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VMware Wakes Up to Public Cloud Reality, Buys DynamicOps

VMware gains a foothold in the heterogeneous cloud automation, orchestration and policy management space. But is it ready to go up against IBM, HP, BMC and CA?

VMware has struggled to create a viable public IaaS market. It has partnerships with Verizon (through its acquisition of Terremark), Savvis (now CenturyLink) and others, but none of those have amounted to much--at least, not in comparison with market leaders. Given VMware's pricing structure and licensing, services from Amazon, Microsoft and Rackspace are likely to look just too much better on a spreadsheet.

But even for customers that aren't interested in the public cloud or a hosted private cloud extension, their data centers are likely to sport at least two virtualization vendors. In InformationWeek's recent private cloud survey, 54% of respondents said they used VMware products for their private cloud, with Microsoft a close second, at 48%. When asked about future use, 61% cited VMware, while 50% mentioned Microsoft. Citrix, HP, IBM, Dell, Oracle and Red Hat follow pretty closely behind.

Given that backdrop, it's understandable that VMware would look to add high-level heterogeneous cloud management capabilities to its current offerings. Buying DynamicOps gives VMware a blue-chip entry in the cloud automation, orchestration and policy management space. The company was spun out of Credit Suisse in 2008. From its origin, DynamicOps has been about managing heterogeneous environments and has evolved to include management of public cloud services, like AWS.

While DynamicOps founder and CTO Leslie Muller talks about the ability to rapidly integrate with the VMware ecosystem, it looks as though VMware will have two top-level managers with the company's current product for VMware-only clouds--vCloud Director, and now the DynamicOps Cloud suite. In a blog, Ramin Sayar, vice president and general manager, cloud infrastructure and management at VMware, writes that DynamicOps will achieve compatibility with vCloud Director by creating a policy automation layer and integration layer that allows users of DynamicOps to model services using an existing VMware private cloud infrastructure.

To remain viable as a high-cross-platform management system, VMware will have to ensure that DynamicOps treats all platforms as strategic. A concentration on all things VMware will leave particularly high-end customers looking for an independent product.

There are plenty of those, though oftentimes they'll come from old-guard vendors such as IBM, HP, BMC and CA. These vendors are also often entrenched in the largest organizations. A play that directly competes with them, like this one does, may not have been in the best interest of VMware. Art Wittmann is a former editor for InformationWeek. View Full Bio

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