Dan's Take

With vSphere 6.0, VMware Gets Another Solid Hit

The company now integrates all layers of the virtualization stack.

More vSphere 6.0 coverage:

VMware engineers have been busy developing software to support the company's idea of cloud computing, storage virtualization and to help its customers move into its version of a software-defined datacenter. Yesterday the company launched  vSphere 6.0; the company's OpenStack distribution (called VMware Integrated OpenStack); VMware Virtual SAN 6.0; and VMware Virtual Volumes.

VMware holds the lion’s share of the virtual machine (VM) software market (a portion of the overall virtual processing software market) and has been pushing out to establish itself in a number of other virtualization software markets, including access virtualization, application virtualization, storage virtualization, and both security for, and management of, virtualized environments. (Please see "The 7-Layer Virtualization Model" for more information on the model of virtualization software I use in market analysis.)

VMware launched version 6.0 of its vSphere hybrid cloud framework. The company hopes this version of the product will redefine infrastructure and application service levels and availability. In other words, the company has worked to improve the overall reliability and availability of workloads running under its framework. The company added more than 650 new features. (The VMware press releases on these topics can be found here and here.)

The market has seen a battle between "best-of-breed" applications and "tightly integrated frameworks" that contain the majority of features enterprises need to accomplish their work.

Best-of-Breed Suppliers
The best-of-breed suppliers often bring out features and functions long before the tightly integrated frameworks suppliers can respond. Their technology addresses a limited need, but offers the highest levels of performance and largest number of features. Enterprises willing to "take on a computer science project" often adopt this technology to gain a limited edge over their competitors.

Framework Suppliers
The tightly integrated framework suppliers learn from what these focused technology suppliers have offered and integrate a version of that technology into their framework. Along the way, they make it easier to acquire, provision, deploy and manage. They often pick and choose what features to offer, and typically select just those features their customers need to get along.

VMware started life as a best-of-breed supplier of processing virtualization technology; over the years, it’s developed and acquired technology that allowed it to evolve into a virtualization framework supplier. The company now has offerings that address all layers of the Kusnetkzy Group virtualization model, including access, application, processing, storage and network virtualization, as well as both security and management for virtualized environments, sometimes called software-defined environments.

Dan's Take: VMware Covers All the Bases
The features offered in the most recent VMware announcement have been seen before in the offerings of several tightly focused suppliers of virtualization technology. Enterprises focused on building their own custom, proprietary computing environment often sought out these suppliers and acquired their technology. They were willing to take on a potentially complicated project to integrate these tools into their own IT infrastructure. They were also willing to continue to work on integration as each of these tools evolved and changed over time.

Enterprises that see information technology as a necessary pain of doing business, but not something they'd like to do for a living, typically wait for a framework supplier like VMware to add a version of those new features to their framework before adopting the technology. This allows them to keep up with technologies without having to feel the pain of integration.

VMware has demonstrated time and again that it knows how to put virtualization technology to work for its customers without requiring them to feel pain each step of the way. If one were to select any single feature, other suppliers have often been there first and, in some cases, did a better job of delivering those features.

On the other hand, enterprises that would rather ride the rising tide of technology, and not feel a great deal of pain along the way, are happy to ride along with VMware.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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