VMware – Are they getting too big?

So firstly, I’d just like to say that this is not designed to offend anyone… I have a great respect for VMware but I have noticed a few things recently that have gotten me concerned.

Now, I come from a time (not too long ago) when I remember logging onto the VMware web site and was only able to download ESX and VMware Server (previously GSX)… obviously back then there weren’t many additional resources available as well but you had everything you needed at the time.  If you visit the VMware web site now, you can see that there are probably around 100 plus downloads available for ESXi and all of the other software that is now available.  Don’t get me wrong, I am really impressed by the additional software that is now available but this growth has also meant that there appears to have been some other things that are not as polished or completed as they should be.

For example, take SSO (Single Sign-On).  I don’t want to slate it too much as there have been many bloggers who have already gone down that path but judging by its relatively quick introduction as a requirement for vCenter and the subsequent issues that many people have experienced with the software, I believe that the software wasn’t ready to be released and should have been held off until it was actually completed.  Even now when installing SSO, you need to manually create SQL databases and run scripts to configure them correctly… surely this should have been part of the installation wizard?

Other areas of the VMware business have also been suffering with corner cutting techniques.  I’ve just finished a vSphere Design training course for v5 and was disgusted by the courseware materials we were expected to use, usually the training course materials are very useful.  The materials from this course were obviously just taken from the v4 course but hadn’t even gone through and been fully updated to v5.  I wouldn’t say that I’m hot on the English language and grammar but there were several sections that didn’t even read as being English.  Our trainer did the best that he could with the materials he had but there was an obvious use of copy of paste within the documents, which also meant that lots of the details weren’t actually true… for example, one section read that PowerCLI required a database to be installed… I know that I’ve used PowerCLI on several occasions and have never needed a database.

My concern is that I don’t want to see VMware end up down the route that other software companies have gone down, in which they were more than happy to release software and products that are were not complete and have the paying public beta testing the software for them when the public are expecting a completed piece of software.

Its good to be competitive but please do not forget the people who have helped to make you the number one virtualisation company.

I’m all for growth but I’d like to see areas of VMware getting the same level of dedication that they once had.

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