This past week, I was in San Francisco for the annual VMworld conference. I haven’t been to this city since 2014, the last time VMworld was here. It was interesting to be back and take note of what’s changed, and what’s remained the same.
Looking back at VMware in 2014 compared to now, you can also note what has changed. Back in 2014, the idea of partnering with AWS, Azure, and IBM clouds was crazy talk. And yet here we are in 2019, and VMware has pivoted itself away from being a company focused on building an ecosystem around its own hypervisor technology. Now they’re focused on doing whatever they can to survive in an increasing hybrid world.
This explains the partnerships, but it also explains the recent acquisitions of Pivotal and Carbon Black. VMware is making every effort to remain relevant by playing the middleman for enterprises using vSphere who want to migrate to one (or more) clouds. VMware is serious about endpoint security as well as building tools to give deeper insights into your workloads and orchestration. In short, VMware wants to provide all the tools necessary to manage the provisioning, capacity, performance, availability, and security for any business, large or small. This strategy is a familiar one, as it aligns with IT Operations Management (ITOM).
Last week, I noticed how the VMworld expo hall had many companies with a focused product set—storage vendors, networking, security, data protection, and so on. And while they may offer quality products and services, it’s still just a piece or one layer of infrastructure. Larger vendors such as VMware see an opportunity to provide support for every layer in your enterprise. The ability to offer a single pane of glass view into every layer between your users and their data is powerful.
I expect within the next five years, many of those companies in the expo hall with focused product sets will be acquired by a company looking to be a player in the ITOM market. We don’t need more hardware. We don’t necessarily need more software, either. What we need are for companies to provide all the tools necessary to help manage the day-to-day operations of an IT department.
We need companies that can monitor every layer, analyze data streams and logs, provide alerts, and maybe even automate creation of service tickets – like SolarWinds. Those companies are going to thrive for the next ten years while Big Cloud (AWS, Azure, VMware, GCP, IBM) are busy competing with each other for your data.