Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Amit Gupta, Liz McMillan, Mark Leake

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

Who is VMware in 2013? – A Company in Transition

Looking forward to VMworld 2013 – some pre-show thoughts...

It's that time of year again. Time for the industry's most influential infrastructure gathering, VMworld. And, as has become an annual occurrence, I jot down some pre-show thoughts about the event (2012, 2011).

Who is VMware in 2013?
While Pat Gelsinger was introduced at the 2012 VMworld as the new CEO, replacing Paul Maritz, the themes and strategy were still very much inline with Maritz's prior plans. Since then Gelsinger has narrowed the focus of the company, shed many products and begun putting his leadership team in place. So I'll be very interested to see how VMware gets presented this year. Gelsinger has not yet named a new CTO or CMO, so this year's event should very much be a representation of how he wants to present the company to the world.



VMware is definitely a company in transition. Server virtualization is a mature market. The role of the desktop is being impacted by smart, mobile devices and end-user expectations are rapidly changing. Open-source projects such as OpenStack and Hadoop are forcing existing VMware customers to rethink their longer term IT strategies, and the impact that public cloud has on the entire market is changing the economics of our industry.

In 2013, VMware is a virtualization company. VMware is a networking company. VMware is a storage company. VMware is a IT Operations Management company. VMware is a Cloud Service Provider. That's a wide net to cast into the marketplace, spanning across a variety of delivery and economic models. As I've heard a few VMware employees say, "we used to be Switzerland, but now we're Switzerland with a big artillery supply"

Software All the Things
Software-Defined Data Center. SDDC. OK, now that we have that out of the way, let's see if it actually means anything. I'm definitely seeing market demand for more and more technology to become "software-defined", whether that means a virtual-appliance form-factor, or better control via APIs, or plugins/packs/manifests/recipes for popular automation tools such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible, etc. What I'm curious to see is how VMware plans to architect the SDDC such that it can be viewed as a holistic Data Center, or even a holistic lifecycle manager for applications. We've seen lots of pieces, but this will be the opportunity to showcase if it's ready to move from pieces or "suites" to a more comprehensive delivery mechanism.

To me, the right story would go something like this:

  • Problem: IT is always faced with a balancing act between "go faster" and "spend less". In the past, "spent less" weighed more heavily, but that equation has changed and now "go faster" is the dominant need of the business.
  • Solution: Here is the holistic vision and execution of delivering "go faster" infrastructure that can be scaled, managed and monitored.
  • Solution: Here is the simplicity of how that "go faster" infrastructure can programmatically interface with application-deployment systems.


Networking - The New Frontier
Beyond Gelsinger's overall "State-of-VMware" message, the "Network Virtualization" (a.ka. "Nicira") announcements will be 1 or 1a, along with the vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) announcements. The OpenFlow-centric story from Nicira has changed quite a bit since the acquisition, with the focus now on "Network Virtualization" and how the network needs to evolve just like the server world did with ESX/vSphere. Right now the SDN market is still highly fragmented, but there is also some very interesting innovation happening as well. I'm interested to see if VMware takes an open, partner-enabling approach to the networking community (like they did with ESX/vCenter) or if they take a closed approach (like they did with vCloud Director). We've already seen integration with OpenStack and CloudStack, but it will also be interesting to hear how companies and customers can integrate with NSX (northbound and southbound). It will also be interesting to see how they bridge the open-source world of Nicira (Open vSwitch, OpenStack Neutron (formerly Quantum) with their existing vSwitch/ESX/vSphere/vCD technologies.

We Built a Cloud
The old rules said that vendors were vendors, channel partners were channel partners and service providers were service providers. But the game has changed and the old rules are not relevant anymore.

Cloud happens!

Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, Adobe, WebEx, Salesforce and many others offer their software via cloud services that they own and operate. VMware is the latest to join the game being played by these news rules. The challenge is balancing this new delivery and business model with partnerships and business models of the past. It's impossible to avoid all conflicts, so it will be interesting to watch how not only VMware positions vCloud Hybrid Services (vCHS), but also how the partner businesses react and adjust. This is a long-term bet by VMware. We know that Gelsinger has the stomach for this level of change as he's succeeded through previous market changes, but will the rest of the market wait while VMware learns to play in this new game?

[Full Disclosure: I am attending VMworld 2013 on a pass that was generously provided by VMware through their vExpert Bloggers program. I'm thankful to John Troyer (@jtroyer) and the team at VMware that continues to support that excellent program.]

More Stories By Brian Gracely

A 20 year technology veteran, Brian Gracely is VP of product management at Virtustream. He holds a CCIE #3077 and an MBA from Wake Forest University.

Throughout his career Brian has led Cisco, NetApp, EMC and Virtustream into emerging markets and through technology transitions. An active participant in the virtualization and cloud computing communities, his industry viewpoints and writing can also be found on Twitter @bgracely, on his blog Clouds of Change and his podcast The Cloudcast (.net). He is a VMware vExpert and was named a "Top 100" Cloud Computing blogger by Cloud Computing Journal.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant th...
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...