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EMC & VMware Spin Up Pivotal Initiative

The companies said they “expect to formally unite these resources by Q2 2013"

EMC and VMware confirmed Tuesday that they're reshuffling their assets and forming a so-called cloud and Big Data "virtual organization" called the Pivotal Initiative under EMC's chief strategy officer, VMware's former CEO Paul Martiz.

VMware is contributing Cloud Foundry, SpringSource, Gemstone and Cetas. EMC is putting in Greenplum and Pivotal Labs. The move involves 1,400 employees, 600 from VMware and 800 from EMC.

The companies said they "expect to formally unite these resources by Q2 2013, with a specific operational structure to be determined." So evidently for now it's being run out of EMC.

According to a relatively uninstructive Q&A-style posting on VMware's Console blog by VP of global communication Terry Anderson, "We are experiencing a major change in the wide-scale move to cloud computing, which includes both infrastructural transformation and transformation of how applications will be built and used based on cloud, mobility and big data. There is a significant opportunity for both VMware and EMC to provide thought and technology leadership, not only at the infrastructure level, but across the rapidly growing and fast-moving application development and big data markets. Aligning these resources is the best way for the combined companies to leverage this transformational period, and drive more quickly towards the rising opportunities."

TechCrunch thinks Pivotal Labs' "entrance into the story gives some hints to what EMC and VMware may be doing here. A potential outcome may be the combination of the Cloud Foundry PaaS with the Pivotal Labs application development environment and the SpringSource Java framework. That could be supported by a backend with Gemstone's distributed, in-memory cache and the data analytics offerings from Greenplum and Certas."

VentureBeat suspects the spin-out includes Project Rubicon, the EMC/VMware cloud infrastructure joint venture, too.

GigaOm, which broke the news last week after dogging the story for months, has previously speculated that Rob Mee, the CEO of Pivotal Labs, which EMC bought in March, will play a key role in the spin-out.

VMware is expected to concentrate on virtualization and software-defined data center to defend its increasingly commoditized albeit still dominant position against Hyper-V, Xen and KVM while the Pivotal Initiation goes off and puts together a cloud application stack optimized for the VMware vCloud Suite. It might fancy taking on Azure, Google and Amazon. GigaOm says VMware and EMC are desperately seeking enterprise cloud credibility.


More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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