The offer was unveiled today by Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware, the leading virtualization vendor. Under the plan, VMware's Professional Services organization will work with customers to deploy a VMware virtualization solution that saves at least 50 percent on server hardware costs. If it can't do that, VMware's services are free.
John Gilmartin, director of product marketing at VMware, said in an interview that this promotion "raises the bar in the marketplace." The offer is being made because of the recession, he added, and VMware is "recognizing the reality of the economic situation."
The program has a number of limitations. For one, it's originally targeted at U.S. companies only. Second, it's for enterprises with between 200 and 750 servers. Gilmartin added, however, that both of those restrictions could be lifted in the future if the promotion is as successful as VMware hopes it will be. "Think of it as pilot program," he said.
There's also the question of how "50 percent" is defined, and how disagreements between VMware and customers will be resolved. For instance, what if VMware said it achieved 53 percent hardware savings, while the client claims 47 percent hardware savings and says VMware's services are free?
VMware has a "process lined out within the terms and conditions for dealing with that type of situation," Gilmartin said. He doesn't think that situation will happen often, though.
"We think customers can achieve significantly more than 50 percent savings," Gilmartin said, including savings on related items like power and cooling that occur with server reduction.
He added that VMware is adequately staffed to meet the demand that the program could create.
"We've definitely planned for multiple engagements," Gilmartin said. "That's also a reason we've put the initial restriction of [the number of] servers -- to ensure we have the capacity to meet demand." The company also has "VMware Authorized Consultants"-- partners that deliver VMware virtualization services -- on standby to meet any overflow demand.
VMware is frequently cited by the competition -- and sometimes, customers -- as having the most expensive virtualization offerings on the market. Whether this changes that perception awaits to be seen.
VMware confirmed that the program went live on Monday.
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