Microsoft is little shy of serving VMware the same treatment that it is using to fight Apple. The Redmond company is betting on a numbers game strategy that makes all the sense in the world, especially in the context of the global economic downturn. With IT budgets shrinking and no end to the financial crisis in sight, customers will undoubtedly be inclined to pay extra attention to Microsoft's virtualization offerings, especially when the Redmond company is touting prices three times less compared to VMware. The software giant is applying the same tactic in its marketing face-off with Apple, proving constantly that Windows PCs are cheaper than Macs.
“On the small and medium business side, VMware changed the name of their VI Foundation SKU to vSphere Essentials and added a new vSphere Essentials Plus SKU. Essentials is priced at $995 for three two processors hosts and Essentials Plus is priced at $2995 for three two processor hosts. In contrast, a customer using Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (VMM) Workgroup Edition (WGE) will only have to pay $499 for five hosts,” revealed Edwin Yuen
, a senior technical product manager at Microsoft's Integrated Virtualization team.
And just as Microsoft is accusing Apple of forcing its users to pay an Apple tax, so is the company pointing the finger at VMware for what it has referred to as a virtualization tax. The Redmond company is arguing that Vmware customers are paying for hardware, virtualization, operating system and applications, while its own just have to accommodate hardware, operating system with virtualization, and applications. In this context, the software giant claims that it has a definitive price advantage over VMware.
In a specific scenario, Microsoft claims that for Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition, System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise, System Center Operation Manager Server, System Center Configuration Manager, and System Center Data Protection Manager Server a company would have to pay just $21,052 for a total of five servers. In the case of VMware, for the same number of five servers, in addition to the Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition customers would have to buy vCenter Server and two processor Infrastructure Enterprise Licenses, at the total cost of $61,233.
“The Essentials SKU is four times more expensive compared to the Microsoft Solution, which also includes HA, clustering, and live migration. The Essentials Plus SKU is 12 times more expensive than the Microsoft solution, while still missing live migration. In fact, for customers who need live migration, they must purchase the vSphere Advanced SKU, which starts at $4490 for a single, two processor host,” Yuen added.
A cost comparison between Microsoft and VMWare
Microsoft Virtualization - Virtualization without Taxation