On November 15th, Cisco announced that it was acquiring Cloupia a cloud management startup that had built a unique combination of physical provisioning for converged infrastructures like the Cisco UCS and its downstream partner bundles like vBlocks and NetApp Flexpods with the ability to automate the provisioning of IaaS clouds on these converged infrastructures. Cisco had previously acquired Tidal Software, a vendor specializing in monitoring SAP in production, and newScale, a vendor who arguably lead the market for enterprise grade service catalogs.
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VMware’s purchase of DynamicOps signaled a major shift in both VMware’s strategy, and in the market for cloud management solutions. Previously VMware strategy (with vCloud Director) was focused mainly upon addressing development, test, pilot and training type use cases on its own vSphere platform. This relegated clouds to tactical and transient use cases which while important for many enterprise organizations, are not the bread and butter use cases that drive IT Operations day in and day out. Now here comes the enterprise cloud.
One of the hard problems in building a private cloud is that if all your cloud management platform does is manage virtualized resources then your cloud is limited to services that are 100% virtualized. On the other hand, if your cloud management platform supports provisioning on physical hardware, the diversity of all of the physical hardware is so great that the complexity of this undertaking for both the vendor and the customer of the cloud management platforms can be daunting.