VMware CIO: We're way ahead of our competitors

Tayloe Stansbury, chief information officer at VMware, explains why the virtualisation firm is leading the pack - including Microsoft.

We still believe the savings are there. If you are going to do something fairly simple, such as to virtualise in place the things you are running currently, that is fairly simple to do. You just [go] to a "P to V", physical to virtual environment, and run it that way. That doesn't require a great deal of training or differences in system administration.

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But if, on the other hand, you want to take advantage of features that allow you to run with much lower energy or consolidate to much higher ratios on your servers, some of that technology such as Distributed Resource Scheduler, or VMotion, does take a little more work to set up.

And when it comes to sizing any system, whether it is on physical hardware or whether it's virtual, then it does take some amount of effort to do your systems design right and size your systems correctly for the load you expect to see on them. But once you've set it up in a virtual environment, the management of those resources can be automated. You can run with more servers per systems admin, so you are more efficient from a human resource standpoint as well.

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There is some debate around the technologies being used in virtualisation primarily hypervisors versus containers. What are the main technical differences between the two and why might one be preferable?

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There's no question that a bare metal hypervisor is the better way to go. You have a very simple piece of software that has control of everything, and is not contained in an operating system so you don't have the complexity or security issues that might arise from having a containing operating system that is running the virtualisation engine another advantage of bare metal hypervisor is it is a much smaller target from a security standpoint.

Microsoft is making a significant push into the virtualisation space. Does that worry you or potentially could the credibility that Microsoft brings as a competitor help the market?

Microsoft moving into the virtualisation market certainly validates it. Microsoft is also a very formidable competitor. But VMware is a long way ahead in virtualisation tech and it will take Microsoft a long time to catch up with where we are today. We are investing heavily in taking the technology forward and widening the gap with Microsoft. Some examples where we are ahead are VMotion, Distributed Resource Scheduler and High Availability Site Recovery Manager.

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There has been quite a lot of change at VMware of late founding chief executive Diane Greene has left, Paul Maritz has come in. Has that affected your relationship with customers, are they concerned about stability within the business?

I don't think so. VMware has a huge advantage in virtualisation technology, we are way ahead of our competitors. And we are investing heavily to widen the gap.

Click here to read more about the challenges facing VMware.

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