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VMware's joining the vCloud dots

Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 | 2 Comments

Is VMware joining their vCloud dots all the way up the Cloud model?

Reports are emerging from places like the Register and Computerworld that VMware is about to by Zimbra off Yahoo. Zimbra is a open source email and groupware system like Microsoft Exchange.

What does this mean if VMware were to actually take Zimbra on?

First, this is the second piece of Open Source software that VMware will be owner and in control of, the other being SpringSource. I don't think there has been enough time for VMware to see the real results of what its like to do Open Source with SpringSource yet, but it may show that the onboarding and early months have not created anything fatal. This may also lead one to think that VMware would leave Zimbra separate, like they are with Spring. It would be reading too much into it to say VMware is showing an appetite for Open Source software, we can't tell that, thus far its probably more of a outcome of circumstance than a direction.

Second, and more importantly, this would would be the first piece of software that VMware have which is directed at the end user, an actual application, as opposed to a piece of systems infrastructure software. The closest there is would be Fusion and Workstation, but they are not really applications. Why would VMware want an application (or control of one at least)? VMware may want to join the vCloud dots.

Currently VMware have the hottest technology for the IaaS play, being vSphere and the coming Redwood vCloud software. In the PaaS space they have picked up Spring. Steve Herrod made a big point at VMworld last year (09) about the integration of Spring in the PaaS layer with vSphere and vCloud in the IaaS layer.

Very early in VMware's thinking on Cloud there was consideration of what workloads people will be running. Bill Shelton was talking about the virtual appliance market place and the role of vApps. Yet this moving to the next level and participating in (or enabling) the applications themselves rather than the infrastructure/systems to support them is certainly a step beyond.

Lastly, there was quite a bit of talk last year "within the community" about VMware stepping on its 3rd party partners, releasing functionality that overlapped. One take of this was Scott's view on it legitimizing VMware competition. An example of this is the VMware Data Recovery Appliance. If VMware start getting into the application space they are going to be taking on and competing with a whole new crowd of vendors, many of whom they are encouraging to support and deploy their wares on VMware. If its not a strategy of VMware to get into the application space, why start in the first place.

Well at this stage its only a rumor. If it does occur I am sure we will see some amount of reasoning coming out from VMware. I am sure many will be interested to try and understand it both at face value as well as between the lines. If it does happen, my money is VMware wanting to connect more of the vCloud dots. Maybe they should just get EMC to buy it, but then it would end up in VCE and Acadia.



  1. At vForum, Steve Herrod talked about part of VMware's cloud strategy being choice - provide the platform for (v)Cloud service providers to compete and provide choice for end users. Maybe this would be no different - provide the platform for a number of service providers to compete with Google and Microsoft for the cloud "office productivity suite" market?

    A "Software as a Service" Service or SAASS?

  2. Foxy, I see what VMware have been taking about to now in regards to vCloud and choice is about portability and standards, which is a bit different to where Zimbra fits in.


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