As we -Evan and I- were ranting last week about how OpenStack and VMware fit together (see #EMACloudRants), we were mainly focusing on the central conundrum that VMware faces within this context: “Should we support an open platform that could commoditize away a substantial part of our profitable infrastructure business or should we ignore the threat and do our own thing”
It’s always like that in enterprise IT. There’s this incredible new technology that lets you do things you could never even fathom possible. But then, once the honeymoon is over, the old problems come back to bite you with a vengeance.
The ultimate goal of the Software-Defined Datacenter (SDD), a term coined only a few months ago by VMware’s Steve Herrod, is to centrally control all aspects of the data center – compute, networking, storage – through hardware-independent management and virtualization software. This software will also provide the advanced features that currently constitute the main differentiators for most hardware vendors. The following quote by Steve Herrord succinctly sums up the bad news that VMware is delivering to many of these vendors: “If you’re a company building very specialized hardware … you’re probably not going to love this message.”