Server virtualization market: 2009 channel outlook

The recession's effects on the server virtualization market and the VMware vs. Microsoft battle in the server virtualization market were hot topics at today's New England VMware User Group meeting at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

Jack Kaiser, vice president of sales and marketing for VMware partner International Computerware, discusses these topics and what they mean for solutions providers in the server virtualization market.

Read the full transcript from this video below:

Server virtualization market: 2009 channel outlook

Jack Kaiser: Hello. I’m Jack Kaiser, vice president of business development and marketing for International Computer Ware, also known as ICI. We’re located in Marlboro, Mass.

Colin Steele: Thanks, Jack. How will the economy affect the demand for virtualization services in 2009?

Kaiser: Obviously, the economy is first and foremost in everyone’s mind now in any purchasing decision, so virtualization still is a cost-effective solution. What our job is as consultants is to prove to people that virtualization solution and deployment is going to save them money in the long run, because that’s what every end user wants -- to show that they’re saving money for their company.

Steele: Do you view it as more of an opportunity or a challenge this year?

Kaiser: It’s a little bit of both. We’ve definitely seen customers that [are] delaying purchases, the sales cycles are taking longer; people are really evaluating to make sure there’s an ROI. A lot of companies say they want an ROI in 12 months, as opposed to maybe the past few years it was 18 months or 36 months. It’s a challenge and it’s something we have to get over, but I think ultimately, I’m glad we’re selling virtualization solutions, as opposed to some other things in IT that don’t have as compelling of a story.

Steele: What will be the hot VMware products for partners to sell in 2009?

Kaiser: Obviously, people are interested in the ESX 4.0 and see the features and functionality there and doing upgrades in that area. We’re seeing a lot of interest in Site Recovery Manager, also VDI, or VMware View. There’s been a lot of talk, and more and more people are actually thinking of implementing it. We’ve done several implementations, but I see more people actually moving forward with VDI or View this year.

Steele: Finally Jack, how do you and your customers view Microsoft Hyper-V, and how do you expect Hyper-V to be more competitive? Or do you expect Hyper-V to be more competitive this year because of up live migration and some of the other new features in version 2.0?

Kaiser: Obviously, Microsoft is an amazing marketing machine and there’s no doubt; you can’t ignore them. From my standpoint, VMware still has the features and functionality that are far superior to Hyper-V. However, a lot of the senior executives in the IT organizations are looking at Microsoft and reading the great marketing materials from Microsoft. People are looking at it, and that’s where we have to do our consulting job and put on our hats to show why VMware has a better solution in the long run.

I still don’t see a lot of deployments, but I definitely see more and more people looking at it. As Microsoft catches up with the technology, it’s going to become more and more of a threat. It’s something we’re well aware of. Our team and our engineers are aware of the capabilities and features of Hyper-V, and then we just have to understand the differences with VMware and communicate that to our customers.

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