Through a variety of initiatives including the Insime spin-in and the acquisition of Cloupia, Cisco is signalling that it is heading in the direction of becoming a management software vendor for virtualization and the cloud. This amounts a sharpening of the competitive knives with respect to VMware, and may position Cisco to become a factor in the disruption of the legacy management software businesses of IBM, BMC, HP and CA.
Choosing a Private Cloud platform involves trading off the scale of the environment, the types of applications running on the environment and compatibility with public cloud platforms with each other. VMware, DynamicOps, Gale Technologies, Abiquo, Platform Computing and Cisco offer the most compelling enterprise focused production application platforms. However other use cases and markets are best handled by other vendors.
Cisco has announced the intent to acquire newScale. This puts the leading service catalog into the hands of Cisco, who will certainly pursue deep integration between newScale and the UCS – providing enterprise customers breakthroughs in provisioning and workload management agility. This also sets up Cisco and VMware to compete in the IT as a Service management stack business.
Implementing IT as a Service requires a virtualization platform, and virtualization aware configuration and change management, secure multi-tenancy, provisioning and lifecycle management, orchestration and automation, and service catalog. These capabilities are available from VMware, DynamicOps, Embotics, Eucaplyptus, ManageIQ, newScale, Quest, rPath and Reflex Systems.
newScale, rPath and Eucalyptus have partnered to provide an elastic infrastructure (Eucalyptus), automated software deployment and management (rPath), and a service catalog (newScale). This provides an interesting alternative to the monolithic stack offered by VMware with vSphere and vCloud Director.
Looking in from 5000 miles (no I didn’t make it to VMworld this year), the two most significant announcements involved the consolidation of VMware’s bulging product lines into clearly-defined vFabric and vCloud strategies, which are respectively PaaS and IaaS plays that compete feature-wise with the established market leaders.