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VMworld 2010 – IT Management & Cloud Podcast #79


John and I give our take on VMWare’s cloud and application development announcements at VMware. We also discuss private cloud and what the announcements mean for other vendors, if anything.

Download the episode directly right here, subscribe to the feed in iTunes or other podcatcher to have episodes downloaded automatically, or just click play below to listen to it right here:

I’ll have a write-up sometime soon. In the meantime, we say plenty in the recording.


As usual with these un-sponsored episodes, I haven’t spent time to clean up the transcript. If you see us saying something crazy, check the original audio first. There are time-codes where there were transcription problems.

Michael Coté: So here we are at San Francisco, at the Moscone Center, VMworld. It’s the IT Management Cloud Podcast, Episode 70 something, probably the late 70s, I don’t know. We are starting to collect social security, getting some healthcare from the government, it’s great. You know in our 70s.

John M. Willis: Yes, I guess nostalgically.

Michael Coté: As always, this is Michael Coté, available at and you are?

John M. Willis: Live, in-person, John M. Willis at

Michael Coté: You can hear the background of the city here. We have got the Apple Event going across the way, which I understand there is iPad Supernano or something. I don’t really know what’s going on there.

John M. Willis: It’s like a Cray-based process or something like that.

Michael Coté: Yeah. So a lot of the discussion here has been about cloud stuff, and so I sort of think as a cloud vendor, there is sort of this first phase of cloud adoption that you go through, and you have this epiphany of like what a cloud is and why you would use it and all this technology stuff, and do you think — and then you go out and you start telling people about it and you are like, oh, we got this stuff figured out! We know what this cloud business is! It’s like when people figured out open source. Do you think VMware has moved beyond that first stage?

John M. Willis: Yes, unquestionably. I mean, we can be cynical about VMware in some ways. But I think this year, I mean, I have got to be clearly honest, maybe I am in the conference hype of, when you are at a conference, you think —

Michael Coté: Sure. Demo Glow they call it.

John M. Willis: Yeah, right, okay, Demo Blow, good.

Michael Coté: Glow, but Demo Blow is good.

John M. Willis: Oh, that’s what I am saying, yeah.

Michael Coté: That’s kind of what happened in the 70s, in the 80s.

John M. Willis: Not that I would have any clue of what that would be all about, but anyway, it’s a good story – I mean the vCloud, the vCloud API 1.0, which is what they announced, and the vCloud Director, those two things, I think they have up the — I have been saying this, like there is this like — there’s two ends of the cloud; there is that commodity open source grassroots app, that’s coming out of — like started with Amazon, Eucalyptus, now OpenStack, and they are kind of moving kind of up. And then you had the kind of enterprise-ish guys like slowly, like stealing some of the fanfare, we are a cloud but you are really not. But I think that VMware has moved the bar closer to the middle. Does that make sense, from the top-down.

Michael Coté: Yeah, yeah.

John M. Willis: And so I have to give them their due, that I think they have moved the bar closer to where the guys on the low-end are moving the bar.

Michael Coté: Sort of the middle.

John M. Willis: The middle, right, yeah, which is — but the middle is the kind of where they both meet and we are solving both, the kind of web operations and the enterprise problems with the same solution.

Michael Coté: Yeah. I mean, to that end of things, I have been curious about is all the like sinewy, glue stuff everywhere. There has been the phrase around like policy-driven automation, and there is also self-service things, and like all that stuff that kind of like — like you are saying, on the infrastructure, on the middle end, they are sort of like, all the virtualization stuff that kind of makes this happen, and then on the high-end, there’s sort of like all the process that it takes to like execute all of this.

So like a ticket gets opened, I need to provision something, right? And then there is everything that happens after that ticket is opened. And there is always a lot of speaking to what that stuff is, and I don’t really know quite — maybe I am making too big of a deal about it.

John M. Willis: I think that it’s funny, because I was just thinking while you were talking about that, it’s like, what are the common themes that you hear from both worlds? So if you go the Rackspace, you hear them talk about OpenStack or you hear Ubuntu talk about cloud or even Red Hat, and then what are the common things that you hear between like the VMware and like the HPs and the IBMs.

So today, we were talking before this, I had got to go to HP Boot Camp, and so one of the common things, of course, what everybody says is like self-service, pay as you go.

Michael Coté: Metering.

