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Eric Siebert’s Open Letter to VMware

Mike Laverick comments on Eric Siebert's open letter to VMware. He raises some issues he has with VMware and provides a presentation he made at the North Carolina User Summit presentation.

I see that Eric Siebert’s Open Letter to VMware has received some recognition to the blogoshere. I pretty much agree with Eric’s letter – in fact I said similar things back in April, 2007. I did a presentation to the North Carolina UG entitled “What VMware should do next”. The topic raised some issues I had with VMware Q&A – and the use of such concepts as “experimental support”. 

My original presentation to the North Carolina User Summit was split over 2 parts:

Mike on the "What should VMware do next?" Part 1

Mike on the "What should VMware do next?" Part 2

After doing this presentation – I received a follow-up call from VMware Product Managers. If you hang out the forums you might remember I raised two forum posts (one in ESX and one in VirtualCenter) asking real users for their opinions. The Product Management team hangs out the forums – and were very interested in what folks had to say. So in the end I more or less delivered a 2 hour presentation to the Product Team about what I felt VMware could be doing better at. Unfortunately, given the nature of the discussion I wasn’t able to record and share it with the readers of RTFM. That said, I more or less delivered the same presentation to VMware Product Mangers, as I did to the NC User Summit. The only difference was different product managers had the opportunity to interrupt me and ask for clarification.

A couple of weeks after that WebEX session I did another where the product development team for VMotion, SVMotion and EVC, gave me an inside track on what would later become the U1, U2 and U3 offerings. Again, I wasn’t able to share that conversation, but this demonstrated that VMware takes comments like mine, and letters like Eric’s seriously. Even more so, product managers at VMware are hanging out on the forums reading the issues that users have.

Having been on the Vi4 beta programme for some months now, I’m sure some of the concerns that Eric has are and have been addressed. I would like to say though that sometimes there are inherent contradictions on peoples demands – and I would include myself in that. I want new features but I want great stability and reliability. More new features tend to introduce more new bugs at the same time. On the flip side, I’m often disappointed when a new release comes out and nothing has changed and there are no new features. That’s software for you!

This was last published in January 2009

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