VMworld Las Vegas 2016 could not have come at a worse time for Californian Dude VMware, being as it was just before the September 7th nuptials of their New England Daddy EMC and the Texan Dell. (see what I did there)
There are many saying as usual that the writing is on the wall for VMware, they have lost their way, the IBM of the Millennial generation. Watching from afar (the less said about being afar the better, but at least my back is healing) gives a slightly different perspective, not being dazzled by the bright lights of conference or being subsumed in the cacophony means that you can more clearly see the chaff from the corn and perhaps spot a direction in what at first seems nothing but random white noise.
Yesterday, after many worries—some regulatory (Would the EU sanction the deal? Would China sanction the deal?), some legal (Were the financial instruments being used to finance the deal unlawful under the US tax code?)—the biggest IT merger ever in terms of monetary value finally occurred. This is one of those landmark occasions. Two of the biggest names in our industry, Dell and EMC2, have merged to become Dell Technologies.
The big story of the last few weeks has been Dell’s $67B acquisition of EMC, and with it, VMware. This is big news for the industry—news that will have ramifications all over the software-defined data centre. One of the most interesting implications is how Dell will reconcile its own SDN strategy with VMware’s NSX vision. Do the two work together? VMware paid $1.2B for Nicira. With currently around 400 customers, as reported by VMware, and roughly one in four of those running in production, NSX is a relatively small but highly lucrative gem in the crown jewels of VMware. Dell will want to see something come from that aspect of this acquisition.
Since Dell acquired Force10 in 2011, it has had a stable of network offerings, though perhaps not with quite the clout of the more focused network vendors. Dell runs 3 to 5% of the switching market, depending on whom you ask. Dell gives those enterprises that want it a one-stop shop, with switch and router options at every level, from unmanaged modular switches to line-rate chassis switches right through the 40G and 100G space: options that rightly complement its server and storage offerings.