Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Tim Hinds, Sematext Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Virtualization

Virtualization: Article

Will VMware Still Exist in Five Years?

VMware deserves a lot of credit. It turned this industry on its head. But will it still exist in 5 years?

Brian Madden's Blog

VMware deserves a lot of credit. Even though hardware virtualization has been around for decades in one form or another, we wouldn't have it in the x86 space without VMware. The hardware and OS vendors would have been happy to keep selling hardware that was only 20% utilized. VMware turned this industry on its head. But it has awoken the slumbering giant that is Microsoft...

[Note from the author: This wasn't an article I intended to write right now. But after Alex Barrett blogged about a conversation I had with her last week on this very topic, my inbox has been flooded with emails asking "Did Alex really quote you properly?" and "Are you crazy?" The answers to those two questions are "yes" and "quite possibly."]

VMware deserves a lot of credit. Even though hardware virtualization has been around for decades in one form or another, we wouldn't have it in the x86 space without VMware. The hardware and OS vendors would have been happy to keep selling hardware that was only 20% utilized. VMware turned this industry on its head. They deserve credit not only for the move towards virtual hardware, but also for the whole VDI concept. (Even though VMware did not initially embrace VDI, the early adopters / creators of the concept couldn't have done it without VMware.)

So kudos to VMware for doing some awesome stuff.

But VMware will face some tough times ahead:

  • Hardware virtualization is becoming a commodity, and when this happens, you end up with a lot of competitors, feature parity across vendors, and a price race to the bottom.
  • The "easy" virtualization sales have been made already. What's left is the more complex stuff, with longer sales cycles and more complex deals.
  • Now that VMware has "proven" the concept of hardware virtualization, and now that analysts have predicted this market will be <insert some random 11-digit dollar amount> by <insert some year>, many companies are entering the space.

VMware has awoken the slumbering giant that is Microsoft. Sure, there have been isolated cases of smaller companies successfully competing against Microsoft, or smaller companies partnering with them (e.g. Citrix), but in general, if you're a software vendor and Microsoft puts you in their crosshairs, you days are numbered. Microsoft will add many of VMware's core features into the base OS over the next several years without really increasing the price. And in addition to Microsoft, many other companies are entering the hypervisor space, including Citrix, Novell, Sun, Oracle, and even Phoenix Technologies (the BIOS makers).

Of course VMware has the first-mover advantage in the virtualization market, and conventional business wisdom suggests this can help a company win long-term. But history is full of wildly successful businesses who only entered a market after another "first mover" blazed the trail. Look at Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Starbucks, Microsoft--none of these was the first company in their sapce, and each of them dominates today.

I don't want to minimize the impact that VMware has had on the industry. But I think in five or ten years, VMware will be more significant for what they did in the 2000s, not what they're doing at that time.

I'll write another article tomorrow about what VMware could do to maintain their dominant position. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments today. Here are some points to kick-start the conversation:

VMware is doomed

  • They only make one type of product, and it's a market that everyone is entering.
  • They're competing against Microsoft.
  • People will want to buy a more complete integrated solution from one vendor, and that includes things that VMware doesn't own
  • VMware is too dependent on other vendors that they're also competing against. For Citrix servers, why not use Citrix's virtualization? For VDI, why not use Microsoft's RDP or Calista? For packaging offline Windows VMs, why not use Microsoft's Kidaro to package Microsoft Windows? For software distribution, why not use the packager of your distribution vendor (Citrix or MS) instead of Vmware's Thinstall?

VMware will continue, no problem

  • First mover advantage. ("No one ever got fired for buying IBM." We have that now in the virtualization space with VMware. VMware = Virtualization. Period.)
  • Even though their stock has lost more than 60% of its value, VMware's market cap is still $18B (3x Citrix)
  • VMware is owned by EMC. (Remember only 10% of VMware's shares are public.) EMC's market cap is $31B
  • The virtualization market will be HUGE in five years. VMware only needs to grab a small slice.
  • Only the actual hypervisor will become a commodity. VMware and others will compete on the value-adds, which VMware leads

What does VMware need to do to survive?

