VMware or Microsoft?: Can I get an App with that?

imageIn today’s post I am going to talk about applications and Independent Software Vendors (ISV).  This is all about the applications that run and are supported in the respective virtualization platforms. To be honest, the arguments from either side of the coin can get a little trite. 

VMware for vSphere 5.1 makes this statement  regarding ISV apps:

2,000+applications explicitly supported by 1,000+ software providers

They also follow up with this statement about Microsoft Hyper-V Beta 3:

No explicit support statements for virtualized apps

While the VMware statement is “technically correct” because they used the word BETA, what they do not tell you is this: 

If it is certified on Windows Server, then it is already certified on Hyper-V.

Let me repeat that:

If it is certified on Windows Server, then it is already certified on Hyper-V

Now I am not going to go and count the number of apps and software providers that we support at Microsoft but I am sure we have several thousands.  I think my calculator would break if I tried to count them all.  (You can find them here: http://www.windowsservercatalog.com/results.aspx?bCatId=1372&avc=10)

Nuff said!!…but if you want to learn more keep reading:

To me when folks state “I have more apps than you”,  It becomes a question on how they count items to arrive at a certain figure.   Additionally the amount of qualifying statements that a majority of these contain really reminds me of obscure baseball stats.  For example the, AOSSCWPACITNTVB82NDWHAT stat:

Amount of sunflower seeds chewed while pitching against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday in a Nationally Televised Game during the bottom half of the 8th inning with a runner on second whose name is What.   

I want to make sure we are clear on the facts and at the end of the day get you to see thinking behind the statement.  Let’s start shall we…..

When I first read this statement my initial reaction may have been similar to my baseball stat above….Really?!?

In particular there are three words in this statement I want to point out to you as they stuck out to me.  BETA…NO…EXPLICIT

First off I am actually surprised when they compared our BETA platform to their currently shipping version of vSphere 5. In this regards the statement is accurate because we do not officially support beta products in production.  That is why they are called BETA.  We use betas to validate and test the product and when it is released it becomes a officially supported product.

Second, the word NO.  Really….the word that came to my mind was hogwash.   Now, I am not a PR expert, but I am fairly certain in PR 101 they teach you to not make absolute statements. In reality does anyone reading this post think that we do not support applications or that we do not have ANY supported applications for Hyper-V?

imageLastly the word and it is a qualifying statement EXPLICIT.  I am not quite sure how they officially explicitly support an application.  From what I have read, this means the application has passed a set of criteria to get the VMware Ready logo. Which means as a provider of software you want to make sure you properly test and verify an application before you grant your seal of approval. 

imageWhile VMware has their VM Ready badge, At Microsoft we have Windows Logo Program for Server Applications.  This makes ISV’s go through a set of testing and certifications as well.  In both cases I can only imagine the strict requirements ISV apps go through before they receive the logo.  Internally at Microsoft before we release server software there is a set of common criteria that every product has to pass before the product is shipped.  One of the common criteria is that the application is supported by Hyper-V.  I know Microsoft apps are not technically an ISV app for Hyper-V, I do think it helps drive home my point about the silliness of the statement.

Let me go back to this statement:

If it is certified on Windows Server, then it is already certified on Hyper-V.

Now when it comes to counting how many apps that are supported I think these arguments can verge on being silly.  I remember I wrote an article awhile back on search and the number of documents we index vs. a competitor.  I was surprised there was a big difference between the type of documents.  So I did some digging, and what I found was the competitor counted multiple versions of software. For example, they counted Word 2.0, Word 2000, Word 2003….etc.  While we just counted .doc.  It made sense for the disparity between the numbers, while they did have a couple of more documents, it was not the 100’s I originally saw.

At the end of the day, I know you are going to need to get an application to help you with your virtualization environment.  Whether it is VMware of Microsoft, if it has the logo and is certified you can rest easy and know it will be supported.  The rest is up to you to test and tune the application to make sure it meets your needs. 

If you want to know what document from VMware I was referencing take a look here this currently-used VMware document

I hope you enjoyed this post, and please comment.  If you missed any parts of the series take a look here:

VMware or Microsoft? – The Complete Series