Burton Group rates Virtual Server as unusable, VMware as invincible

On his corporate blog Richard Jones, Service Director of Data Center Strategies at Burton Group, comments the competition between Microsoft and VMware, finding analogies with the historical fight between Microsoft and Novell.

Two things are incredibly ironic: first one is that Microsoft and Novell are now strong partners on virtualization against VMware, second one is that VMware is compared to a loser against Microsoft for the second time in two weeks (last one Oracle CEO compared it to Netscape).

But Mr. Jones post is interesting for another reason: throught it the Burton Group takes a strong and neat position against Microsoft.

You must realize that Novell’s wildly successful NetWare product of the late 1980’s and early 1990s was filling a void in the Microsoft eco-system. Granted, Microsoft had a LAN networking solution allowing for file and print in those days, but LAN Manager was poor compared to NetWare. LAN Manager didn’t scale, and performance was so poor, it really wasn’t usable for anything more than a handful of desktops.

So how is history repeating itself, you may ask? So in late 2004, Microsoft acquired the virtualization assets of Connectix and launched Microsoft Virtual Server 2005. By comparison to VMware, it doesn’t scale and performance is so poor its not really useful to the broad market.

Right now it seems that VMware is invincible (and I can remember back when it seemed Novell was invincible)…

This should provide VMware sales force enough marketing material for some months to come. Meanwhile Microsoft sales force may want to argue on credibility.