Going with the Leaders

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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Solution providers say VMware wins by a landslide when it comes to server virtualization, but the market for desktop virtualization is still wide open.

Rich Baldwin, president and CEO of Nth Generation Computing in San Diego, says that he prefers to ally his firm with the market-leading technology vendors, and that's true with VMware even though there's a big price difference.

"Other guys like Virtual Iron are something like one-tenth of the price of VMware but they don't show up in any charts in terms of market share or revenue or anything else," he says. "That's always a big factor for us."

Baldwin's Nth Generation is among the approximately 50 or so partners out of 14,000 that have achieved VMware's Premiere status. Nth Generation employs about 20 certified virtualization engineers, a number that has doubled in the last year as virtualization has taken off in the market.  It's been a lucrative play for the company. For every dollar of VMware licenses Nth Generation sells, they get between $5 and $6 dollars of hardware and services sales that go with it, Baldwin says.

Baldwin also says that competitors don't offer all features that VMware does, that VMware is continuously broadening its portfolio with products such as Lab Manager and Site Recovery Manager, and there are also more choices of third party software that work with VMware because ISVs prefer to work with market leaders too.

"If you are a software developer, are you going with someone who has 90 percent of market or someone who has 3 percent of market?" asks Baldwin. "There are so many more reasons to go with the leader."

Other partners echo that thinking.

"VMware was the first to mainstream virtualization, and they are the farthest down the line technology-wise," says Stu Sjouerman, co-founder and vice president of marketing at VMWare partner Sunbelt Software. 

"In emerging technology markets like this one, the market tends to quickly single out a market leader and that is the technology that wins, like VMware, and that's where we want to be," he says. "However, Microsoft obviously has discovered this is a market they are going after with HyperV and compete with VMware head-on, so it's going to get really interesting in the next year or so."

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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