VMware has finally stopped apologizing for existing and also acknowledged that cloud is something customers want to use.
Unlike previous VMworld events of the past couple of years, VMworld has stopped trying to pretend that it can compete head-on with the likes of AWS and Azure and needs to partner with them instead, and not just as lip-service. Gone are the claims that VMware is the One True Way to cloud.
Instead, VMware has realized that its existing customers like VMware’s products and are quite happy to use them—and also like using public cloud as well. It’s not an either/or choice, and customers at the show have reacted positively to the change in tone.
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VMware’s announcement of the general availability of VMware on AWS was generally well received. Customer’s didn’t enjoy being forced to choose which of their children they love the most, and now they don’t have to. VMware on AWS treats AWS’ Infrastructure-as-a-Service as just that: infrastructure that can be used to run VMware. Customers who have invested a great deal in the VMware ecosystem can now get some of the benefits of cloud without having to completely re-tool their people and processes for marginal gains. Cloud can be reserved for the cases where it provides a clear, near-term advantage.
“The way I’ve always seen people doing things, the customer always wins,” said Steve Herrod, Managing Director of General Catalyst. “Any company that is successful is super-customer-centric.”
Customers don’t want to re-write all of their applications for cloud within the next year. One of the things that made VMware successful initially is that it enabled customers to virtualize workloads and get the benefit of increased capacity utilization. “It used to be that VMware was about server consolidation,” said Herrod, “but that’s the furthest thing from anyone’s mind now.”