Microsoft has spied what it perceives as a telling adjustment to VMware's cost calculator for server virtualization, and it is wasting no time calling the industry's attention to the change.
Microsoft is claiming that VMware's recently updated Cost-Per-Application Calculator, an online tool that measures the cost of virtualizing apps on vSphere 5.1 versus Microsoft Windows Server 2012 (Hyper-V) and Citrix XenServer, confirms Microsoft's oft-professed view that VMware's offering is more expensive.
Using Microsoft's baseline server virtualization deployment of 100 VMs, type B servers, iSCSI SAN and vSphere 5.1 Enterprise Plus, the Cost-Per-Application Calculator found VMware is 19 percent more expensive than Microsoft.
"We're not just talking about license acquisition cost, but also the capital expenditure costs (CAPEX), including power, space, storage, and server hardware costs," Amy Barzdukas, general manager of Microsoft's Server and Tools marketing unit, said Thursday in a blog post.
VMware did not respond to a request for comment on Microsoft's findings.
At least one virtualization solution provider that partners with both vendors isn't paying any heed to Microsoft's claims. As noted by the partner, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid damaging his partnership with Microsoft, and verified by CRN, changing the number of VMs in the calculation to 95 instead of 100 changes the results significantly -- VMware is 7 percent more expensive in this scenario.
And when using type C servers and vSphere Standard, VMware's costs are actually 13 percent lower than Microsoft's, according to the calculator.
"Microsoft has emphasized that they're cheaper than VMware since Hyper-V came out. But when you're virtualizing your data center, cheaper is not the main consideration," said Steve Kaplan, an industry analyst focused on the data center market. "Plus, VMware has never said they're less expensive, but their product does do more and is more secure."
Microsoft's longstanding view is that the combination of Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 includes all necessary components for running a private cloud. The software giant thinks VMware's new vCloud Suite 5.1, which bundles vSphere with management, networking, security and storage products, is a good oranges-for-oranges comparison to its own private cloud offering.
When using vCloud Suite 5.1 in the calculation, VMware's private cloud costs are 440 percent higher than Microsoft's, according to Barzdukas.
The anonymous virtualization solution provider called Microsoft's assertion "just ridiculous and not worth addressing," adding that System Center is nowhere near as strong as the vCloud management framework.
Microsoft's latest campaign to highlight the cost advantages of its virtualization offering could sway the uninitiated, but the source told CRN Microsoft isn't going to convince anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the actual costs involved.
"I'm not a VMware fanboy, and I deeply want full competition from Microsoft in this space, but these wild comparison scenarios don't do anyone any good," said the anonymous source. "They're not going to win over knowledgeable VMware users with material that comes across like political campaign ads."
PUBLISHED NOV. 16, 2012