Cheap Hypervisors: A Fine Idea -- If You Can Afford Them

Virtualization customers should focus on cost per VM more than upfront license costs when choosing a hypervisor.  VMware Infrastructure's exclusive ability to overcommit memory gives it an advantage in cost per VM the others can't match. Our competition and a few industry observers have lately taken up the sport of bashing VMware Infrastructure as overpriced. […]

Virtualization customers should focus on cost per VM more than upfront license costs when choosing a hypervisor.  VMware Infrastructure's exclusive ability to overcommit memory gives it an advantage in cost per VM the others can't match.

Our competition and a few industry observers have lately taken up the sport of bashing VMware Infrastructure as overpriced. Microsoft is playing up their plans to bundle Hyper-V with Windows Server 2008 as a way undercut VI3 pricing and jump-start their late entry in the virtualization market. One of our Xen-based competitors has even adopted a marketing tag line of “one-fifth the cost of comparable alternatives,” clearly referring to us.

VMware Infrastructure customers and prospective users should not be misled by those accusations of inflated prices. Our rivals are simply trying to compensate for limitations in their products with realistic pricing. In defense of our pricing, I could go into details about the powerful virtual infrastructure features you get with VMware Infrastructure 3 Enterprise that the competition is still far from matching. I could also describe the great bargains we offer with our VMware Infrastructure Acceleration Kits. I could explain that our competition is prone to apples-to-oranges comparisons and their offerings should really be weighed against our small business VMware Infrastructure Foundation bundle or the VMware Infrastructure Standard bundle that adds high availability. I could steer those of you looking for the absolute lowest-cost enterprise bare-metal hypervisor to VMware ESX Server 3i for $495 – the thinnest technology available. VMware also has a great TCO/ROI calculator to help you decide, but if all that seems like too much work, let me propose a simpler metric for comparing hypervisors – cost per virtual machine.

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Virtualization, VMware, ESX Server, ESX Server 3i, Hyper-V, Windows Server 2008