Microsoft’s virtualisation story was pretty cool at MMS, so why’s it all gone quiet?

I had a few days in Vegas at MMS (Microsoft Management Summit) at the end of April, just before I moved house and then took some time off to get things straight. When I got back it was like the whole thing never happened. Even a quick Google search on ‘Microsoft+virtualisation’ gives me content from 2005 from the fifth finding down. Weird.

It wasn’t like Microsoft didn’t say anything of note either: pricing for virtualisation capabilities inside Windows Server 2008, support for non-Microsoft virtualised environments, and the big one which hasn’t really been talked about loudly up to now from any vendor with management products – managing virtualised environments. Sure, the word ‘Beta’ was all over the place, but that’s what we’re used to.

I’ve not quite decided yet if virtualisation needs calling out specifically as a candidate for special management focus, and that’s possibly a conversation for another time. Until organisations get their bearings, fine, after that virtualisation needs to be seen as the means to an end it really is, and managing as such. The fact that generating change in a virtualised environment is slicker than in a physical environment does make the case for an equally slick approach to management, but that’s not the same as treating virtualised and physical environments as separate entities. There are too many management silos already.

But the virtualisation product-in-beta-list wasn’t the most interesting bit. That came when Microsoft, by placing such a low price point ($28 or some seemingly made up figure) on the virtualisation component of Windows Server 2008 made the clearest statement of intent / reality around virtualisation yet. Virtualisation isn’t the exciting bit. What organisations do in their virtualised environments is the exciting bit. The fact that it’s Microsoft saying this means virtualisation is no longer hip or sexy, but it is real, because now it’s a mainstream activity.

And that’s why I thought there’d be more out there on this: there were a few mumblings about ‘being late to the party’ (which only make sense if you forget there is an entire world outside of the fortune 500) and managing non-Microsoft environments circulating before hand, but then again, as a group we’re quick to gripe but slower to acknowledge change. Or maybe, as the conference silly season was / is in full swing, everyone simply went home and immediately got on a plane for the next one. I know I did (and the house move, obviously). IBM Tivoli Pulse next.

PS. A big thumbs up to everyone who got a mention in the IIAR analyst of the year poll. Our stable mates MWD and Redmonk did rather well, and for a relative newbie we’re rather pleased with our own showing too.

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