On April 12, VMware announced its intention to acquire Wavefront, an innovative startup that provides a solution for monitoring applications in the cloud at scale. Wavefront offers real-time analytics, enterprise-grade frameworks, intelligent alerting, and a comprehensive API. Among its customers are some of the darlings of the SaaS marketspace: Box, Lyft, Groupon, and Yammer, among others.
There is no indication of the costs that are involved. According to the VMware press release, the deal is expected to close in calendar Q2 2017 and will not have a material impact on its financial year 2018.
From what has been said so far, it appears that Wavefront is going to remain a standalone product offering, has offered to market via VMware’s growing SaaS offerings, and will not be integrated into vRealize Operations. However, when Wavefront is coupled with vRealize Network Insight and vRealize Log Insight using Wavefront’s APIs, customers will be able to obtain an overall holistic representation of their network and application layers. This makes sense and falls quite nicely within the orbit of its Cross-Cloud vision.
In fact, Ajay Singh, VMware SVP and GM, Management Suites Business Unit, points this out in his blog post on the VMware site, stating that “it is important to realize that Wavefront represents several important points for VMware.”
These include signaling VMware’s continued investment in its management portfolio, a significant bump in its capabilities by moving up the stack into application visibility.
“With this acquisition,” Singh continued, “we are doubling down on Cross-Cloud and management, and increasing our relevance with developers and DevOps teams by providing real-time monitoring of web-scale modern applications that rely on micro-services in containers.”
In another post, Shekar Ayyar, EVP, Strategy and Corporate Development and GM, Telco NFV Group, waxes lyrical about VMware’s current M&A strategy. Here, he states that VMware’s strategy is to complement its R&D team’s development capabilities with inorganic growth. I love these marketing terms; this effectively means “We will purchase what we don’t have and think we need in order to reach our goals.” Another good quote from that article is “In parallel with the development of our organic Cross-Cloud Services, we continue to add inorganic technology and talent to boost the innovation engine.”
VMware’s Cross-Cloud vision is starting to gain some clothes, and its fashion sense is becoming visible. This latest acquisition makes sense for VMware as it expands its monitoring capabilities beyond infrastructure. It comes with the added benefits of some very prestigious customers and, more importantly, paying customers.
It is starting to become apparent that VMware has actually realized that the Hypervisor cash cow is gone. Its Cross-Cloud initiative makes sense. Especially when you are tied to a single geographic region, latency constraints may preclude your having resources in differing cloud regions, for example. With a true cross cloud, where you are running OVH powered by vCloud Air and VMware on AWS and IBM Cloud, you can potentially have your cake and eat it without leaving your home patch. This, coupled with the potential for a pay-as-you-go package in VMware on AWS, has the potential to make your off-premises BC/DR solution significantly cheaper, as you will have minimal resource costs over and above your storage costs and will be monitored with a fully holistic monitoring solution that covers all your infrastructure and now your application stack.