The next version of VMware’s Virtual Infrastructure, named vSphere 4.0, was announced with a flurry of high-level endorsements from Cisco, Dell, Intel and EMC.
The high-level song and dance can be attributed to the importance of the so-called “data center virtualization” space, which is the host side of cloud computing. IBM and HP, who are both miffed at Cisco’s blade aspirations and determined to carve out their own niche in the space rather than share one, won’t be a part of the big show.
This space is becoming the tail wagging both the IT and network dogs — a relatively small market segment with great strategic importance. We believe that this space was a major reason for the Oracle/Sun deal, for example; Oracle gets a cloud approach and storage, both critical in this new hot area. HP’s new Matrix announcement is aimed in this space, too. IBM will have to respond to the product flood arising from the face-off between HP and Cisco over the critical binding between networking and the data center. That could induce IBM to move closer to Brocade or Juniper, and the question of which way IBM jumps could be critical for both companies.