VMware Go: Small Business Virtualization?

Virtualization isn't just for big businesses. That's the message from the VMworld conference, where VMware is launching VMware Go -- a web-based service that strives to help small and midsize businesses more rapidly embrace virtualization. Here are some perspectives.

According to a press release, VMware Go is

"Ideal for small and midsized businesses (SMBs), VMware Go will dramatically simplify the process of virtualizing their applications by automating the installation and configuration of the industry-leading hypervisor, VMware ESXi."
The service, VMware says, was developed in partnership with Shavlik Technologies. It's available as a beta now (http://www.vmware.com/go/vmware-go-beta) and will launch as a free service in 2010, VMware says.

The Bigger Picture

Big businesses certainly understand virtualization. But I do sense considerable curiosity and confusion in the small business market, where entrepreneurs are seeking guidance on desktop and server virtualization.

Meanwhile, I'm hearing from more and more managed service providers (MSPs) that are striving to leverage virtualization -- either in their own data centers or in co-location centers or even on-premise at customer settings.

For small business VARs, in particular, I think VMware will need to aggressively educate Microsoft's partner network -- where certified Exchange, SharePoint and other types of solutions providers are looking to simplify server environments through vertualization. I'll be curious to see if VMware Go accelerates that effort.

A side note: I can't help but wonder if the VMware folks stole a page from the Autotask marketing play book, which  has offered Autotask Go as a starter platform to managed service providers for about two years.

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