Single-Vendor or All of Them?

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Work togetherThere’s quite a few virtualization platforms out there. From VMware to Microsoft to XEN to KVM and beyond, the choices abound.

Do you want to stick to one vendor for all virtual technologies, or work with many of them at once? That’s a valid question, and one more companies are looking at every day.

Standardizing on one virtual platform has benefits. The company in question makes management tools that control their software, and having one platform means having to learn fewer tools. Also, since most vendors make entire suites of tools, you can probably find Server, Desktop and Application virtualization platforms from one vendor alone.

Spreading out also has benefits. Some platforms only make one type of virtual platform (such as hyper-visor for only server virtualization). Sticking with just one vendor would limit the tools available to you.

Cost always comes into play, as the more advanced platforms can often come with higher price-tags. So using only one vendor for all your needs might inflate your budgets dramatically – and in some cases unnecessarily as other vendors make tools that are less expensive and work great. Don’t forget training costs either, as multiple tools from multiple vendors means training your staff on multiple systems.

Which will you do? Most of the organizations I talk to started out on a single-vendor methodology. As folks like Quest Software roll out multi-vendor management solutions, they are beginning to explore having multiple vendors work in the same datacenter. This gives them flexibility to choose the best vendor for each tool they need, without losing control of the environment or having to learn a large number of tools just to keep things running.

Cross-Platform management is not 100% yet, but it is getting there, so we could easily see a day in the near future where the decision is a moot point. Until then, what’s your company doing? Sound off in the discussion section!

Photo Credit: lumaxart

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