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Off-Agenda VMworld Questions for VMware

Two weeks from today I'll be a VMworld, like many of you. I'll be covering news, talking to vendors, watching demos, standing in line; in other words, everything that makes up a typical show.

Attendees will get the full-court press from VMware, pushing its vision of "Ready for Any," but during my time there, I also hope to get insight on some issues VMware won't be promoting as strongly. Things such as:

  • Sales figures for EVO:RAIL. There have been hints that EVO:RAIL, VMware's hyperconvergence solution, hasn't done well in the sales channel. VMware hasn't broken out details (anywhere that I've seen, at least) for sales, and has been pretty quiet on that front since launch. Concerns are that it's priced too high, and not as advanced as some of the competition. If sales continue to stagnate (assuming they are -- VMware may have a different opinion on what constitutes stagnation), will the company consider pulling it?

  • Public and hybrid implementations of vCloud Air. VMware's cloud platform is well-regarded, and by all accounts has done well in the private cloud space. When it comes time to extend that into the public cloud, however, vCloud Air doesn't appear to be making great headway. Right now, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are the two primary choices for enterprises, and vCloud Air is somewhere… lower on the list. Even in the private space, OpenStack has all the momentum right now (which is why VMware has pushed out its own OpenStack integration). But given the growing importance of the cloud to IT operations, it's imperative that VMware have a strong story in the market, along with receptive customers. Is vCloud Air up for big changes that will allow it to scale better, for example?

  • VMware's future. The company is the subject of constant rumors about whom might buy it, and who it might buy. More than ever, parent company EMC feels like an anchor around VMware's neck; to me at least, VMware seems like a more innovative, forward-thinking company than EMC, which maintains more of a traditional mindset. If I'm VMware, why do I want to be part of EMC? EMC itself doesn't seem to know what it is (witness the "federation" structure Re/code reports on), so how would it know what to do with VMware?

I'll be spending time at VMworld looking for some of these answers. If you see me there, feel free to let me know what you think, or hit me up @VirtReviewKeith.

Posted by Keith Ward on 08/17/2015 at 12:37 PM


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