John M. Willis: Right, metering, compute power on demand, I mean you are starting to hear the self-service, frictionless IT from both ends. I think when I say the DevOps movement is — part of that is to try to get in a place where operations provides self-service operations for developers. You are even starting to hear hints of that from both sides.

But the thing that I am hearing that’s positive from VMware, and to a certain extent HP and I think IBM is like starting to integrate some core enterprise concepts, and they are not saying it, alright, they are being real careful to bury that in like the sub-bullet of the sub-bullet

Michael Coté: No. And in fact, in the financial analyst, industry analyst meeting yesterday, there was a couple of throwing around the phrases like “post-ITIL” and things like that.

John M. Willis: But what they are saying, which I think is really important, which is really a process that is core, is “service catalog.” So that seems to be a theme that the enterprise is moving and putting on the table, right, okay, guys, it’s our time to ante up some. We stole a bunch of your stuff, we are saying your speak, like you guys kind of spoke self-service first. You guys spoke pay as you go first. We got kind of closer to that, and in some cases we are there.

Michael Coté: Right, right, right.

John M. Willis: But we are going to throw something on the table now, and it’s called catalog, and I think that’s one of these things, like both sides — I say there is this convergence, where the WebOps meets enterprise, and I think that that’s the part that the enterprise offers, because that’s solid stuff in the cloud. You build a catalog and now your delivery becomes — it’s like, you saw the keynote yesterday, right?

Michael Coté: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

John M. Willis: Yeah. Like they talked about like your VDC clouds, your gold, your platinum, your silver, all driven by service catalog. So the user has no clue, other than I want a service, and policy-driven automation has decided, what cloud and what level of service you are going to get based on who you are in the service catalog and what you are asking for.

Michael Coté: Yeah. I mean, I guess that is the aspect I am kind of most interested in is the automation aspect of everything, because that seems to be — in the past, when we tried to have Run Book Automation in catalogs, it seems like it all broke down because you couldn’t automate it. And so the question is like, why is it going to work this time? And you know obviously that —

John M. Willis: For clouds my friend. Why are you here? Yeah, right. It’s the technology. IBM talked about autonomics 15 years ago, right? And it was a great idea 15 years ago, but the technology to deliver that concept was like still 15 years away.

Michael Coté: And in fact, I went to go look up “policy-driven automation” on Google – and was I telling you this [before recording] – and there is actually a patent that IBM people filed in 2004, 2006 for that. But it’s funny, you read it, because it’s like — it starts out great and you are like, is a patent office guy really going to read this? It says, “in an autonomic system,” and you are like “oh, I am sure the patent guy is like, ‘is that a word?'”

John M. Willis: Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s like, I can’t find it, I will just leave that one. That’s probably the guy like looking, is anybody looking, I will just do it. I am not going to ask.

But yeah, I think so. I think that, again, going back to the theme that, like the enterprise is anteing up and VMware is like putting some stuff on the table in reality. I think when they talk about kind of vCloud, I mean, if you look at the architecture of the vCloud, it talks about organizations and virtual data centers with allocation from a service catalog. You know what I mean?

Michael Coté: Yeah.

John M. Willis: And so —

Michael Coté: Which is all like extremely service delivery, ITIL stuff.

John M. Willis: Right, right, that’s right.

Michael Coté: I mean, that’s pretty much it, right?

John M. Willis: That’s the stuff that needs to happen to WebOps, right?

Michael Coté: Yeah.

John M. Willis: For everybody — WebOps are enterprise. Like what’s Zynga, right? They probably got on like 100,000 servers, right? Are they an enterprise?

Michael Coté: Yeah, yeah.

John M. Willis: Probably so, right?

Michael Coté: Yeah, I would be curious to see how they run their — like the process they use to run all of their stuff, because it’s probably —

John M. Willis: Well, I am sure it’s so grassroots, because it grows so fast, but the point is they are at a point where they have to like — even if they are still using commodity stuff like open source, cheap as I can get, to run fast, build fast, they still have to start or already are paying attention to enterprise-ish policies on stuff.

Michael Coté: Right, right, right.

John M. Willis: Because you can’t run an upscale operational with things not like change management and incident management and all the things that are in a service catalog.

Michael Coté: And speaking of automation and going back to the keynote a little bit, when I was flying out here from Austin, I was starting to think that — like I am doing some work with some automation people at CA now and I am going to — a little advertisement, I am going to do a little webinar.

