Our friends at Homeland Security are known to use the term “chatter” to refer to the level of terrorist communications they’re intercepting at any given time. Any large consortium of humans will have its own chatter, with its own quirky patterns and trends, and the storage market is no exception.
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Right now, in the wake of VMworld Europe, there’s quite a bit of chatter going on about developing conflicts between VMware and its partners, especially in storage.
Still, where earlier discussions on this blog have been purely speculative, some new articles and posts have surfaced that push the observation further toward reality. There are those who continue to pooh-pooh the idea, but Burton Group analyst Chris Wolf, whom I interviewed for the post linked above, came away from discussions with partners at VMworld Europe seeing Storage VMotion as more disruptive to VMware’s alliances than ever:
…it did not take long for me to realize that storage vendors were not exactly singing Storage VMotion’s praises. Instead, many storage vendors were still feeling Storage VMotion’s sting. Why should they care about a new storage value-add in ESX 3.5? Vendors that offer storage virtualization as an integral part of their products have seen one of their key value-adds move to the ESX hypervisor and as a result see Storage VMotion as a threat to their bottom line.
Then, our SearchITChannelcom sister site published an article today about how channel partners, too, are feeling conflicted over VMware:
Some VMware partners are blaming the company’s rapid ascent and aggressive strategy in the server virtualization market for creating channel conflict.
VMware’s strategy, according to these value-added resellers (VARs) and independent software vendors (ISVs), has been to fill gaps in its market coverage by acquiring partners in those specific segments and integrating new technologies into its hypervisor. And the more niche markets the vendor enters, the more competition it creates with its partners.
“They have a go-it-alone approach,” said Erik Josowitz, vice president of product strategy for Surgient Inc., a VMware ISV partner in Austin, Texas. “They’re predatory in a certain sense.”
News writer Colin Steele, who reported that story, has some further tidbits on his blog as well (though he brings up the Patriots’ 18-1 season in that post, which stings a little for yours truly).
It’s still not much more than a matter of opinion and conjecture at this point, but it looks to me like when it comes to VMware and its partners, especially in the storage market, the plot is thickening.