When it comes to anything to do with virtualization most IT organizations are struggling. Not only is the number of virtual machines that need to be managed skyrocketing, the overall environment is getting more diverse, especially as Microsoft continues to gain ground on VMware.
Naturally, as IT organizations look to manage virtualization at scale in the age of the cloud they start to consider their management platform options. Every major provider of virtual machine software wants their customers to standardize on their management platform. But as the virtual machine environment becomes more heterogeneous interest in virtualization management platforms that can support multiple types of virtual machines is growing.
For example, VMTurbo, a provider of cross-platform virtualization management software that supports every major virtual machine platform, already has over 300 customers using its tools. According to Bernie Hannon, director of channel for VMTurbo, as the virtualization management challenge starts to achieve critical mass, a new opportunity is starting to emerge for solution providers that are fluent in multiple virtual machine technologies.
Whether it’s selling a virtualization management platform or using it to deliver managed virtualization services, Hannon says virtualization management is on the cusp of becoming a major professional service within the channel.
A single management platform that spans multiple virtual machine platforms is not only more profitable for channel partners in that it reduces their total costs; it also gives solution providers an ability to differentiate themselves from competitors. That’s critically important, says Hannon, because providers of virtual machine software have a tendency to want to bundle their management consoles for free whenever they get involved in a competitive bid. That tends to have a negative impact on the solution provider’s profit margins. A heterogeneous approach allows the solution provider to more easily carve out virtualization management as a distinct practice, which can be hard to do when other vendors are treating the management console as a loss leader.
As is often the case convincing customers they need to pay extra for something they get elsewhere for a much lower cost can be quite a challenge. The good news is that with each passing day more IT organizations are starting to buckle under the strain of virtual machine management. As that continues to occur; demand for virtualization management services will continue to grow exponentially.