Fed-Up VMware Fires Back At Microsoft's Virtualization Trash Talk

VMware, which for years has ignored Microsoft's persistent trash talking about its virtualization products, is finally fighting back.

VMware's "Get The Facts" website, launched Monday with the stated mission of counteracting "Microsoft hyperbole," features rebuttals to several of Microsoft's oft-voiced criticisms.

"When it comes to virtualization and cloud infrastructure, VMware’s competitors are playing catch-up, often making bold unsubstantiated claims," VMware says on its "Get The Facts" website. "Check out the facts for yourself and learn how Microsoft’s marketing fluff falls short of reality."

In addition to touting its vMotion live migration feature as five times faster than Microsoft's, VMware kicks sand at the software giant's latest server virtualization update. "Hyper-V R3 will still fall short of vSphere 5 in critical areas like virtual security, storage management and business continuity," VMware says on the website.

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[Related: VMware Says vSphere Cheaper To Run Than Microsoft Hyper-V ]

One of Microsoft's favorite arguments is that its System Center server management platform can handle VMware hypervisors, while VMware does not have a corresponding capability.

In VMware's view, System Center lacks the ability to manage vSphere hosts, clusters or resource pools and also falls short when it comes to provisioning storage and networking.

That's not all: "System Center Virtual Machine Manager requires vCenter Server to manage vSphere environments, resulting in redundant cost and more complex processes," according to the VMware website.

VMware began fighting back in earnest last month when it cited test results from research firm Principled Technologies, which showed that the combination of vSphere and vCenter Site Recovery Manager is actually cheaper to operate than Hyper-V and System Center, in terms of the time admins must spend to keep it up and running.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has been trying to chip away at VMware's server virtualization dominance through creative marketing. The software giant’s heavily produced "VM-Limited" campaign, which features the hilariously anachronistic 1970s character Tad, is meant to highlight VMware’s inability to move beyond its roots in virtualization and into cloud infrastructure.

NEXT: VMware Sticks To High Road

Steve Kaplan, vice president of data center virtualization at Presidio Networked Solutions, Greenbelt, Md., believes that VMware, which has taken the high road for years, is looking to dispel the fear, uncertainty and doubt that Microsoft has created in the virtualization space.

"Microsoft is putting so much time and money into attacking VMware, I think VMware has decided that it does warrant a response," Kaplan told CRN. "I think it is great that VMware is addressing the misleading information that Microsoft has been spreading."

Microsoft enjoys injecting humor into its VMware bashing, but turnabout is fair play. In a blog post earlier this week, VMware quotes American Statesman Benjamin Franklin's saying "One today is worth two tomorrows" in reference to Microsoft's tendency to talk about products and features well in advance of their launch.

As VMware notes, Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V, and a release of System Center 2012 that will support all its new features, are not yet available. "Amid all of the talk of Windows Server 2012 and the coming release of Hyper-V, it can get awfully confusing about what is actually here today and what is coming in the future," VMware says in the blog post.

Microsoft and VMware have a symbiotic relationship and are not bitter rivals in the mold of a Google versus Microsoft or an Oracle versus HP. That said, the two companies rivalry is intensifying as each vies to become the dominant software player in the cloud.

VMware was at Microsoft's TechEd conference this week, but Redmond Channel Partner reported recently that Microsoft is not permitting it to attend its Worldwide Partner Conference next month. Microsoft is also banning Google, Salesforce and Oracle.