seriously telling me that VMware couldn't have made that a stock component within a few months of work?

    Networking. NSX was SOOoOooo cool 8 years ago. It was revolutionary. Then VMware bought it and kept it hidden for years and by the time it shipped, the entire world had moved on to far better solutions. It's not even integrated into VMware's other stuff. It's like running a completely 3rd party tool and what's worse is that it's REALLY slow and they ended up implementing Microsegmentation because the other VMware management tools were so broken and unusable that you couldn't have more than a few dozen port groups before things just fell apart. So, instead of fixing their other stuff, they basically just hacked the shit out of NSX to break the whole SDN paradigm. Oh did I mention that NSX costs an absolute fortune when SDN is free with every other solution?

    Graphics. NVidia Grid is absolute-friggin-lutly spectacular on Hyper-V. It's like a ray of sunshine blown from the bottom side of angels every time you start a VM. RemoteFX is insane. I'm not kidding that adding a Grid to a host with Hyper-V nearly tripled my VDI density. When I tested the same card on VMware, it was agony. I got it working... Kinda. It wasn't too bad. Once you got the drivers on the guest to finally recognize the card, it was nice but they were generations behind and the improvement was about half that of Hyper-V. I speculate it's because on Hyper-V communication with the card is bare metal but on VMware, a software arbiter running on a single core is required which is killing the CPU ring bus or QPI. The behavior even suggests it might be maintaining cache coherency through abuse of critical sections which across sockets can be so slow it's almost silly.

    So... should VMware be scared? Are they obsolete? Hell no. They are legacy. I work with hundreds of people who like installing Windows by hand over and over. I work regularly with a team of 150 people who are paid to work 8 hours a day manually provisioning virtual machines as change requests come in. They are kind of like people being paid by a company to lick stamps and put them on envelopes because peel and stick is too "fancy and fangled" and they don't want to figure out this new stuff.

    VMware will be needed and loved and sold so long as people are 100% focused on "it's always worked for us doing it this way." Think of VMware as the COBOL of PC virtualization. Microfocus is still banking big bucks on COBOL. I think the worst thing VMware could do is to be better. There are still tens of thousands of small-organization mind sets and a VMM that can be fully configured to a "good enough" state in 30 minutes should always be around.

    1. From the States

      Re: VMware can have and eat well off of legacy

      I'd like to get feedback from admins who have administered large VMware environments and large Hyper-V environments to see which is better.

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