This year’s VMworld conference in San Francisco is shaping up to be a great one. VMware is gearing up for quite a conference this week – I’ve heard from several VMware insiders, saying this show will be “jaw-dropping,” “mind-blowing,” and “amazing.” But, VMware is keeping the product announcements, acquisitions, and cool new technology very close to the vest this year, so the exact details are not yet known. I thought I might engage in some predictive analytics against recent VMware press releases, VMworld session builder details, and some buzz in the community/press to guess at what might be announced and/or demo’d this week.
First up, the acquisitions. It’s no secret that VMware has been spending some good money as of late for some hot new technology and complementary solutions. With these acquisitions, VMware is moving up the stack – a direction we are already seeing with vCenter Operations, Spring Source, Zimbra, Hyperic, Shavlik, Mozy, etc.; and into new datacenter, end user and IT management territory…. I think it is worthwhile to go back to acquisitions from 2011 through this year to get an idea of what is on the horizon for VMware.
The largest VMware acquisition to date is Nicira (at 1.26 billion), and with the acquisition have laid out one of their most ambitious claims, proclaiming that they “have the same opportunity to do for networking what we’ve already done for servers and many other parts of the datacenter.” This is part of the VMware strategy to own more (all) of the datacenter, not just the hypervisor. Nicira will play into VMware’s network virtualization and software-defined datacenter/software-defined network vision. The acquisition may put VMware at odds with Cisco, and to a lesser extent HP and Dell. Read more from VMware here: http://blogs.vmware.com/console/2012/07/vmware-and-nicira-advancing-the-software-defined-datacenter.html.
My prediction: The Nicira technology would shore up a next-generation VMware Distributed Virtual Switch, offer enhancements for stretched cluster/metro cluster solutions, and will empower VMware’s vCloud Director networking options, especially for multi-tenant clouds.
Other 2012 acquisitions by VMware include:
- Log Insight from Pattern Insight, Inc. VMware acquired the Log Insight product from Packet Insight in July 2012. The product enables big data logging. I can see this asset being rolled into several products, including vShield, vCenter Operations, and some of the app and data fabric products to help power vFabric and Cloud Foundry deployments.
- Wanova (http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vmw-wanova-05-22-12.html) – a leading provider of intelligent desktop solutions that centralize and simplify the management of physical desktop images while enabling users to take advantage of the native performance of a PC. My take: Look for Wanova to be a SaaS and on-Prem competitor to Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, and tie into View, vCenter Protect, and other End User Computing solutions. This also helps deal with roaming Mac and PC laptops – something View could not do well, and Citrix could offer….
- DynamicOps (http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vmw-dynamicops-07-02-12.html) a provider of cloud automation solutions that enable provisioning and management of IT services across heterogeneous environments – VMware-based private and public clouds, physical infrastructures, multiple hypervisors and Amazon Web Services. DynamicOps builds on the capabilities of vCloud Director by enabling customers to consume multi-cloud resources (e.g., physical environments, Hyper-V- and Xen-based hypervisors, and Amazon EC2). DynamicOps’ policy-based service governor capabilities automate and control how applications and users are provisioned across physical and heterogeneous cloud infrastructure resources.
My take: This will help VMware answer to Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, which can manage multiple hypervisors, including VMware vSphere. It’s probably to early to see any real product for this demo’d at VMworld 2012.
- Accelerate Advisory Services, a group of former Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) and industry consultants, dedicated to enabling senior enterprise business and IT executives to deepen their understanding of how cloud computing can deliver business value across an organization. Accelerate Advisory Services will be fueled by assets from Virginia-based Info Tech Health Check to provide IT benchmarking, metrics, and KPI’s (http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vmw-accelerate-04-16-12.html). Some Digital Fuel acquisition assets are leveraged for this.
- Cetas (http://www.vmware.com/company/acquisitions/cetas.html) Cetas is a Cloud Data Analytics company driving next generation Big Data analytics and predictive intelligence systems that can operate at a scale of hundreds of terabytes and billions of events for online companies and enterprises. Cetas acquisition accelerates VMware’s plans related to cloud application platform and services. Stay tuned for information as we unveil our data strategy later this year.
It’s now later this year – I expect to hear a lot about VMware’s big data strategy at VMworld.
- PacketMotion: PacketMotion delivers user activity context for data access monitoring and network segmentation, including PacketSentry Virtual Probe, which monitors and enforces identity based network access controls in VMware vSphere as well as rich user access monitoring reports for compliance.
VMware bought PacketMotion in August 2011, and have rebranded the technology as VMware vShield over the past year. I expect to see further enhancements to the vShield suite, with further extension of vShield into more VMware products (vCloud, View, SRM, vSphere).