John M. Willis: Is that right, they have automation people over there?

Michael Coté: Yeah, yeah, but there will be a little webinar sometime with them. But I was thinking like, present company excluded automation in general as kind of like not too exciting, unless you are building it from the ground-up and doing something interesting. I mean, at the end of the day, you are still automating configuration and provisioning and everything.

So I was thinking like, what would the future functionality of automation be? And like they had this project horizon they were mentioning, that was basically like, if I remember, it was like doing SSO between your desktop and SaaS-base stuff you are using. And it does seem — at some point —

John M. Willis: Don’t call VDI on me here.

Michael Coté: No, no, don’t worry. I was kind of thinking like, it seems like part of what automation will need to do is basically configure the SaaS services they are using, in the same way that like you would automate servers and automate other stuff, but at some point like there will have to be some chef recipe to provision a Salesforce account or something like that.

John M. Willis: So my favorite phrase this week has been, from your lips to God’s ear, because I have heard that a couple of times this week from a few people. Yeah. I mean, so — let me say –yeah, I think there is a thing, the vFabric stuff, that’s really important there. I mean, let’s circle back for the purpose of our listeners, let’s review what is significant about vCloud. I would like to hear your opinion. I have kind of opinions on why vCloud is — if you look at the Paul Maritz’s presentation, he defined three things that are significant emerging technologies or things that VMware has to face, right?


Michael Coté: Right.

John M. Willis: And he talked about infrastructure.

Michael Coté: Wasn’t it Twitter, Facebook, and Virtualization?

John M. Willis: Yeah.

Michael Coté: No, that’s the —

John M. Willis: No, that’s right. No, he talked about like infrastructure, we have got to deal that infrastructure is like changing.

Michael Coté: And then there are legacy apps and new apps or there are so many —

John M. Willis: He actually did a good job. They nail it down to three different things. He said, there was infrastructure, there was these emergent frameworks, and then there is the whole, your VDI stuff, which is the emerging technologies and the end user. So I don’t give a rip about that last one. You can do a podcast with somebody else. Maybe someday I will care about it.

Michael Coté: But it’s funny. I mean, being parenthetical, VDI is one of those issues where like everyone, but vendors, and a few people are just like, it’s just —

John M. Willis: I mean, we can spend the next hour like both agreeing why in the hell everybody hasn’t just adopted without — don’t — Pasco, take your $200.

Michael Coté: It’s like the electric cars.

John M. Willis: Yeah, really. At the infrastructure level — so I think you can break down the discussion if you followed those three themes that they were trying to build is, the infrastructure level, the answer, yes, it was vCloud and vCloud Director. At the framework, the emerging framework, it was vFabric. So I think from the vCloud perspective, my perspective, and I definitely want to hear your perspective, is that, what they have done significantly, vCloud, is the — they have broken down cloud to three different components; compute, storage, and network. So that’s apple pie, right?

Michael Coté: And they threw in security there, which is —

John M. Willis: And security, the edge case.

Michael Coté: Which I thought was great, because the way they illustrated security in the Burger Stack was they drew a red line around that.

John M. Willis: Right, right, which is good. And security is important too. But one of the things that I think they did — so like compute for everybody is commodity, whether you are talking about Amazon, whether you are talking about IBM, or anybody who is trying to do a cloud today, the compute is not the differentiator.

So what VMware to me has done is, which is significant, is they have upped the ante on the network as a first class citizen, and they have upped the ante on storage as a first class citizen, although some clouds treat it better than others.

But like those two, as part of their cloud story, are now treated all kind of at the same level. I think to me that’s the first significant thing about vCloud is that, like they put an enterprise perspective on it. Like, God, how could you like ignore the importance of the network?

Michael Coté: I mean, part of what you are saying is, they are making hardware insignificant?

John M. Willis: I think we are all trying to do that, but if you, like for example, don’t really address network as a first class citizen like you do as compute power, then you are missing something huge. I mean, that’s obvious, but not obvious to all, right?

Michael Coté: Yeah. I mean, I think the network guys still kind of have their kingdom going on, but there are kind of cracks starting to form in it. The only kingdom people will be left will be the DBAs running around.

