In a previous post, I discussed VMware’s differentiated message of choice in Cloud-computing infrastructure. That post talked primarily about enabling infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers (using the same technology VMware delivers for enterprises) to build and deliver flexible infrastructure services with scalable networking, storage and compute underneath.
But what about the ability to support newly developed scale-out applications? This is at the heart of what VMware will do with SpringSource – providing organizations a way to develop their own scale-out applications that can run in their own datacenter or run in a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) provider built on VMware’s infrastructure. Gartner’s initial analysis is here. Below are my observations on the acquisition of SpringSource (and, interestingly, there is a security slant)
- By acquiring SpringSource, VMware gains immediate access to 2-3M Java developers that have adopted the framework. Unlike Microsoft, VMware didn’t have an installed base of developers to target. Now it does. Also, SpringSource beings application-level expertise and credibility to VMware.
- In much the same way that virtualization decouples operating systems and workloads from the underlying hardware, SpringSource decouples the applications from the specifics of their deployment environment, enabling mobility and portability of the applications (including to Cloud-based providers). It also enables unique security capabilities using aspect-oriented programming techniques to inject and enforce consistent policies across the application with limited developer involvement.
- If VMware remains committed to SpringSource’s relationship with the open source community, it will battle at the PaaS level in a way that Microsoft cannot.
- There are limits to what VMware can infer and introspect from the outside of a VM container. By instrumenting the application platform layer to communicate with the virtualization layer, VMware will gain the visibility needed to build applications that can scale out dynamically in bidirectional cooperation with the infrastructure underneath.
- The acquisition of SpringSource brings along the Hyperic management fabric capability (also open source) which Gartner wrote up in detail here as a Cool vendor. Hyperic’s technology has the potential to transform traditional systems/security management (including performance monitoring, logging, change management, updates and so on).
- Finally, as the framework evolves organizations could build and deploy the same elastic-infrastructure-enabled application internally or externally, or in a hybrid deployment that spans both.
It’s a bold and strategic acquisition on VMware’s part:. As always, the key will be in the execution.