Blogtober Post #4: The Future of VMware

Working at the VMware User Group is a very interesting job. You are not employed by VMware, but you are very close to the company and have a vested interest in their success. The success of the company has an impact on the user group. This is the case for any OEM/user group relationship.

I have no extra insight or information on VMware. I watch them closely and read what others are saying about the company. There is plenty of press out there discussing VMware, and my opinion of VMware is bullish. What I like the most is the message that VMware believes in partnership. Former foes are now partnering with VMware. That doesn’t mean they don’t compete in some areas, but both parties understand we live in a multi-vendor world. This is a win for the consumer. Partnerships with AWS, Google, Azure… the list goes on. Pat Gelsinger said, “I don’t want VMware to be the 501st company offering some kind of AI solution. I want it to be the company that enables the other 500.”

VMware did amazing things to the industry with ESX. The ability to virtualize x86 servers was truly disruptive. That type of disruption is hard to do and even harder to duplicate. vSphere is the cornerstone of VMware, and it continues to improve. While it does not provide a significant revenue increase for VMware, it is a very important part of the portfolio. vSphere customers are many in numbers and have invested in VMware products. Naturally, these customers will evaluate emerging VMware products. This will be a solid adoption base for products like vSAN, NSX, and other VMware software.

Some VMware products require vSphere. vSAN is one of these products, and its number of deployments is rising. Sales continue to increase as customers are adopting this technology to better enable their businesses. With as many vSphere customers as VMware has, vSAN is positioned to be a major contributor to the future success of VMware.

NSX does not require vSphere. This is important because it broadens the potential customer base for this product. In many cases, this might not be a new logoed customer but rather a new department of an existing customer. NSX is a security and networking product. NSX can expand into the networking departments that may have been historically Cisco. This will not displace an incumbent networking provider, but it would work together with them to deploy NSX on top. Networks will be virtualized, and NSX will be at the forefront.

It is exciting to be in the IT industry and exciting to see what VMware is doing. VMworld this year was one of the best I have attended. The stock price is at an all-time high. VMware is exceeding its forecasted earnings which makes Wall Street happy.

Many of us rode the ESX wave to expand our knowledge and careers. I am expecting a bright future for all of us who have invested in VMware. It will not be the same as in the past. The landscape is different, and the competition is heavier, but we are also in a more mature environment. We do not need to explain what is virtualization. Companies understand this. Instead of asking how this is possible, the question going forward centers around what is possible with this proven concept of virtualization.

Brad Tompkins


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