SAN FRANCISCO — In IT, a trend isn’t really a trend until vendors get behind it.
Case in point: mixed virtual environments. We’ve done a lot of talking about organizations running VMware and Hyper-V together. But I’ve been asking vendors about it since last VMworld, and their answers are always the same: “We’ll support it when there’s demand, and we don’t see enough demand.”
Now that’s at least starting to change. As senior news writer Beth Pariseau reported last month, the number of Hyper-V ISVs is growing. Now we can add another to the list: virtualization management vendor Embotics, which will demonstrate Hyper-V support on the VMworld 2010 show floor and make it available by the end of the year.
SAN FRANCISCO — VMware is working on a new platform designed to improve network virtualization.
We got a glimpse of the company’s long-term strategy at this morning’s VMworld 2010 session called “Future Direction of Networking Virtualization.” The Distributed Virtual Network vision, as it’s called, aims at many of the networking problems that virtualization admins face, such as IP address assignment for newly created VMs.
“The line between servers and networking becomes very blurry,” said session speaker Howie Xu, VMware’s research and development director. “There’s no more black and white.”
SAN FRANCISCO — Citrix Systems is acquiring VMLogix.
Citrix made the VMLogix acquisition announcement today, the first day of the VMworld 2010 conference. The acquisition is expected to close later this quarter, Citrix said.
VMLogix makes LabManager and StageManager, tools designed to help create and manage test/dev and pre-production environments. Since making XenServer free last year, Citrix has put its money-making focus on management tools and other advanced features, and the VMLogix acquisition is another step in that direction.
Hot on the heels of the Intel/McAfee deal and the Dell/HP/3PAR bidding war comes more possible acquisition news: Rumor has it that SAP will acquire Red Hat.
Local Tech Wire, an IT blog based in Red Hat’s home state of North Carolina, reported on the SAP/Red Hat rumor this morning. Several Wall Street analysts came across the rumor yesterday, and Red Hat’s vaguely worded “product roadmap” announcement — scheduled for tomorrow — only bolstered the speculation more.
Virtualization clearly wouldn’t be the driving force behind an SAP/Red Hat acquisition. From a tech standpoint, Linux is a favorite among SAP shops, so there would be some natural synergies there, as they say. Or, like the Intel/McAfee deal, it could just make good financial sense.
But an SAP/Red Hat acquisition would definitely affect the virtualization market, even though SAP and Red Hat aren’t exactly leaders. Let’s take a look at where they stand:
Even with VMworld U.S. upon us, we have already started turning our attention to VMworld Europe,
which takes place Oct. 12-14 in Copenhagen, Denmark. As Mike Laverick noted recently, VMworld Europe is likely to have a different flavor compared with past years. While previously the U.S. and Europe-based shows were months apart, this year they take place in back-to-back months.
One new addition to the VMworld Europe show is a competition to recognize IT shops’ creative, cost-saving and other leading-edge uses of virtualization. Our sister site, SearchVirtualDataCentre.co.UK,
has launched the Best of VMworld Europe user awards program to recognize these innovators.
If your IT shop has brought virtualization to your enterprise to consolidate servers, cut costs, eliminate desktops or introduce virtualization to a home office, your project may be noteworthy. Entrants will be considered in the following categories, and winners will be announced at the show (details TBA):
- Best virtualization and server consolidation project
- Best virtualization for disaster recovery project
- Best remote-office/home-office deployment
- Best private cloud computing project
- Best desktop virtualization project
The deadline for submissions is Sept. 17. Valid entrants must attend VMworld Europe, and no vendor submissions will be accepted. Distinction among your peers, recognition for your innovation—and a grand prize—await you, so nominate your IT project.
Welcome to the latest edition of the Virtualization Vendor Profile. Every once in a while I’ll talk with a smaller or lesser-known company, learn about their business, discuss some industry trends, and write up a recap.
With all the hype these days, it’s easy to envision a not-too-distant future where every data center is a dynamic, automated private cloud. But is that a reality?
Not according to Nicola Sanna, CEO of Netuitive.
“In small organizations, they’re going to have a hard time making that case,” he told me.
VMware is known for some attention to detail in pulling off its annual confab, VMworld. And the company’s swag is no exception. VMware prides itself on doling out some quality loot for attendees who journey to the mecca of its annual virtualization conference. But attention to detail can border on fixation.
In early July, John Troyer and Luke Kilpatrick of VMware’s Social Media Team took some time out –nearly four minutes, in fact — to demo the VMworld 2010 backpack. They took us through the backpack’s paces — from its compartments for floppy disks (doesn’t everyone bring thumb drives? It’s 2010), pencils, and even an iPhone as well as its environmentally friendly accompaniment, a metal water bottle, and the improved zipper pulls over the 2009 model. The demo was thorough, if a little uncomfortable.
Dell made waves this week with its announcement that it will acquire 3PAR, makers of high-end virtualized disk arrays. Waves in the storage industry, anyway — though I found myself wondering what ripples, if any, might reach the server virtualization world, specifically, the world inhabited by VMware.
Immediately, the talk was of how Dell partner (and VMware parent company) EMC would react. Dell’s acquisition of EqualLogic in late 2007 made things rocky between the companies behind the scenes, at least for a little while. The companies revised their OEM/reseller agreements, and Dell stopped referring prospects to EMC for high-end array sales. All along, EMC and Dell continued to insist that their relationship was as strong as ever. And they’re saying the same thing now, even though Dell has acquired a company that clearly competes with EMC.
But then again, as an analyst put it when we were discussing the deal yesterday, “there are ways to remain neutral publicly, but behind the scenes what can happen is very different.”
Just when you thought virtualization vendor relationships couldn’t get any more complicated, Citrix has signed up as a VMware technology alliance partner.
Is this the dawn of a new era between these two longstanding rivals? Um, no. It’s just a way for Citrix to be more involved at VMworld 2010.
Making matters worse is the jargon these vendors spew when they announce new or expanded partnerships. How many times have you seen two vendors, who may not have the most friendly relationship, put out a joint announcement that goes something like, “With these joint solutions, Vendor X and Company Y affirm their strong commitment to each other as partners and leaders in the space.”? Then the next day, they’re back sniping at each other over some other products that directly compete with each other.
With all this double-talk, it’s nearly impossible to figure out where vendors stand. That’s why I have to give kudos to Symantec for some refreshingly honest comments about today’s joint announcement with VMware.