Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference: Virtualization Heads Deeper Into Small Business
When it comes to the next stop for virtualization, Microsoft, VMware, Lenovo and solutions providers all seem to be pointing to the same destination: The small business market. In fact, virtualization within the small and midsize business sector has been a hot topic of discussion at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2009 (WPC09) in New Orleans this week. Here’s the scoop.
First, The VAR Guy ran into Dave Sobel, CEO of Evolve Technologies, a solution provider in Fairfax, Va., and member of the HTG peer group organization. But when The VAR Guy reached for Sobel’s business card our resident blogger noticed a new title and logo on it: CEO, SMB Virtualization. Hmmm. Has Sobel spotted a new market opportunity?
Apparently so. And Sobel isn’t alone. Roughly 50 percent of small and midsize business customers are evaluating virtualization, according to Cynthia Bates, VP of Microsoft’s US partner strategy, marketing & programs.
The folks at VMware seem to think the virtualization opportunity in small and midsize business is massive. “In terms of pure numbers, the SMB space is our largest customer set,” crows Douglas Smith, senior director, global partner sales at VMware. “Think about a scenario where you can virtualize 20 servers down to two. That’s pretty compelling.”
Toward that end, VMware has launched the VMware vSphere Essentials for small business.
Server vendors are also joining the party. Lenovo recently jumped on the SMB virtualization trend with a new line of servers that can mix and match VMware, Red Hat, Novell and Microsoft platforms.
But the key takeaway for solutions providers: If you think vendors pushing into small business virtualization is hype then perhaps you need to check in with Dave Sobel over at Evolve. He seems to be betting the next stage of his career on SMB Virtualization. Litterally.