The latest version of SolarWinds Virtualization Manager contains a number of new capabilities.  However, the two key issues I want to highlight are 1) new support for managing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments and 2) new pricing based on a “per socket” metric.

 

New Virtual Desktop Management

Many of the customers we talk to are either considering or have already started implementing a VDI environment.  While the combination of improved control with greater flexibility are helping to drive customers to look at VDI, concerns about the ability to manage performance and prevent impacts to IT systems that share resources are slowing adoption. SolarWinds Virtualization Manager 5.1 now includes a specific dashboard for managing the virtual desktops in a VMware or HyperV environment.  Of particular importance is that this is not a separate tool, module or add-on piece to buy.  As many companies adopt VDI they are looking to use shared datacenter resources to maximize the cost effectiveness of the implementation.  By having visibility and deep drill down capabilities that span both the server and desktop use cases, we make it very easy to see when issues in one environment is impacting performance in the other environment and take actions to correct the problem.

 

This new VDI capability goes hand-in-hand with the new, per socket-based pricing that we are rolling out starting at $2995 USD for an 8-socket license ($375 USD/socket).  While we have always aimed to be the lowest cost and best value in the market, our “per-VM” based pricing made incorporation of a high density VDI implementation difficult.  The new per socket based pricing changes that we will now charge are essentially based on the compute capacity, which allows customers to push up VM densities in the VDI environment.  For more information on the new capabilities take a look at our virtual desktop management page.

 

SolarWinds Competitive “Per Socket” Pricing

Beyond VDI, any Companies looking primarily to manage their virtual server environment will greatly benefit from the change to per socket-based licensing while allowing us to better align with our customers’ objective of driving higher VM density and utilization as they optimize their resources. 

 

So you might be wondering what the competition has been doing while we’ve been adding function and making the SolarWinds Virtualization Manager more cost effective?  Not much, there have been no major functionality changes in the virtualization management market lately, but a few companies have announced pricing moves.  For example, Veeam recently announced, via email, a 17% price increase effective in January 2013 on their Veeam Essentials product, which includes virtualization management and virtualization backup functionality. 

In the world of Quest/Dell, which has overlapping products for virtualization management in vKernel and vFoglight, it is still unclear how Dell plans to integrate the Quest product portfolio. Let’s hope Quest users will get some beginnings of an answer this week at Dell World. What we know for sure is that there will be some change in the Quest product portfolio as Dell goes through the process of rationalizing the Quest portfolio, but how this affects these products is anyone’s guess at this point.

 

At VMworld, VMware announced a similar shift to their licensing for vCenter Operations Manager. We’ve been expecting to see this, but haven’t been able to find information to suggest that this licensing change has taken place yet. As a reminder, the change of direction is a result of the strong customer feedback that followed their 2011 pricing announcements.

 

Many companies claim to have the lowest price.  We are happy to have people check for themselves.  One great source of information is Scott Lowe’s competitive matrix.  Here is an excerpt from his Virtualization Management Tools chart where I have included the new SolarWinds per socket pricing (we have already asked Scott to update his table when possible).

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So let me recap how we are shaking up the Virtualization Management market

  • You can now manage both Server and Virtual Desktops with the same tool and the same pane of glass
  • No additional modules, options or products to buy
  • Comprehensive monitoring capabilities in a powerful solution
  • Low price!

 

Yep, I think that’s it.