Thanks to VMWare for inviting me to attend VMWorld this year, I was looking forward to learning more about the progress on vCenter Operations Manager (especially Log Insight and Hyperic). I was also eager to learn more about NSX and the management packs around NSX which are critical to adoption. My colleagues who cover NSX closer to engineering and architecture get a lot more calls than we do on the management side of things. Similarly when I attended sessions on NSX deep dive, versus NSX management using vCenter Operations Manager there were about 12x the amount of people in the sessions showing you people are learning versus implementing at this stage.
There were other interesting announcements around OpenStack, which I think will fundamentally cause issues around where parent company EMC makes most of their money… selling enterprise class storage hardware. The true question is why not contribute to existing distributions versus adding fragmentation to an already complex project. The containerization announcements were also interesting, and caused many of us to think about the future of virtualization and the hypervisor as we are better able to abstract software and configuration into a more lightweight model.
As I attended sessions, spoke with attendees, and saw the vendors present in the exhibit halls, it struck me that VMware is lodged under the stuff which matters most to IT. Within my inquiry and coverage there is a major shift taking place where IT is trying to move up from the infrastructure components towards the end user experience and application level visibility. The growth and importance in APM and application level visibility is what’s driving interest. VMware seems challenged to address this interest. Lydia’s blog is spot on https://blogs.gartner.com/lydia_leong/2014/08/25/bimodal-it-vmworld-and-the-future-of-vmware/. The history of Zimbra, SpringSource (now Pivotal), and other software acquisitions directed at addressing developers and moving above the infrastructure have resulted in failure and divestiture. VMware can still innovate, but unfortunately today is seems to be occurring below the level of what matters, which are the applications.
Who will adapt and move, and which IT organizations will be largely irrelevant as people work around them.
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