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IT BYTES BACK! says: Sleeping beauty Of The Tech World

It’s been three months since the last substantial reporting about VMware from any media outlet – their possible reverse acquisition of Dell. That bit of news at least piqued some interest for the virtualisation specialist solutions provider for the time being.

Because everything else about VMware has been lacklustre so far.

Sure, they revolutionised the landscape and make up of data centres today with virtual machines – IT department thinking of getting another server? Lo and behold, just use existing resources in existing hardware and save a tonne of money!

But that was over 10 years ago. And how VMware charged for use of their solutions meant a helluva lot of money in their pockets. In fact after the first 10 years, VMware to me, started to slow down to a snail’s pace in terms of innovation.

Their saving grace, virtualised networking, made an appearance in 2012.

Now, this is actually an interesting bit of technology because it meant hypersegmentation could happen, quarantining off infected networks, enabling the rest of the network aka business, to run as per usual. BUT, this bit of technology was made possible because of their acquisition of Nicira and the genius of its co-founder, Martin Casado.

Separating the data plane from the control plane is made possible because of virtualisation technology and it meant more granular control and very interesting things could happen.

Sadly, VMware is not at the forefront of this. A smaller, lesser known networking company called Brocade with some help from Intel was pioneering this, while the virtualisation specialists themselves had nothing to offer.

VMware touted hypersegmentation some five years ago, and today they are *still creating a mini fanfare* about hypersegmentation as though it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

They are also now just beginning to talk about their network function virtualisation (NFV) solutions for the telco space, when NFV has been around for ages before.

Virtualisation technology is an enabler, and after virtualising servers, it is only logical to want to virtualise networks, storage and eventually the whole data centre.

But where does this put VMware in the bigger scheme of things, the current universe/landscape/scenario/background of of technology trends like blockchain, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, analytics, machine learning etc?

Kinda nowhere.

Well ok to be fair, a few months ago I sat in on VMware execs trying to paint a picture about VMware’s role in technologies like blockchain and some such.

But, it was a huge long stretch from here to Timbuktu, trying to map their technology relevance to practical use cases.

Today, it’s been a few months since I attended their annual CIO forum in Singapore. I had heard what was on offer, and I silently kicked myself for not having seen it sooner.

Besides having a likeable CEO, if VMware had even an iota of innovation in their roadmap and products, they would be creating bigger waves.

IT BYTES BACK! says: Virtualisation is great foundational technology and VMs have enabled a great many things. But, it’s containers’ time to shine now and I think it’s a sign of things to come when conferences of the big tech vendors begin to have technical briefings that talk about options for their solutions in “Bare Metal”.



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