  • ?? Let's discuss ??

This post appeared originally here and is republished in full with the kind permission of the author, who retains full copyright.

More Stories By Brian Madden

Brian Madden is an independent technology analyst, author, and thinker. He's written several books and hundreds of articles about Citrix and application delivery technology. He is a five-time Microsoft MVP, a Citrix CTP, and the creator of BriForum, an annual independent application delivery technical conference. He's also the editor-in-chief of BrianMadden.com, a popular industry website with millions of visitors per year. Madden lives in New York City.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
X-Wall Street Trader & Computer programmer 04/06/08 09:25:43 PM EDT

"Slumbering Giant".....Stop with the big MSFT but kissing. Have you ever looked into the history that Microsift has in the VIRTUAL software arena. They have failed....now that another player joined and is doing it well, everybody has to say that MSFT is going to be better. Yes, MSFT will have a spot in the VIRTUAL game but for the big network designers, they will go with the better product.
Now the issue is STOCK PRICE, the guys who trade this & the Wall St analyst are the ones making the comments about the product. That is like a redneck from West Virginia talking about European soccer....and not sticking to NASCAR or deep fried turkey.

Hyper-V the Giant-Killer 04/04/08 08:28:14 AM EDT

Now with Hyper-V, the recently released Microsoft virtualization product for Windows Server 2008, the answer has to be: no!

@CloudExpo Stories
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial C...
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by minin...
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"SOASTA built the concept of cloud testing in 2008. It's grown from rather meager beginnings to where now we are provisioning hundreds of thousands of servers on a daily basis on behalf of customers around the world to test their applications," explained Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ActiveState, the leading independent Cloud Foundry and Docker-based PaaS provider, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. ActiveState believes that enterprises gain a competitive advantage when they are able to quickly create, deploy and efficiently manage software solutions that immediately create business value, but they face many challenges that ...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
SYS-CON Media announced that Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow, has launched a new ad campaign in Cloud Computing Journal. The ad campaign, a webcast titled 'Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy?', focuses on the latest data center networking technologies, including SDN or ACI, and how customers are using SDN and ACI in their organizations to achieve business agility. The Cisco webcast is available on-demand.
Datapipe has acquired GoGrid, a provider of multi-cloud solutions for Big Data deployments. GoGrid’s proprietary orchestration and automation technologies provide 1-Button deployment for Big Data solutions that speed creation and results of new cloud projects. “GoGrid has made it easy for companies to stand up Big Data solutions quickly,” said Robb Allen, CEO, Datapipe. “Datapipe customers will achieve significant value from the speed at which we can now create new Big Data projects in the clou...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what th...
Security can create serious friction for DevOps processes. We've come up with an approach to alleviate the friction and provide security value to DevOps teams. In her session at DevOps Summit, Shannon Lietz, Senior Manager of DevSecOps at Intuit, will discuss how DevSecOps got started and how it has evolved. Shannon Lietz has over two decades of experience pursuing next generation security solutions. She is currently the DevSecOps Leader for Intuit where she is responsible for setting and driv...
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science f...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness,...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. ...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CodeFutures, a leading supplier of database performance tools, has been named a “Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. CodeFutures is an independent software vendor focused on providing tools that deliver database performance tools that increase productivity during database development and increase database performance and scalability during production.
SYS-CON Media announced today that PagerDuty has launched a popular blog feed on DevOps Journal. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done.
Cloud Technology Partners on Wednesday announced it has been recognized by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards as one of the Best Amazon Web Services (AWS) Consulting Partners. Selected by the editors of TechTarget's SearchDataCenter.com, and by votes from customers and strategic channel partners, the companies acknowledged by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards represent the top providers of cloud consulting services for AWS including application migration, application development, inf...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile ...
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...