I guess the Oracle-Sun news makes everything else seem pretty small scale, so the launch of VMware ESX Server 4.0 will probably go largely unnoticed.
I’ve used many of the VMware offerings (Workstation, Server, GSX Server, ESX Server, ESXi, Intrastructure etc.) and seen the demos of the advanced features and they are impressive, but I have to keep asking myself, what do the majority of people actually want out of virtualization? The answer always seems to be “basic virtualization”. I love all the management tools and extra features VMware offer, but do I need them at the staggering price they cost? No. Actually, all the functionality I need comes in the VMware ESXi hypervisor product. It’s a free bare-metal hypervisor that does the job and everything else is just bells and whistles. So if I were going the VMware route I would take the free option and use ESXi.
Of course, there is another option. Without trying to sound like an Oracle fanboy (which I am), I can’t imagine running production virtualization with any product other than Oracle VM. Why? Because it does the job it’s meant to do (bare-metal virtualization) and it’s free. In that sense it is neck-and-neck with VMware ESXi. If you are planning to run Oracle software on your vurtual machines the support issue is much clearer on Oracle VM than ESXi, so the decision is really a no-brainer.
I’m sure there are companies that will need the additional functionality the VMware product set offer, but for many the latest iteration of the VMware products will be feature-creep gone too far. It will be interesting to see how this latest release pans out for them.