The Fate (or Destiny?) of VMware

Jun 21, 2022 by Terry Murray

I have a soft spot for VMware. My team wouldn’t dream of letting me touch a system now, but I worked with VMware quite a bit back in the day, and was even certified on it.

I liked VMware. It solved so many problems, made so many things easier and it was solid. It’s old hat now, but do you remember the first time you saw VMotion? I do. The first time I witnessed the non-disruptive relocation of a live application from one physical server to another was a magical moment that blew me away. Through the years, VMware has continued to innovate, bringing solutions and capabilities to a market that we rely on every day.

I think my reaction was similar to most everyone else’s when Broadcom announced they were going to buy VMware. At best, I was reserving judgment… at worst, thinking, “well, it’s all over!”.

Examining the Past

VMware is, as a key technology provider to most of our clients, an important partner to Prescriptive. I’ve been absorbing everything VMware and Broadcom have published about their plans and reviewing what all the industry analysts have to say.

It is reasonable to look at Broadcom’s history, what they have done with prior acquisitions, and wonder if VMware will endure the same fate. But VMware is a different animal than Brocade, Symantec or CA. I am not disparaging those organizations, but they were at different points in their lifecycles and market positions when they were acquired compared to where VMware stands. In any case, while Broadcom may have a unique plan for VMware today, plans often change when met with reality.

The reality is, we’re going to have to wait to see what they actually do, when and if the acquisition happens.

Preparing for the Future

In the meantime, we’ll have decisions to make regarding the role VMware plays in the future.

For those of you that believe VMware will be important to you as far as, say, 5 years out—perhaps your plans include running a significant amount of infrastructure on prem with VMware as a core part of that strategy—then I say, “Great!”. VMware isn’t going anywhere. It will still be there to virtualize and manage your servers.

The rest of you, likely, 1) have already moved to cloud, 2) are actively moving to the cloud, or 3) are already betting on another virtualization platform. Might VMware play a part in your world? Maybe, but likely not the critical role VMWare ESXI has played in most data centers for as long as many of us can remember.

Outlook Good (For You At Least)

VMware is more than just virtualization, they have a broad portfolio of solutions. However, these other technologies exist in a highly competitive world replete with other good options. You won’t need to depend as much on those VMware solutions as you might their core infrastructure technologies.

Whether VMware continues to innovate—as they have historically with impressive products like VMotion—remains to be seen. For the record, I think VMware is likely to continue to invest and compete in their most promising adjacent areas. But you can rest assured that, either way, the core solutions you rely on aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Photo by Petr Sidorov on Unsplash

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