With this set of announcements, VMware has solidified its position as a leader in providing a suite of management solutions across its own data center virtualization platform, the VMware Hybrid Cloud Service, Microsoft Hyper-V and Amazon AWS. As more of the data center gets virtualized, virtualization and cloud focused solutions like these from VMware become de-facto enterprise grade solutions since once the enterprise is 100% virtualized there will be no more need for expensive and outdated legacy management solutions from IBM, BMC, CA and HP. Clearly if VMware can help its customers get rid of these legacy management frameworks, the hard dollar ROI associated with their replacement will be enough to fund a large expansion in the estate of virtualized and cloud based data centers.
Bundling the Foundation Edition of vCenter Operations into every edition of vSphere is VMware’s strategy for seeding its customer base with just enough of vC OPS to entice customers to move up and purchase a higher level edition of the suite. However, the least expensive version of vCenter Operation is now $125 per VM instead of $50 per VM. Finally support has been added for monitoring OS instances that run on other hypervisors and other clouds.
Acquiring DynamicOps has kick-started VMware into a heterogeneous virtualization management strategy. This will be demonstrated in detail at VMworld this Fall. We now face a dramatically different virtualization landscape. The focus has now shifted to management – of business critical applications running on multiple virtualization platforms and potentially distributed across internal data centers and public clouds.
VMware is going to make progress on its automated service assurance vision this year, with initial steps coming in the Q1/2012 version of vCenter Operations and the initial release of vFabric APM. On the third party vendor front, progress is most likely to come by partnerships between vendors who have interesting pieces of the puzzle, but do not have the entire puzzle themselves. On this front the most interesting vendors are Netuitive, Prelert, Blue Stripe, ExtrHop Networks, and VMTurbo. The wild card in this equation is how service assurance will fit with cloud management and offerings from vendors like DynamicOps, Abiquo, Platform Computing and Gale Technologies.
VMware has articulated and is starting to deliver on a compelling strategy of Automated Operations for its virtualization and cloud platforms. This will precipitate profound changes in the vendor ecosystem as third party vendors partner up and acquire in order to come up with the same depth of functionality that VMware is offering, but on a broader set of platforms (Quest buying VKernel is just the start of this process).
Quest buying vKernel is just the first in a series of steps that Quest will have to take to fully compete with VMware vCenter Operations – and starts the process of determining how the capacity, performance and availability management ecosystem for VMware will react in response.