- Integrien Corporation – VMware announced their acquisition of Integrien last year at VMworld (August 2011). They moved quickly to release Integrien’s technology as VMware vCenter Operations – a product that helps IT automate performance, capacity, and configuration management with patented analytics and an integrated approach to management.
VMware moved quick on this acquisition, with a couple version of the VMware-branded product shipping since the acquisition. I expect an updated version with deeper integration with vSphere to be announced at VMworld with GA shortly afterward.
Now some of the older acquisitions:
- NeoAccel (Jan 2011) – from http://blogs.vmware.com/console/2011/01/vmware-acquires-neoaccel.html , “NeoAccel’s SSL VPN-Plus product line combines the performance of IPsec VPNs with the benefits of SSL VPN technology, including increased security, simplified management, and reduced cost of ownership.” Part of NeoAccel have been rolled into vShield Edge. My prediction: The SSL VPN technology in vShield Edge will most likely mature with the next release, and new functionality will be added to vShield Edge – hopefully support for SSL Offloading, better logging (maybe to Pattern Insight’s Log Insight product?), deeper integration of PacketMotion technologies, and perhaps some IPS/IDS capabilities. This would round out the product as a necessity for multi-tenant and high-security private clouds. With vShield policies following VM’s we’re well set up for the software defined datacenter.
- Shavlik (May 2011) – A bit of a nose-thumbing at Microsoft, Shavlik developed some of the early Microsoft Windows Update related technologies. Shavlik still exists under the VMware umbrella as a stand-alone product (VMware vCenter Protect). Shavlik also offers the vCenter Protect Update Catalog product for 3rd party application patching through Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. I would love to see some announcements this week on the re-introduction of VM patching through vCenter Update Manager, better offline VM patching, integration with VMware View for parent image patching & recompose, and just maybe very simple, in-place updating of ThinApp packages without having to AppLink, AppSync, and SBMerge.
- Digital Fuel (July 2011) – from http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vmw-digitalfuel-061311.html: “Digital Fuel’s solutions enable companies to plan, manage and optimize cost and value in the emerging world of cloud based dynamic IT. With this acquisition, VMware will enable enterprises to more effectively manage the business impact of IT environments, centralizing visibility of IT costs, integrating financial discipline into IT decisions, and delivering meaningful measurements and reports that drive engagement with the CFO and line of business stakeholders.” I expect to see some of the Digital Fuel and Accelerate Advisory Services IP make it into new versions of vCloud Director and vCenter/vSphere to give IT administrators better insight into the business value they are providing.
- SlideRocket (April 2011) – VMware’s first real foray into SaaS apps. SlideRocket is online PowerPoint on steroids. Not sure what else to expect here – perhaps some new SaaS apps to complete an Office-like suite? Integration with Project Octopus? We’ll see….
- Socialcast (May 2011) – A social network for the enterprise. Again, not sure what to expect as far as new features or announcements. Again, maybe integration with Project Octopus, and a demo of Single Sign-on to Socialcast through Horizon Application Manager. If you haven’t already checked it out, join the public VMworld Socialcast community at http://vmworld.socialcast.com to stay up to date on the happenings at VMworld 2012!
I also expect to see some movement around older VMware acquisitions, specifically Trango (acquired in November 2008, now known as VMware Mobile Virtualization Platform). We’ve been teased with this for years. I’m ready to run a personal and work virtual phone on my new kick-ass Samsung Galaxy SIII. There are some teasers for this floating around on YouTube under the name VMware Switch and VMware Horizon Mobile (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX_Kmc2n82k).
While not an acquisition, Project Serengeti (http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vmw-serengeti-hadoop-06-13-12.html) – a new open source project (see Serengeti for more) to enable enterprises to quickly deploy, manage and scale Apache Hadoop in virtual and cloud environments. By using Serengeti to run Hadoop on VMware vSphere, enterprises can easily leverage the high-availability, fault tolerance and live migration capabilities of the world’s most trusted, widely deployed virtualization platform to enable the availability and manageability of Hadoop clusters.
My prediction: Serengeti will tie EMC’s Greenplum Big Data solution to VMware. I suspect Paul Maritz will have his hands in this one in his new role.
Finally, I expect to hear some interesting things about the acquisition of a new VMware CEO. Paul Maritz has done amazing things at VMware, rapidly growing the company with a very strategic vision. I have no doubts that incoming CEO Pat Gelsinger will continue the work, but perhaps with a stronger focus on the infrastructure side, while Maritz moves to EMC to shepard along some of the app and data fabric, Cloud Foundry, and big data initiatives in joint ventures between EMC and VMware.
In Part 2 of Reading the Tea Leaves Before VMworld 2012, I’ll take some guesses at new products releases, features, pricing/packaging/licensing and integration. Stay tuned!