John Treadway, VP of Cloud Technology Partners, a consultancy, says the cost per VM price can be slightly misleading. "Enterprise buyers know that there is a difference between the list price and what the actual price turns out to be." Plus, he says, VMware is trying to play a price game. "That's not their value proposition," he says. "Cheapest isn't always necessarily the best."
Treadway says there are plenty of ways to set up a virtualized infrastructure that would be cheaper than both VMware and Microsoft. Commodity hardware could be used on top of an open source hypervisor to create a system that he guesses could be 20% cheaper than Microsoft's price. The tradeoff is it would take more configuration and management, but it would be cheaper.
That doesn't mean there isn't room for Windows Server 2012 in the enterprise though, Bowker says. More and more, enterprises are turning into multi-hypervisor environments, with Microsoft's Hyper-V gaining traction in adoption. "There's a comfort factor there with Microsoft," he says.
And overall, Bowker says that competition is a good thing to keep these vendors on their toes and ensure that customers reap the benefits of a diversified marketplace.
Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social collaboration. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.
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This story, "Fuzzy math: VMware cost calculator can show Microsoft is cheaper" was originally published by Network World.