Is VMware Starting a Turf War With Its Partners?

Another light bulb moment. (I love it when that happens)

VMware announced GA of NSX yesterday. It is no secret that VMware is now in direct competition with Cisco with their NSX offering.

(As a side note - this is the strangest GA of a product I have seen. There are no download bits. No documentation. no Pricing or ordering options besides a nice “Contact Sales” button on the NSX page. I have been hearing vibes on Twitter that this will be a VMware PS only deliverable and not something that you will be able to install yourself, but I have still not heard any definite confirmation on this)


I am not going to go into the merits of either of the different solutions, but it is obvious here that VMware is going after a share of the market - and that share belongs to one of their closest partners.

So what else was announced?

Log Insight 1.5 TP3, VCOPs 5.8 and vSphere Data Protection Advanced 5.5

Let’s take them one at a time.

Log Insight

Splunk is a log aggregator - and one of the best that I know out there. They are a VMware TAP and have developed a number of solutions for their products that are in use today with a number of VMware customers.

So what does Splunk do? (A picture is better than a thousand words).


And Log Insight?

Log Insight

Again - a number of similarities between the products - and of course there are differences and merits for each of them on their own.


Here we have a number of partners, Veeam, Dell (Foglight), Solarwinds. Again all partners that have developed products over the years (or bought companies that developed products) that will monitor your virtual infrastructure for you.

Of course you have SRM which is a direct competitor to Veeam Backup and Replication and also Zerto.

And last but not least..


Here VMware is now providing a “better” version of the standard VDP with some extra features. Again - in direct competition with Veeam, and their backup product.

So what is new you may ask? And why this post?

It has come to my attention that VMware is actively looking to get the message out that VMware’s products mentioned above, are better, cheaper or more cost efficient than any of their partners (all of the companies mentioned in this post - each their own category). To tell their customers, not to buy their partner’s products, but their own. Perhaps they are - in some cases they probably are.

This to me seems odd. The idea of having an ecosystem is to “share” the wealth with them, both VMware and the partner benefit from having a broad number of solutions that their customers can buy. More solutions, means more licenses ($$$) of VMware products sold.

But on the other hand it is also $$$ that VMware are losing out - because they now have products that are on par (perhaps) with their partners’. This is huge market, all the supporting packages, be it monitoring, analytics, backup, networking have a huge potential income for VMware.

The question I have to ask myself, is VMware starting to burn bridges? What effect will this have in the long run? Will this start to muddy the waters between VMware and their partners?

What do you think? Please feel free to leave your comments below


(Disclaimer: I work for Cisco which is one of the partners mentioned in this post, but I was not asked to write this post by my company)

Addendum: Brian Madden asked the same question with his post on VMware’s recent acquisition of Desktone

Update (16/10/2013): Hans De Leenheer also chimed in on this subject - you can read his view I want it all - and I want it now!