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.

About the Author


I have been in IT for the past 15 years and using virtualisation technologies for around the past 8 years. I started, as quite a lot of people do, working with PCs after playing with such iconic systems like the ZX81, ZX Spectrum and then progressing through 386s, 486s, Pentiums etc. After being headhunted at sixth form to work for a small company based around Hertfordshire, UK. I began working with small businesses and gaining a lot of hardware experience. Three years later, after helping to increase the size of the business, I needed to gain exposure to a larger environment to progress my own career. I joined a large manufacturing company around Electronic Test and Measurement which progressed my skills onto more PC work, hardware work and then onto Server Operating Systems. I progressed again onto a consultancy company based in Reading, UK. Initially working as an engineer performing hardware / software installations for larger companies contracted out to the consultancy company, I moved up into a Consultant position continuing my travel across the UK assisting and providing solutions to companies. I finally moved on again to my current position, working back in Hertfordshire, UK. Again working for a large manufacturing company, this time with over 50,000 users worldwide. I am responsible for the datacenter hardware, the storage environment, the vmware environment and also implementing their new Citrix XenApp farm. My days are busy but also productive, its a friendly environment and in my four years of being with the company, I have seen many changes in technology and infrastructure in use within the company. About the site I started this site as I had been thinking of having more of a presence on the web for a while. On a daily basis, I perform tasks and use tools that others may not use or may not think to do and therefore I thought that I would share some of these experiences and tips with others to help with their day to day work. Currently, my main focus of work is around VMware and Veeam Backup & Replication but hopefully as my tasks progress, I’ll be able to share useful bits of information about other areas of IT as well.

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