2012 Channel Champions: Server & Desktop Virtualization

Jamie Shepard, executive vice president of technology solutions at ICI, a Marlborough, Mass.-based solution provider, points to VMware's expansion of its vCenter Operations Suite as a key move.

"Prior to releasing vCenter Operations Suite, VMware didn't have ties into storage and it did not look at the whole stack," Shepard said. "Now they've filled that gap. vCenter Operations is now the only tool we are using to manage our entire stack."

Keith Norbie, vice president and CTO at Nexus Information Systems, a Minnetonka, Minn.-based partner, said VMware's investments and focus in performance and management have paid off.

"As organizations move from ‘consolidation ratios' to ‘hybrid environments', Tier 1 app virtualization and other management capabilities are requirements, not just an option," he said. "VMware provides three business attributes to view performance—health, risk, efficiency—that take technical underpinning issues and make them understandable from a business perspective."

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It was a closer race in the support satisfaction subcategory, where VMware prevailed by just 0.4 of a percentage point and was bested by Citrix in presales support, and evaluation and demo equipment policies. Citrix also swept all five financial subcategory criteria, but this certainly isn't news to VMware, which is considered the "Cadillac" of virtualization and has always said its advanced features deliver ROI to justify the added cost.