Slow off the blocks: Welcoming VMware to the real world of cloud

Dear VMware,


We read yesterday of your acquisition of DynamicOps – our neighbor here in the northeast – and their heterogeneous provisioning solution. And, while we can’t fault you for a little mid-summer shopping, the positioning was.. dare we say… unexpected.


After years of commitment to  dreams of a VMware only world – with nary a physical box or unix environment in sight, let alone competing hypervisors or Amazon clouds – you seem to be embracing the realities of IT environments. And well played – pretending this unexpected splash of ice water interrupting your reverie was always part of the master plan. We always know about reality, you seem to say, but wanted the world to share in our dream.


Welcome to real life. We’ve been there for a while. In fact, given that you’re new to this “whole datacenter” thing, let’s talk through a few things we’ve learned over the years:


  • The whole datacenter isn’t run by a vmware administrator. It’s run by a team of people, some of whom could care less about the hypervisor. Networks teams and operational people and storage groups and security guys. Time to make some new friends – friends, who have been happily partnering with systems management vendors for years. Systems management vendors who have invested, for years, in their needs.


  • There’s more to life than provisioning. By the eerily familiar messaging in your operations product suite, you seem to have accepted that on the vSphere side. Now pull out those product roadmaps and start prioritizing capacity management and performance management and security and configuration management and compliance and chargeback and service management on all those supported platforms.


  • Bring some commitment to the game. A relatively small acquisition does not heterogeneity make. Our customers – your targets, presumably – want to see deep platform support. Bare metal provisioning on AIX machines. Performance management on Amazon. Capacity utilization comparisons of every platform you can dream up. The questions they ask – and the RFPs they write – they are no joke. Production heterogeneous clouds aren’t built on PR.


Welcome to the real world. We’ve got a 3-5 year head start. Hope you’re warmed up – it’s going to be a long, hard, and frustrating race.

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