vCenter for Linux article disappointing

Yesterday I was sifting through my email and noticed a little promo blurb to an article written about the VMware vCenter on Linux technical preview:

SearchVMware email with vCenter on Linux blurb.

That teaser was clearly written by someone unfamiliar enough with Linux and databases to confuse the two.  Hint: vCenter for Linux is a VM appliance — the distro is irrelevant — and referring to a database as a Linux distro is just plain incorrect.

Linux is not Finnish for “free”

It is critical to point out that “Linux” does not necessarily mean “free.”  Just because an ISV provides a product that runs on the Linux platform does not imply the product is open source.  There is more to Linux than LAMP, and while administering Oracle is not for the uninitiated, you don’t typically hear folks denigrating it as closed-source.

Slow news day?

The install guide clearly states that the technical preview of vCenter on Linux requires Oracle 10 or later.  Writing an article about how disappointing it was to use a product in an unintended way — with MySQL — is puzzling.

The article can be summarized like this:

  • VMware released a tech preview of vCenter on Linux
  • The documentation states that an Oracle database is required
  • All respectable Linux apps work perfectly well with MySQL
  • Therefore, vCenter should work with MySQL — with just a few tweaks
  • It doesn’t!?
  • vCenter on Linux is not a true Linux application!

Constructive Criticism

Software providers need feedback from vocal customers — it benefits everyone.  Check out the comments made by several VMware customers in my vCenter on Linux post.  The sentiment is the same.  There is nothing wrong with asking for — or demanding — support for another database platform.   But trying to port it alone and screaming from a bully pulpit when it doesn’t work… that just doesn’t make sense.

Personally, I hope VMware can support an open-source database for vCenter, too.  Being able to deliver a ready-to-run appliance solution would be a great benefit.

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6 Responses to vCenter for Linux article disappointing

  1. Great post and very valid feedback. Regarding vCenter supporting MySQL, I would be surprised if VMware went that route. I would think that supporting PostgreSQL seems more likely, from what I hear it’s more like Oracle than MySQL is.

    I might just be thinking ahead of myself tough, as I’m no DBA in any sense. 🙂

    • Eric Gray says:

      Thanks, Christian. It’s hard to say at this point — there are many costs involved with not only developing but testing and, in the future, upgrading all of these database platforms.

  2. Duncan says:

    One of the developers indeed mentioned that at this point in time they prefer PostgreSQL. I also commented on Ed’s post and he actually had all of his questions answered on the Community Forums.

    Great post indeed Eric,

  3. Eric Gray says:

    Duncan, thanks. I always appreciate your feedback.

  4. Marcus Breiden says:

    Hi, just as a sidenote as I hear the but why don’t you support mysql a lot of time from different directions.

    AFAIK mysql is lacking some very important features in comparison to oracle, sybase or mssql, which makes it hard to write ONE code for different databases.

    So I guess that sybase on linux would be an easy additions to vCenter for Linux as a lot of other vendors are already using it for other products.

    And this still keeps one question open (I know that customer demanded vCenter on linux before a VI Client on Linux): Why wasn’t the VI Client on Linux developed first?

    ATM you can save ONE ms server license but have to run oracle or perhaps mssql in the future to support the vCenter, but how many admins have a vm running with XP atm to admin their VI?

    Looking forward to the VI Client on Linux / Mac mainly, not really interested in a vCenter Appliance which is not totally capsulated and on the same feature level as the MS Version.

    • Eric Gray says:

      Marcus, very good points. I’m sure most people would agree that a non-Windows client would be absolutely welcome. Sybase on Linux would be very similar to SQL Server, but it would still introduce yet another column in the test matrix. 🙂 We’ll have to see what tricks VMware has up it’s sleeve…

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