How To Guy
VMware Wields Many Cloud Weapons
If VMware wants to grow, it might look at using its weapons against its competition as well as partners. The company would be crazy not to have thought about it.
VMware has plenty of weapons and ammo to take down both its competition and partners in the virtual and cloud worlds. But, would the company ever pull the trigger?
Here's a look at its software arsenal:
Performance and Capacity Monitoring -- with the release of VMware vCenter Operations, VMware has gotten more serious about virtual infrastructure performance and capacity. It is pushing hard with promotion and training related to vCOPS. Initially VMware's partners in this space may have been nervous, but now it seems that VMware's entrance in the space only further justifies, to customers, that they need one of these tools. So far, this is probably the area that VMware is doing the best job of promoting.
Backup and Recovery -- VMware's Data Recovery offers solid features for SMB customers and is included with most versions of vSphere. However, its limitation is that VMware says it only supports up to 100 virtual machines.
Routers and Switches -- The vSphere Distributed Switch is powerful and handles all switching between hundreds of VMs. vShield Edge is a virtual router and firewall that offers static routing, DHCP, NAT, and VPN.
Mobile -- VMware's mobile virtualization platform can allow a traditional smart cellphone to run two virtual machines, one for your personal use and one with company data and apps.
E-mail -- VMware's Zimbra is a fully functioning enterprise e-mail server that competes with Exchange.
Storage -- The vSphere Storage Appliance is virtual storage solution that turned vSphere physical hosts into virtual storage arrays with redundancies and full vSphere support for advanced features.
Cloud Computing -- vCloud Director enables VMware's unique vision of infrastructure cloud computing, on top of vSphere, and is used by over 100 vCloud service providers. One of its limitations is that it's relatively expensive and more ideal for large enterprises than the masses of medium and small companies.
If you consider each of these products in their respective category, VMware has a tremendous amount of intellection property. If these products were improved, repackaged, and repositioned, they could use this ammo to take down the competition and many of their partner solutions.
But VMware has a history of wanting to keep the ecosystem happy. However, what the company the rocked the boat, made some of the changes I suggest, and attempted to dominate the enterprise datacenter in most every category? Here are a few potential deathmatches that VMware could be involved in:
Performance and Capacity Monitoring -- Publish competitive analysis between vCOPS and the competition (Quest, Veeam, VMturbo, Xangati), improve the product to match the feature set, and lower the cost (or bundle it).
Backup and Recovery -- Improve VDR to support more VMs, continue bundling it for free, and push competition from Veeam, Vizioncore, and others. Additionally, improve vSphere replication and bundle it to further push replication and DR solution companies.
Routers and Switches -- As the size of server hardware grows and more density is obtained, physical switches will be needed less and less. Additionally, physical routers (perhaps with the exception of WAN routers), firewalls, and load balancers could be replaced with VMware's software-based solution as that solution improves.
Mobile -- VMware's mobile virtualization platform could be put on a VMware-produced device (like a vPhone, maybe?) and compete with Android and maybe even the rumored Facebook phone.
E-mail -- Zimbra could be offered as a free service to compete with Gmail and Hotmail and given away to enterprises to push out Exchange.
Storage -- The VSA, when improved and reduced in price, could eliminate the need for small- and medium-sized enterprises to purchase SAN and NAS servers, hurting profits of companies like EMC, Drobo, and others.
Cloud Computing -- If VMware started its own IaaS cloud service, it would be prepared to compete with Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, and even vCloud partners (much to their disgust, I'm sure). Additionally, what if VMware merged vCenter and vCloud Director into a single virtual appliance and then simplified vCloud Director? This could be dubbed "vCloud Lite" and given away to companies who have 10 or fewer physical hosts. This would bring VMware's private cloud to the masses and put Microsoft in a corner.
What do you think? Post your comments here or e-mail me over at TrainSignal.com.
David Davis is the author of the best-selling VMware vSphere video training library from Train Signal. He has written hundreds of virtualization articles on the Web, is a vExpert, VCP, VCAP-DCA, and CCIE #9369 with more than 18 years of enterprise IT experience. His personal Website is VMwareVideos.com.