September 2016 was bookended with news from virtualization and cloud management heavyweights. Near the start of the month, VMware revealed that IBM Cloud would be first to provide its new VMware Cloud Foundation platform. The end of the month saw the finalization of Dell Inc.’s acquisition of EMC Corporation. Interestingly, VMware is a part of EMC’s federation but runs as its own company.
The journey to create Dell EMC started at a record breaking price with many bumps along the way, as recalled in a TechCrunch article. This article noted that “unlike most big corporations with internal divisions operating under a single corporate structure with a single stock, EMC is a federation of affiliated and sometimes independent companies.” One such is VMware, which is run with a different board and stock though Dell EMC own 80 percent of it. That same TechCrunch article mentioned the failed unification of EMC and VMware to create a new, separate cloud storage company, Virtustream, which EMC launched without VMware in June 2016 and is also run independently of Dell EMC.
All of these solutions are ultimately ways to keep the business of enterprise companies out of the hands of public cloud behemoths Amazon, Google and Microsoft. The IBM Cloud use of VMware Cloud Foundation specifically addresses this by moving enterprise companies from private to public hybrid clouds more quickly than ever before. “It takes that provisioning of the full stack and it reduces it from a matter of weeks and months, to literally hours,” Geoffrey Waters, VMware’s vice president of service provider channel, explained in an article from Data Center Knowledge. In a similar statement on the launch, Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president, IBM Cloud, said, “our collaboration with VMware is becoming the glue for many organizations to scale and create new business opportunities while making the most of their existing IT investments in a hybrid cloud environment.”
While this launch just took place this fall, it has been long in the works as VMware has a 14-year relationship with IBM. In February 2016, VMware and IBM broke news of their plans for faster enterprise hybrid cloud adoption while using companies’ existing on-premise Software Defined Data Centers (SDDCs). By June they made Horizon Air available on IBM Cloud for enterprise companies, “which empowers customers and partners to transform the way they deliver Windows applications and virtual desktops in the cloud, allowing employees to embrace business mobility anytime, anywhere and from any place,” as written by Waters on VMware’s Radius blog.
At the time of the announcement of IBM Cloud using VMware Cloud Foundation, over 500 VMware clients had migrated to IBM Cloud with the use of 50 scalable data centers internationally. This should only increase since VMware is used by almost every one of the Fortune 100 companies. Waters’ Radius blog post promises, “look for us to continue building relationships with additional cloud partners and how these partnerships will help with the overall enterprise business process.”
Nothing big has come yet from the new Dell EMC, but they are very confident of their industry foothold as Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive of Dell Technologies recently remarked, “Dell Technologies will stand at the very center of the action as the largest enterprise system company in the world.” No matter what the future does hold, VMware’s involvement in these ventures ensures they will be a big part of it.