Vmware celebrates its fifteenth birthday. And the Belux office can proudly call itself a teenager as of this year. At the start of VMworld Europe in Barcelona, we believe this is a good opportunity to reflect on these wonderful past years and – while we’re at it – to look at all the wonderful things that are yet to come.
Kurt Vrancken started as an Account Manager for VMware early 2005, just a few months after the launch of the Belux office end 2004. He was one of the earliest VMware Belux employees.
Too good to be true
Kurt Vrancken: “In those early days, it was very difficult to get our message across. When we presented our ESX virtualization environment (featuring ao. vMotion software for automating the migration of virtual servers without any downtime) we had to overcome a lot of disbelief: “This is just too good to be true, sir”. But when they were able to test the software themselves, the were convinced that VMware could actually liev up to these high expectations. About 95% of the companies that tested the software ended up purchasing licenses. And why shouldn’t they? Prior to VMware the average use of a server was limited to about 10%. Using vMotion as a virtualization layer they could increase the server utilization rate to 30 or 40%. As soon as they realized the benefits, companies couldn’t implement VMware fast enough.
Government as an early adopter
The fastest growing industry surprisingly turned out to be the public sector; their adoption of virtualization software surpassed all other sectors significantly. The reason for this high adoption curve was quite clear though: cost was a significant factor in all public tenders, and offers from partners who made use of our virtualization technology were often 50% cheaper than their competitors’ offer. So government organizations found themselves selecting VMware more often than not.
Across all industries, the adoption of our technology mainly depended on our contact person. In the early years, this was almost always the IT Manager. Those who were open to new technology and who understood the concept of virtualization were inclined to test our software out for themselves. When this test proved VMware’s efficiency in their working environment, there was no holding them back. Thus, after two, three years of evangelizing, educating and testing, we achieved 100% year-over-year growth for many consecutive years. By 2006 – 2007, our technology was broadly accepted in our target market.
No more back-up windows
We managed to convince the customer time and again using the same key concepts: consolidation, flexibility, speeds and stability.
Initially, companies used virtualization to consolidate and optimize their server infrastructure. In order to do this efficiently, companies often introduced a Storage Area Network (SAN) to host their data. SAN was not as widespread in those days as it is now. In the virtualized environment, applications are no longer tied to physical servers, but can be moved around and copied as needed. Additionally, one can create a snapshot of data on the SAN network, move that snapshot to another location and back up these data when it suits you best. This capability generated a huge flexibility for the IT manager: he was no longer tied to a limited timeframe to backup all data. Moreover, ESX allowed for a much more stable IT environment, more so than any Windows environment.