John M. Willis: Yeah, but they will figure out those guys too, how to nail them. Yeah. I mean, so the whole vApp thing is about those boundaries of — I guess that’s more security, but the boundaries of the network that you can isolate by vApp, you can isolate by VDC, Virtual Data Center, or you can — boundary by the whole —

Michael Coté: That’s the way like Cisco and other people wangle their way into this whole thing is allowing to — as you guys and other DevOps people would say, to treat infrastructure as code essentially, to kind of make networking gear as malleable as software is, which currently it’s not.

John M. Willis: And treat the whole infrastructure, and this would be the whole Chris Hoff and why DevOps is broken argument, is that we don’t like talk about the network, we always talk about like kind of the OS infrastructure’s code. But the truth is, we don’t really see a viable way to automate all of it, but like what vCloud does is like kind of gives us a way, because — again, upping the ante, making network and security and storage, and compute, all for –.

I think one last point, then I want to hear your opinion, is the idea of the vCloud and the providers including that together. I think vCloud Express was an immature —

Michael Coté: Yeah, yeah. That was actually something I was going to say is, is I have noticed in the past six months that service providers or MSPs are suddenly like, this is yet another thing that was like boring and no one cared about, suddenly they are a hot commodity for vendors.


John M. Willis: They are a hot commodity, right? And that’s a perfect way to like try to consume this cloud story. In other words, find yourself a TeraMach, a BlueLock and like –

Michael Coté: Or Verizon.

John M. Willis: Get Verizon, and get them to buy in to the vCloud API.

Michael Coté: Yeah. Well, I mean, what I would say to be a bit 15:14 is, it’s a legitimate way to sell private cloud, because you are basically selling the tools to run a public cloud, where it’s like — I mean — long time listeners and yourself will know I waffle walk back and forth on this, but I am at the — whatever the opposite of an apex is, where I am thinking like private cloud is just a bunch of crap, not that it’s a crap, but it’s a distraction, right?

John M. Willis: Right.

Michael Coté: And it is like, it’s just frustrating to like think of, there is so many legitimate reasons to like have your own infrastructure and do all this stuff, and yet it’s kind of like, well, but then you have to manage it all.

John M. Willis: Right, right, that’s the whole like why a private cloud doesn’t exist story. But the truth of the matter is, it’s like everything else, there is never a one answer for all those things. Like these questions are never binary. You are like, public cloud, alright, it’s all over, we will send it, there will be no more discussions. I mean, truth of the matter is, like customers have to have the capability to control certain parts of the infrastructure in the ways that they find unique.

Michael Coté: Sure. Absolutely!

John M. Willis: And that’s why it would be interesting to say that, like everything is going to be a public cloud, I think is somewhat —

Michael Coté: Yeah. And like the theoretical advice, and I stress the theoretical that I was typing out the other day, is that it seems like if you are an ISV who is becoming a SaaS or a SaaS, then obviously you run your own cloud, maybe not obviously, but it’s much more legit for you to run — to have a private cloud that you are using it. You know what I mean? You run your cloud, whether you are a Salesforce or whatever.

John M. Willis: That is a cloud. I mean, there are people that would argue against that, but I don’t, because I say SaaS is a cloud by definition. It’s just such an isolated silo of the cloud.

Michael Coté: I mean, I am sure there are some exceptions, but you would be insane if you were doing a SaaS that wasn’t run in a cloud like nowadays.

And the other thing is like, but then if you are like an enterprise or a buyer, your first assumption should be like, why can’t — so you are consuming two types of IT, well, at least two that I am going to care about here; one of them is off-the-shelf applications that you customize the crap out of, like your ERP system and stuff like that. And those are things that you should be pushing vendors to run on a public cloud somewhere, to run somewhere else, if possible. And it’s not all possible at the moment.

Then there is stuff that you actually — from the ground-up, customer applications that you might build, and those seem a little bit more, depending on what they are, they seem a little bit more legit that you would run them as a private cloud. And again, this is like strategic stuff you are pushing people to do, that you can do right now. But it does seem like, if you are just taking off-the-shelf applications, even like Exchange and you are running it on a private cloud, I don’t quite understand why you don’t just run it somewhere else.

John M. Willis: Again, then you can get into, like 17:47 is one of those weird animals where like you feel more comfortable about all of the email that goes on in your organization. Is that proprietary too? But I agree with you, I mean, if it’s – clearly, it could be isolated as a commodity service, like, that’s a classic CRM, right?

