At WPC 2012 this week, the big news was that Microsoft plans to roll out Windows 2012 generally in September with RTM (Release To Manufacturing) in August. That’s a month ahead of Windows 8. That’s pretty surprising. It’s also very good news. We’ve been evaluating Windows Server 2012 for as long as their was software to be evaluated – and we believe that it’s an absolute home run for IT professionals using Windows.

Microsoft is going hard after VMware with respect to Hyper-V. The way that they’re attacking VMware is shown in the table below (reproduced from this Microsoft web page):

  • 1vCloud Director is priced at $3,750 for 25 VMs (U.S. suggested list price for license)
  • 2vCenter Operations Management Suite is a bundle of 4 separate products and is priced at $34,250 for 25 VMs (Enterprise Plus, U.S. suggested list price for license)
  • 3vFabric Application Performance Manager is priced at $360 per VM (U.S. suggested list price for license)
  • 4vCenter Configuration Manager is available with vCenter Operations Management Suite Enterprise Plus priced at $34,250 for 25 VMs (U.S. suggested list price for license)
  • 5vCenter Site Recovery Manager is priced at $12,375 for 25 VMs (Enterprise, U.S. suggested list price for license)
  • 6vShield Endpoint is priced at $2,048 for 25 VMs (U.S. suggested list price for 3 year license and SnS)

There’s no doubt that Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and the associated Hyper-V implementation is powerful – but there’s also no doubt that Microsoft is going to have a really tough time displacing the technically stronger VMware in global 1000 accounts.

Where the fun is going to be is mid-market – small and medium enterprises.

We want both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere to do well – but at the risk of nagging would again note that Microsoft in the table above is hitting VMware’s weak spot – the complex and limiting licensing of VMware vSphere. We in particular continue to absolutely hate the practice of not allowing the VADP (vStorage APIs for Data Protection) to be used in their free (unlicensed) edition of their software.

Got any opinions about which technology is going to win in the small and medium business area? Let us know what you think.