VMware’s container management strategy should be seen as the key to success for this year’s VMworld. VMware needs to conclusively convince its customers that instead of doing their own thing the company is able to offer a strong value proposition based on the fact that Kubernetes and Amazon ECS are the key container technologies to embrace. DockerCon has shown that VMware admins have realized that it is time to “learn about containers,” but VMware’s challenge today is to convince customers that Kubernetes management will not happen entirely separately from virtualization management. Even worse, Kubernetes management may not even require virtualization at all.
EMA's latest research shows that 68% of enterprises are in the process of evaluating container technologies. Why is everyone today so fascinated by containers? It reminds me of the OpenStack-mania in 2013. At the time I was convinced that VMware had set out to crush the hype, while IBM, Rackspace and a ton of VC funded startups oversold OpenStack to the highest degree. I still have my collection of USB sticks with OpenStack distributions from Piston, Mirantis and friends. Claiming that all I had to do was plugging these sticks into any piece of metal and I'd have Amazon EC2 running right under my desk was not a great idea and ultimately lead to a degree of frustration that made the Microsoft and VMware tax look attractive and ultimately turned Amazon Web Services into a $4.5 billion business.