Things That Make You Go Hmmmm – Veeam Backup Not Using Preferred Free ESXi APIs?
Alex Barrett’s SearchServerVirtualization.com VMware clampdown on free ESXi may prompt defection to Hyper-V article presents VMware’s reasons for making a request to Veeam to stop supporting Veeam Backup with the free ESXi versions. Quoting the interview from Barrett’s story:
“We provide certain APIs [application programming interfaces] and methods particular to the virtualization environment,” said Patrick Lin, the vice president of product management for VMware’s server business unit. By offering access to the hypervisor via a preferred set of APIs, “our intent is to provide a level playing field in the basis of backup,” he said.
But Veeam did not use VMware-approved methods to develop its product, said Parag Patel, VMware’s vice president of alliances. “We’re not exactly sure what they did, but it didn’t seem sound,” Patel said. “For us it’s a question of what’s built and how it’s built. … To be perfectly honest, we didn’t want to be associated with it because it wasn’t satisfactory.”
Perhaps more to the point, Veeam Backup is inconsistent with VMware’s vision of free ESXi deployments. “It’s meant to be a starter … walk before you run,” Patel said. “It’s not supposed to be for complex software environments.” With free ESXi, “you shouldn’t need a whole lot of other tools to make it work.” If you do, you are free to upgrade.
On the other hand, Barrett’s interview also helps confirm the idea that VMware does not wish
to develop free ESXi as a production offering competing with the free to download versions of XenServer 5.5 and Hyper-V Server 2008. Read the entire article, but Barrett makes the point that VMware’s decision not to position free ESXi for production use could ultimately drive current technology partners, consulting partners, and customers to build SMB virtual infrastructure solutions around the competition’s hypervisors.
I’m not a developer and I have no idea about the restrictions of a technology partnership agreement. So all I have now is questions.
- Why are there undocumented APIs available to use in free ESXi if they are not preferred?
- Why this contradiction now from a history of encouraging the virtualization community, including VMware’s own engineers, to develop alternatives to VMware’s preferred management methods? Barrett interviews Veeam in the story as well, and Veeam’s believes that adding advanced functionality to the free products provides less motivation for customers to upgrade hypervisor versions thus reducing VMware profit.
- Are the Veaam engineers that much more resourceful that only Veeam was able to uncover these APIs? As a matter of fact, VMware admits they haven’t figured out what Veeam did either.
- Why view Veeam’s product unsound and be concerned about association with it? Maybe if VMware’s free ESXi strategy was different Veeam’s engineering could have been called innovative.