Michael Coté: I guess the way to boil it down to is, if you are developing and deploying your own software, whether you are an ISV, a SaaS, or an enterprise, then maybe you can run it on a private cloud, but if you are just running IT in general, it seems like the push should be towards running it on a public cloud.

John M. Willis: If the application makes sense, like if you can — like the checkbox is, CRM in our organization, it’s okay to be out there for any of these reasons, if Exchange can be out there. So I think those are all — I think that — where was I going? It goes back to the catalog, right? So what makes the catalog so important is that, like the people who like — I always say, that operation is — Ops guys, we are like the groundskeeper of the baseball field, right? So play with me on this, play.

Michael Coté: They do like the mowing and the patterns, how do they do that?

John M. Willis: Yeah, they do some cool stuff, their grass looks pretty good in most cases. But here is the thing, like they said — like they make sure the chalk goes from home base to first base. They make sure that it’s the right distance. They don’t let anybody but the ball players walk on the grass. When it rains, they are the guys that kind of raise the hand and they have got to put the stuff up. So they set the kind of boundaries and then the players go off and like do what they have to do, but like, guys don’t run from first to third, right, because theoretically the ground — keep the lines correctly.

Michael Coté: There is policy that they follow along.

John M. Willis: There is a catalog. So my point is that, I think Ops guys are about like defining the catalog of services, making it frictionless, that they don’t have to come to me, they go to the catalog, and then they get what they need and when they need it.

Michael Coté: I mean, the 19:43 way I always put it, it’s like, IT people don’t actually want to talk to end users, so that’s kind of the goal.


John M. Willis: Yeah, right. And end users don’t want to talk to IT guys. But the kind of last meta point is that, like the guarantee is that you are going to get what you want, but I am still going to be the guy that kind of controls the way the field is laid out, because even though you think you are getting, you might go to a public cloud for this service, but the policy infrastructure says, that’s okay to go there. Well, you might go to some private, behind the firewall, can’t get even close to, and you are not even part of that decision.

Michael Coté: Yeah. As was said in the keynote yesterday, IT is left holding the bag no matter right. I mean, that’s the other interesting —

John M. Willis: The bag is ours, right?

Michael Coté: That’s the other interesting like longer cultural term thing is that, at a certain point there is only so much optimization you can do if IT is left holding the bag, because they are not going to let you be free wheeling and run from first to third. So if your business it makes more sense to run from first to third, you have got to figure out breaking that IT head —

John M. Willis: Or the assumption is that, you are in a business that your field is first to second to third to home, and so the baseball players figure out like phenomenally creative ways to get that — to score runs.

Michael Coté: Wormholes.

John M. Willis: Yeah, right, that was the answer. Okay. So yeah, I mean, that’s what I think vCloud is and then there is the whole vFabric, which I think is interesting. I don’t know —

Michael Coté: So you wanted like the typical like market context take or something like that, right?

John M. Willis: Well, it’s your analysis. So what I would ask you then, this is — so you spend a lot more time with IBM than other vendor. So what does vCloud mean from an industry standpoint, like you are going to talk to IBM?

Michael Coté: Yeah. IBM is an easy one. I mean, the people — let’s see, I will see if I can remember this list, the people that you would care about would be IBM, Dell, HP, Rackspace, just because they are into this, Amazon, and Microsoft, and there’s various little startups here and there and stuff like that, but I mean those are the big ones.

And I think with IBM, it’s pretty easy. IBM is — they are healthily schizophrenic on this stuff. On the one hand, they release like the zEnterprise, which is a mainframe, that’s sort of like against all this hardware doesn’t matter stuff we were just talking about. But the point of the zEnterprise or the zEnterprise —

John M. Willis: We are going to do it whether you like it or not.

Michael Coté: Yeah. Was like, there are actual cards and silicon and hardware in this machine that you use, that you can only get from this, whether it’s like encryption stuff or whatever. So it’s an increasingly narrowing sort of field that they sell it to.

John M. Willis: It seems like a really bad choice, but they are IBM.

Michael Coté: Well, I think there is a bunch of like financial people and insurance folks who are just like, that’s the platform they want. It’s kind of like people back in Texas who drive the big Diesel F, whatever trucks.

John M. Willis: That’s what they want.

Michael Coté: That’s what they want, and they need that pulling, and maybe they got those crazy crumb pipes coming out of them, and the little nuts hanging off of the tail end. So you got the —

John M. Willis: Little nuts.

