VMware Misses the Mark Second Year in a Row


“Hey, Joe, remember when VMware introduced vRam and we were all totally stoked and excited beyond belief?!”
“Yeah, man that was totally awesome!  Wait…what?”
“I know…!”
“No, Tad, vRam was terribad.  So terribad that customers revolted and in vSphere 5.1 they actually removed it entirely.”
“Oh…”

VMware has received strong recognition among Fortune 500 Companies for good reason – they’ve had a good product for years and they’ve been truly innovative.  That being said,  they haven’t been without their faults.  For some reason, July, August, and September seem to be VMware’s “lets screw with customers” months, possibly because VMworld is around that time.  Let’s take a look back.
After years of evangelizing for VMware to get a foot in the door, we finally did, when only a few weeks afterwards we were met with the dastardly August 12 timebomb.  Yes, our perfectly licensed, completely legal copy of ESXi 3.5 all of the sudden exploded in our faces.  VMware shrugged this off and rode their good name to a recovery, explaining that they had learned their lesson.
Fast forward to June 2011, when it was announced that they’d be changing licensing from socket+core-based licensing to socket-based+vRAM licensing.  The net result?  User protest.  And for good reason. Instead of buying two DL380 G6 or G7 servers with 144GB of RAM and each needing two processor licenses, we would have needed three per box.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize the price increase with that one.  All the while VMware maintained for almost a full month that these were ‘fringe’ cases and that we should just accept it and LIKE it, because after all, they’re VMware, right?  Microsoft even put out a (now removed) video that introduced “Tad, of VM Limited” to capitalize in a brilliant marketing campaign.  Weeks later VMware caved and doubled the (egregiously low) limits.
Surely they’d have learned their lesson?  Well, without much fanfare it seems VMware has decided to introduce the vSphere Web Client, first with vSphere 5.0 in 2011.  Yes, in a stunning turn of events, they developed a completely new client to free us from our dependence on Windows forever, to stick a fork in the eye of the evil Microsoft.  Except. It. Didn’t.  That is right – what do all “enterprise” web apps have?  Plugins.  And lots of them.  You know that little used feature of the vSphere client called ‘remote console’ – the thing that lets you access your server when VNC/Remote Desktop isn’t available?  Plugin.  Please view in IE, thanks.
Surely this was just a mistake and the next version would improve!  After all, its version 1.0  Give it a few releases?  Nope!  VMware said they’re going to take the web client and double it!  In vSphere 5.1, they announced that the vSphere client would no longer be improved.  Surely they’ve ported all the native features to their shiny new web client? Removed the dependence on plugins?
Naaaaaa.  Update Manager? You can load that from the Windows client and you’ll like it!  No Windows 8 client support (no remote console) for the thick client is sure to aggravate more than just a few admins I am sure.
VMware – ‘love ya bro’ – but honestly, get your act together and put a bit more polish on your tools, please. You want to abandon the thick client?  How about porting all available features before you announce its elimination.  Stop missing the mark with features no one* asked for and solutions in search of problems.
*Someone might have asked for a non-Windows client to manage their VMs, but I don’t think more browser plugins on windows is what they had in mind.

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