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Can I have the Check, Please?

I have seen presentations and documents, articles and blogs all talking about how these other virtualization technologies have the same features as we do. Citrix says their version of Resource Pools are comparable to ours. Microsoft says our VMotion is comparable to their “Quick” migration technology (where you incur downtime to the application). They do this to try and get that all important check mark (√) on the table to make them look equivalent to VMware Infrastructure 3. If you dig down into it, and what the check mark actually means, you will see they can’t honestly place that mark in there.

For example, let’s look at Resource Management of your Virtual Infrastructure. Citrix claims that because they have this capability called Resource Pools they are equivalent to VMware Infrastructure 3, but to be honest, their Resource Pools are nothing more than common configuration management as stated in their product overview:

Pool-based configuration – Common settings can be set and applied automatically on a pool-wide basis, simplifying reconfiguration.

Resource Pooling is the ability to aggregate the entire resources (CPU and  Memory) of a cluster of servers. From there, you can divvy these resources between different child pools while continuously optimizing the virtual machines’ utilization of these resources across physical hosts. Our Resource Pools allow you to guarantee say 70% of the processing power to the production VMs, but allow it to grab the additional 30% of the cycles if necessary while guaranteeing that your staging environment (also hosted in the same cluster) never takes more than the 30% you have given it.

On the Microsoft front, they imply that their “Intelligent Placement” is resource management, or the equivalent of our Distributed Resource Scheduling as detailed here:

Intelligent Placement -Selecting the appropriate virtual machine host for a given workload is the key to maximizing the utilization of physical assets, whether the organization’s goal is to balance loads among existing hosts or to maximize resource usage on each host. In Virtual Machine Manager, this process is called “Intelligent Placement.”

But Distributed Resource Scheduling (DRS) is MUCH more than deciding where to place a virtual machine when you create it. What happens after that virtual machine has been running? The load on the system changes, perhaps this virtual machine, or another needs more resources, with DRS, we will redistribute this workload across all physical systems in the cluster on the fly without ANY downtime to the application

So as you can see, they are trying to marginalize our advances by saying their minimal features are equivalent to our feature rich and fully baked products. Take a look at the table below and see if their capabilities warrant a check.


Citrix XenServer





Infrastructure 3

Continuous Optimization – Across Physical Host Machines

Optimized Initial Placement of Virtual Environments on Power On

Distributed Power Management

Aggregate Collections of Hardware Resources for

Create Child Pools for dynamic resource distribution

Multi-VM Resource Guarantees

Live Migration of Virtual Environments


To be honest, though, check marks aren’t enough. If we were simply selling “Speeds and Feeds” you would see that we blow the competition away, but at VMware, we aren’t creating features, we are providing solutions. We are helping customers  solve their real world problems that go way beyond server consolidation. We are leading the way to simplified Hardware and Software Maintenance, to more efficient Storage and Image and Power Management, to lessening the effects of Downtime and Availability, and to allowing for better Business Continuity. We provide tried and true solutions for Virtual Desktop, VM Lifecycle Management and Lab Self-Servicing.

You tell me, isn’t that what you really want?