> | > Viewing the vCloud future

Viewing the vCloud future

Posted on Thursday, January 28, 2010 | No Comments

Yesterday we look backwards on the Cloud by Remembering where vCloud all began, in Paul Maritz's speech at VMworld 2008. So today, we take a quick look at where its going, especially as I have not had a chance to write up any of my thoughts on Zimbra since pondering it before the announcement.

The latest information comes from the VMware earnings call held just a few days ago on Jan 25th. The transcript is available care of Seeking Alpha.

The elements which relate to vCloud are below.

The first is by Tod Nielsen, Chief Operating Officer at the end of his opening remarks, where he concludes with.
The task in 2010 is to build on our leadership position within the most important software category CIOs are investing in today while helping our customers along their journey to cloud computing.
In Paul Maritz remarks a large portion of the time is spend discussing Cloud.
Specifically, this year we plan to strengthen and widen our value proposition to what is being called the private cloud enabling our customers to get further utilization and automation out of their x86 related compute, storage, security and networking resources enabling them to operate and relate to their own customers as though they were an internal service provider. In doing so, customers will also be preparing themselves to be able to reach out in to the public cloud and to take advantage of compatible infrastructure and management being offered by our public vCloud partners when and if it makes sense for them to do so.

We’ll also be investing in strengthening our desktop virtualization offerings as Tod said which will enable customers to get further value from this internal or private cloud. In parallel to providing our customers with the path forward for their existing datacenters, there’s a complementary opportunity to guide application development in middle ware to fully benefit from the underlying infrastructure and to offer complete new services that sit on top of that infrastructure.

You saw us make a big investment in this regard last year with the acquisition of SpringSource. After one full quarter of operating together we are even more convinced of the potential of integration and innovation. While keeping and enhancing Spring as an open framework targeting multiple environments, we expect to see new products that specifically integrate Spring and vSphere appear in 2010.

We are now in the process of taking another complementary move with the acquisition of Zimbra. We believe that Zimbra has the right underpinnings to be offered as a scalable solution either on premise or through our service provider partners as a cloud based solution. Upon closing, this will represent a big step forward in being able to offer complete services that sit on top of VMware infrastructure be it in the private or the public cloud.

From a financial point of view as Mark noted, we’re continuing to manage the company conservatively keeping a close eye on costs and aiming at all times to maintain healthy margins. You can see some of the results of the cost containments and the efficiency actions we took in our 2009 results and I would again like to thank our employees who contribute to these efforts. We intend to keep the balling moving forward at all times in terms of investing for the future.

We intend to be one of the major beneficiaries of the coming shift towards new computing architectures that will allow greater efficiency and simplicity both inside and outside the datacenter. Now, with that we’ll open up for questions.
So what can we glean from this? Some thoughts.
  • In 2008 VMware were talking about "application workloads" and "vApps" which were essentially just containers for servers. The fear was the requirement to rewrite applications to be usable on the Cloud. I think many in the Infrastructure space (VMware's existing customer base) focused on this server focus. Yet there was the key phrase in the speech, the workloads of today and tomorrow. "How do I take my collection of infrastructure resources and increasingly see them as a single giant computer on which I can flexibly run both todays application workloads and tomorrows application loads." How could we forget Maritzs love for Ruby.

  • However I think a lot of us were still thinking very server workload centric, whilst VMware with a CEO with such a background in software development has seen that delivering infrastructure to run server workloads, whilst significant, is going to be a reducing market as software architectures change. The money is to be found where the future spending is going, leaning more to new initiatives rather than keeping the legacy going (server virtualisation is about cost recovery and containment).

  • In 2009 we see VMware get into SpringSource, the first big play into this application framework and PaaS space. If those applications are going to be rewritten for the Cloud and move away from the server workload models then VMware want in. From the report above we can see that "After one full quarter of operating together we are even more convinced of the potential of integration and innovation. While keeping and enhancing Spring as an open framework targeting multiple environments, we expect to see new products that specifically integrate Spring and vSphere appear in 2010."

  • In 2010 we see VMware get into Zimbra, the first big play into the actual application space. So is VMware going to complete the stack with actual applications. Certainly stack building is becoming bit of a range in the industry at the moment. Is this why they purchased Zimbra?

    There was a question asked on the call about Zimbra and Maritz stated "We see Zimbra as both an opportunity and a strategic move because this will allow us to show how our underlying infrastructure will handle workloads at any level of scale and provide a readymade solution that both our own channels and our service provider channels can take to market." then combine this with the term "complementary move" which was quoted previously.

    The outcome? I think VMware picked up a good opportunity and a great use case for their growing stack. If you are going to convince everyone to take on your Cloud stack (vSphere, vCloud, SpringSource) then its great to have a great use case to work things out on and then showcase. This is exactly what VMware parent EMC say they are doing with some of their services, as Chad Sakac stated "EMC has stood up our compute and cloud storage services to act as a PROOF POINT of the end-to-end technology, not to compete with the service providers/telcos."

    Remember that Zimbra is built on top of Tomcat and Java (a great match with Spring). When you review the Zimbra architecture its just waiting for all that glue, middleware and scaling that VMware have been talking about (the end of Steve Herrods VMworld 2009 Keynote comes to mind).
So how can we end before this turns into the length of a Chuck Hollis post?

Don't get to excited about VMware purchasing Zimbra, it is not the start of an avalanche. Expect some big delivery on the vCloud this year (after talking it up since 2008) and some first release integration of SpringSource, vSphere and vCloud as well. Expect little change or movement on Zimbra before 2011.

2010 will be the delivery of the promised meat and potatoes for Cloud and VMware, 2011 should see lots of spice added to the pot with some vigorous stirring as the stack fleshes out the base of 2010.


Leave a Reply

Powered by Blogger.