Michael Coté: Yeah. You have never seen the — it’s like little crown nuts in a bag.

John M. Willis: Oh no.

Michael Coté: So you take like two little balls and put it in a rubber sack and so — sorry for the masculine humor there. But anyways. But the rest of IBM is pretty hip to all this stuff. I mean, the Software Group, which interestingly enough the Systems Group are now a part of, I would suggest probably under. I mean, Steve Mills runs Systems, which, he is the Software guy, so at least at the moment, Systems is kind of subservient to Software, which is an interesting thing for IBM. I don’t know if that will last or whatever. But anyway.

John M. Willis: Do they pick up the vCloud thing and run, or do they just — are they going to try to solve this with hardware?

Michael Coté: I think they will do both. I mean, what I tell people about IBM, I am sure I have said it here, is IBM’s business model is this, first, give us the money and then we will give you whatever you want. If we do it, it doesn’t matter, if it’s from someone else, who cares. You Give Us the Money Lebowski and we will give you the IT. Like what exactly you want, doesn’t matter, it’s just, you get the money.

So in that sense, if someone was an IBM customer and they wanted to get vCenter, IBM would gladly sell it to them, and they will try to wangle in Blades and WebSphere and DB2 and all sorts of stuff, but it’s not going to matter, because IBM is the primary point person. So I think, like I said, I think that’s a healthy schizophrenia, that allows IBM to survive through all sorts of things.

And then on the other end of that is someone like Microsoft, who are like, they are really locked in to only what they have. I mean, they have partnering things and stuff, but Microsoft doesn’t really have hardware, so they are kind of caught in that trap.

But the thing that Microsoft has, just like VMware, is ubiquity. I mean, it’s sort of — like with vCenter, if you are someone considering cloud stuff and you probably already have a lot of VMware, so it’s kind of like just use that. Like why try out something new from one of these wacky little startups or someone else when you could just keep using this stuff. And people love VMware. So Microsoft has that going on.


I think the biggest problem for Microsoft is getting people to extend .NET development into non-Microsoft worlds, right? So you have got like the vFabric and vCenter, and like it’s all Java and all this, but there is not really a lot of like .NET development we are talking about. And part of the issue is that, all the cloud stuff, like while there is vFabric, there is also AppFabric, which is a Microsoft thing that isn’t really the same thing as vFabric, but it’s all like the same.

Anyways, it’s a classic problem of Microsoft of, they like to isolate themselves, and then they are usually not quick enough to realize they need to work with other things. But I don’t know, we will see.

On the other hand, they are also — the good thing about VMware and Microsoft is, they are both — I mean, I don’t know, I have this secret theory, don’t tell anyone this. In the same way that Larry Ellison has a — what’s the politically correct way of putting it? He is very enthusiastic about being the IBM of the 1960s, I think VMware wants to be the Microsoft of the 1990s. I mean, they both sell license software, and they are both sort of infrastructure layer stuff, they are both Operating System. And their whole thing is moving licenses for things, and getting as many instances of their stuff deployed as possible.

John M. Willis: Oh yeah!

Michael Coté: The closer that VMware works with Intel and AMD and all those people, the better it is for them. The same way that — we used to have a phrase called Wintel, and it’s a similar sort of thing. In that sense, I mean, they are kind of unlikely, what’s that old word, they are simpatico, isn’t that what people used to say?

So then there’s people like Dell and HP who — I mean, one of those people, you get their software act together. That’s the concise way of putting it.

John M. Willis: Yeah, right. Well, I mean, Dell needs a lot of pieces, HP just needs a software piece, but there is none left. I was trying to think this morning, so I went to an HP thing, and I told you, I asked that question in IT Boot Camp, Oracle has the developers, VMware has the developers with Spring, IBM clearly is like always on the developers with like — so what does HP have? And the answer is nothing.

Their story is the kind of IBM, well, give it — I mean, I think you could simply say they are the same thing, give us the money and we’ll do whatever you want us to do. But I wonder, even this morning, like who would they buy, like is there even — I guess we could save that to last predictions.

Michael Coté: I mean, they could pull like a CA, like CA bought 3Tera and Nimsoft and stuff like that. So conceivably, someone like HP could buy Eucalyptus or they could do something even more wacky and become a significant contributor to OpenStack, like something like that. I mean, there is all sorts of stuff —

John M. Willis: But even then, I am still worrying about the — like the Oracle has the WebLogic.

