There were two announcements over the last few days that struck me as quite important to the virtualization community. While some may question this statement, the long reaching effects of these purchases will impact virtualization and cloud computing in not so distant future. In fact, these purchases could add a whole new layer to vSphere as we know it today. Which for VMware is a good thing. They need to continue to innovate to stay ahead of the pack. The purchases I talk about are:
- VMware purchasing/taking over control of EMC Mozy
- RSA purchasing NetWitness
These seem like two disjoint topics and in some ways they are, but in the future I see these two purchases being integrated into vSphere as yet another set of purchasable options for yet another license level as well as being offered as stand alone solutions. The integration I see is not an immediate integration but may take a year to reach fruition (perhaps more depending on VMware’s engineering cycles).
The first integration is fairly obvious, integrating Mozy directly into VMware Virtual Data Recovery (VDR) so that backups can not only land on another VMFS but be sent encrypted to Mozy achieving both a backup but offsite protected storage. This simplest of integrations could just be a slight change to VDR. A deeper integration would be to integrate Mozy into the vStorage API so third parties could also make use of this new backup target.
A deeper integration, and far future integration I believe, would be to allow Mozy to be yet another storage location for running virtual machines. In other words, integrate deeper into vSphere. This could be the first truly usable cloud storage for the running of VMs within the local datacenter, private, or hybrid cloud perhaps by making using of the technology that makes EMC VPLEX possible. However, the end storage would still be in Mozy, making it possible to just use of local, private, or hybrid environment(s) compute resources while leaving everything in Mozy for storage purposes. This would alleviate an issue where it takes too long to move VMs from one cloud to another, just point it at Mozy.
The Netwitness purchase by EMC is also interesting from a Cloud and vSphere perspective, as currently NetWitness is used by many clouds to determine what is happening on the network, track malware, and users, etc. This functionality is currently missing from vSphere at the depth NetWitness can achieve. The easiest integration is the continuation of the virtual appliance Netwitness currently has. RSA would also use this technology to bolster its product lines as NetWitness is today a key component of quite a few forensics setups within clouds.
A deeper integration of NetWitness within the virtual environment would improve products like VMware Appspeed, VMware vCops, vShield, as well as provide the ability for deeper statistics than currently viewable. The data exists, but pulling it out in an easy to understand form is just a bit difficult, so NetWitness would need to be integrated into vSphere at a much lower level, specifically within the vSwitch(s) available.
These two products could once more change the landscape of virtualization and cloud computing depending on how they are integrated into existing products. Left alone, they are useful and usable products. Integration would provide more depth to quite a few of VMware’s current products.