Agile Digital Transformation

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VMware Extends Strategy From Data Center To Cloud To Edge

Hybrid cloud, hybrid IT, multicloud, edge, IoT… it seems that this year’s VMworld conference was one big game of enterprise IT buzzword bingo.

Peel back the noise, however, and bingo isn’t the game VMware and the other vendors were playing here. It’s more like chess.

Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell (left) and VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger

Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell (left) and VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger

VMware and AWS – friends or ‘frenemies’?

At last year’s VMworld, VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud division of, announced VMware on AWS. Extending VMware’s on-premises gear to the cloud appeared to be a Hail Mary for the virtualization leader, while from AWS’s perspective, it seemed to be a great way to pick off VMware’s customers.

What a difference a year makes. Today, the partnership must be making both companies plenty of dosh, or AWS wouldn’t be extending its VMware deployment into regions around the world.

From VMware’s perspective, its public cloud play is all part of its ‘any cloud’ strategy – where ‘any cloud’ includes hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, native cloud, edge, and telco deployments of VMware gear.

To clear up the buzzword bingo alert here, it’s important to understand how VMware is using this confusing variety of cloud terminology. Contrary to most uses of ‘hybrid’ meaning ‘heterogeneous,’ for VMware, ‘hybrid cloud’ represents a combination of on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud deployments of VMware’s infrastructure.

In other words, VMware is hoping its customers use its gear in all environments, thus getting consistent manageability as well as the vMotion live workload portability that VMware is famous for – only now, among all of the hybrid cloud environments, beyond just on-premises.

‘Multi-cloud,’ in VMware vernacular, is quite the opposite of ‘hybrid cloud.’ For VMware, ‘multi-cloud’ means a combination of public cloud environments devoid of VMware gear altogether.

Multi-cloud represents a greenfield opportunity for VMware – either to bring such deployments into the hybrid cloud fold, or alternatively, to extend VMware management capabilities to multi-cloud environments, even though those environments aren’t leveraging VMware virtualization technology.

Getting this complicated cloud story right is a bet-the-company challenge for VMware. “Multi-cloud means multiple public clouds,” explained Sanjay Poonen, COO of customer operations for VMware. “We feel we need to be increasingly relevant in a world with private cloud, on premises, and multiple public clouds.”

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Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, VMware is an Intellyx customer. None of the other organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. VMware covered Jason Bloomberg’s expenses at VMworld, a standard industry practice. Image credit: Jason Bloomberg.

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More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is a leading IT industry analyst, Forbes contributor, keynote speaker, and globally recognized expert on multiple disruptive trends in enterprise technology and digital transformation. He is ranked #5 on Onalytica’s list of top Digital Transformation influencers for 2018 and #15 on Jax’s list of top DevOps influencers for 2017, the only person to appear on both lists.

As founder and president of Agile Digital Transformation analyst firm Intellyx, he advises, writes, and speaks on a diverse set of topics, including digital transformation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, devops, big data/analytics, cybersecurity, blockchain/bitcoin/cryptocurrency, no-code/low-code platforms and tools, organizational transformation, internet of things, enterprise architecture, SD-WAN/SDX, mainframes, hybrid IT, and legacy transformation, among other topics.

Mr. Bloomberg’s articles in Forbes are often viewed by more than 100,000 readers. During his career, he has published over 1,200 articles (over 200 for Forbes alone), spoken at over 400 conferences and webinars, and he has been quoted in the press and blogosphere over 2,000 times.

Mr. Bloomberg is the author or coauthor of four books: The Agile Architecture Revolution (Wiley, 2013), Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (Wiley, 2006), XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996). His next book, Agile Digital Transformation, is due within the next year.

At SOA-focused industry analyst firm ZapThink from 2001 to 2013, Mr. Bloomberg created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011.

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting), and several software and web development positions.