VKernel is one of the many VMware partners that over the years added value on top of VI / vSphere. Focused on capacity planning and management, the startup saw its partner turning into a competitor the day vCenter CapacityIQ was announced, in October 2009.
Reacting accordingly, VKernel first criticized the competing product, then it started releasing a number of free tools to increase its customer base as soon as possible, and then it introduced support for Microsoft Hyper-V in its flagship solution.
Meanwhile VMware didn’t push too much for CapacityIQ, giving VKernel and other partners/competitors like Lanamark, CiRBA and Liquidware Labs enough room to grow. But this are changing apparently, as the virtualization leader is now actively promoting its product on the corporate blogs.
The business relationship between the two companies seems now completely compromised, as the startup got evidence about VMware’s competitive marketing material, circulating since December 2009, that trashes Capacity Analyzer:
The VKernel reaction, published by the company’s CMO on Facebook, has been significant:
I thought we were friends? Partners at least? You guys were busy making a great virtualization platform. We were busy making some great capacity management applications so your customers would enjoy success with your infrastructure. Oh sure, we knew you built CapacityIQ as a bundled product, but still, we thought there was some love. We felt it.
But last week, I was crushed. Someone forwarded me an ATTACK SHEET against us and you wrote it. You are saying not so nice things about us.
"VKernel requires separate authentication for each of the three components of it solution"– gasp, horrors.
"VMware vCenter CapacityIQ [say that 10 times fast while rubbing your stomach] offers better functionality in a single solution rather than three separate products." Oh my.
What happened to partnership? What happened to realizing that as a systems company you will do better and your customers will do better if you focus on what you are good at while building a healthy ecosystem of partners who focus on the areas you may not be quite so good at delivering?
I am not feeling the love.
And is this your biggest knock against us? That we are not in a single appliance?
To really compare VKernel vs. VMware for capacity management solutions, you need to look at the four key areas of capacity management:
1. Capacity Monitoring
2. Capacity Planning
When you use this lens to view solutions for customers, a different and more relevant picture emerges than just "not a single appliance." We have this focused view since we are an ISV solely focused on capacity management. It is what we think about each day. It is what our engineering team does everyday. It is what we talk to our customers about everyday. This is not a sideline business for us. Our company is smaller than VMware, but we are bigger than VMware’s team that is focused on this problem both in numbers and productivity. Come to think of it, our approach is what a lot of ISVs do everyday to build out a whole product solution for customers using VMware products.
All of us ISVs are a valuable asset to your franchise and your customer base. We welcome the competition from your CapacityIQ group. We welcome the market validation from you that capacity management is a problem not addressed in the core vCenter offering.
So maybe there is love here after all. Competition will make us both stronger and our joint customers will win…