VMware slightly changes its benchmark policy

From his blog Richard Garsthagen, Technical Marketing Manager at VMware, announced what probably is the most important change in the virtualization world these days: VMware modified it’s End User License Agreement (EULA) to permit publishing of benchmark tests on its products.

Quoting the referred part of EULA:

You may use the Software to conduct internal performance testing and benchmarking studies, the results of which you (and not unauthorized third parties) may publish or publicly disseminate; provided that VMware has reviewed and approved of the methodology, assumptions and other parameters of the study. Please contact VMware at benchmark@vmware.com to request such review.

This new arrangement doesn’t introduces real freedom in comparison tests since every company or independent analyst is subordinated to VMware, which may or may not agree on benchmarking approach (and not necessary being right).

It’s also evident VMware changed the EULA in this way to oblige the industry to agree on its own benchmarking methodology, which should be imminent now.

The whole move seems to contradict recent VMware efforts to standardize virtualization market.

A better approach in that direction would be publish an open benchmarking methology, which VMware, Microsoft, Xen, Parallels, SWsoft and others can approve, and which everybody can contribute submitting modifications. Then changing the EULA to permit benchmarks publishing only if based on the open source methodology.

I wonder what opinion SWsoft has on this, what opinions have other vendors, and most of all what customers really would like to have.

Comment on! VMware is reading.