Michael Coté: Oh yeah.

John M. Willis: IBM has the — where do you get that like app?

Michael Coté: Well, I mean, HP has this with EDS, but that’s the part missing from all these people, including VMware, is the services angle, right? I mean, that’s the thing IBM has.

John M. Willis: Yeah, right. So the vFabric thing, so I think the vFabric is the second really important thing. How much time have we got?

Michael Coté: I just have a few minutes.

John M. Willis: Alright, so this will finish up on the vFabric. So I think it’s an important thing to talk about is, so I think that’s another thing that I am excited about what — they are putting together this idea of you being able to kind of componentized, like abstracting the framework or the app layer as cloud componentry.

Michael Coté: Absolutely!

John M. Willis: So again, like this is the first time I have seen where I think vCloud and vCloud Director are real enough for me to say, yes, what’s that, you past that taste test or —

Michael Coté: It’s the cloud founder stuff, which is basically a way of packaging up Java-based applications.

John M. Willis: But really doing it right, because they have the whole RabbitMQ thing going now, and so they have really kind of positioned themselves to kind of build your own paths, and I think that’s —

Michael Coté: People have kind of joked that — I have been sitting through a lot of presentations, and we do as an analyst, and I think the best slickest thing I have seen so far is what you are talking about, is the — like having Rod Johnson, the SpringSource guy, go up there and explain — he doesn’t quite put it this dramatically, but almost, it’s basically like, there is a new way you develop applications and this is it. It’s all about queues and no SQL stuff and like whatever.

John M. Willis: 29:39.

Michael Coté: Exactly! That’s the phrase you use all the time, and that is like the — that’s been the most well-presented thing that they have done, because it really does — it kind of gets to that missing component stuff that I was talking about. I mean, I was talking about the Ops side of missing stuff. But the missing component is going to developers and saying like, you are a cloud developer, you develop things in this fashion.


John M. Willis: Right.

Michael Coté: I mean, they have stuff like Jim Stone, so they have got the queuing, and the Rabbit, which is a queuing system, and they have got a whole bunch of interesting stuff that kind of fills that out.

John M. Willis: Yeah. And like raising the bar, like so here’s the thing that’s important, and we can wrap up on this, is that, they have made a lot of acquisitions, but they are framing them well. So HP has made like a gazillion acquisitions, and I have still not seen the clarity in how they put it together.

Even to be critical about IBM, I mean, you have got your cloud burst, but lot of acquisitions — and I am not seeing the like, oh, I get it, and I think vFabric is like the first example of, like we do Infrastructure-as-a-Service, vCloud, we are now doing Platform-as-a-Service, but in the right way you can build your own and you have that flexibility.

It’s almost like private pass. Remember somebody asked us about a year ago on, like is there such a thing as a private pass, and I think that vFabric, it might actually fall into that category.

Michael Coté: Yeah, yeah. No, it gets back to like Microsoft and VMware being interesting, whatever, friendly pseudo people, is that — I hesitate to make such a sweeping statement, but I am pretty sure they are the only virtualization cloud people who also have a huge developer community. I mean, you could technically put Oracle in there, but I don’t think Oracle really — I don’t think that’s the thing.

John M. Willis: Those are those nasty DBA guys you keep talking about.

Michael Coté: Yeah, yeah. Whereas like IBM, they don’t really do software development framework anymore, I mean, Rational is all about processing and managing software development. And then HP doesn’t do software development. So it’s interesting the VMware and Microsoft are the ones who can bring that kind of — from Ops people to developer sort of thing. But on that, I have got —

John M. Willis: Then there is a Red Hat — I know you have got to go — we can’t do that now, but that’s just something — we should get a Red Hat guy on and really have them give us their perspective, because that’s an interesting developer, could be a cloud source as well.

Michael Coté: I think Red Hat is kind of like a dark horse in the sense that, they need to eat the right meal at some point and then they will get the power.

John M. Willis: I totally agree. I totally agree, no doubt.

Michael Coté: I don’t exactly know what that metaphor means. There is some sort of shift they have to go through. They will kind of get back to it. But anyways, that’s the report from VMworld 2010. We will see everyone next time.

John M. Willis: Sunny San Francisco.

Michael Coté: It’s always nice weather here.

Disclosure: numerous people mentioned are clients, including VMware.

Categories: IT Management Podcast, Systems Management.

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