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VMware is getting lots of attention this week because they have announced a free hypervisor. This, following Microsoft’s disruptive pricing of $28 per hypervisor (which is free relative to the typical IT budget, I suppose).

What does this mean? It means that many more enterprises are likely to jump on the virtualization bandwagon (a good thing), but that they may jump in before they understand what they’re taking on (a bad thing). All in all, though, I think the “hypervisor wars” will be a very good thing for IT.

But remember the old adage that “There’s no such thing as a free puppy.” As virtual infrastructure becomes ubiquitous (oh – and I assure you it will), it’s important to have a strategy that goes beyond deployment of your shiny, new free hypervisor:

  • How will you manage virtual infrastructure?
  • How will your staff support users and application owners?
  • How will you secure your virtual systems?
  • How will you provide world class service delivery?
  • What will you standardize on?
  • …and more…

These things will certainly be necessary and (like the food and veterinary care for that puppy) they certainly won’t be free.