The VMware Q1 financials call had some interesting futures stuff, worth quoting CEO Paul Maritz in full
This is Paul. I would be happy if you had to come around and have a cup of coffee with me and we could discuss that for several hours. The very, very short answer to your question is that we are not trying to get into the database business per se. We are trying to be into the business of enabling applications for the cloud, both private and public. And as I said building off of our SpringSource acquisition we are adding to the repertoire of underlying middleware and technologies that we think are going to be needed to generate – to develop a new generation of applications. So, in that sense our hiring of the gentleman in question is a further indication as was the RabbitMQ acquisition of our intent to build a very compelling suite to enable you to build cloud based applications.
If you want us to get into the whole database and date storage discussion, as I said, swing by and we can have a long and interesting debate about that.
Developing cloud based apps will require new data management and storage models. VMware is getting well ahead of the curve by investing in Redis, a well thought of, blazing fast, Key Value store, what is being called a NoSQL database. I wrote up why RabbitMQ is interesting the other day.
While Maritz may say VMware isn’t getting into the database business, he means not the relational database market. The fact is application development has been dominated by relational- Oracle on distributed, IBM on the mainframe – models. Cloud apps are changing that. As alternative data stores become natural targets for new application workloads VMware does indeed plan to become a database player, or NoSQL player, or data store, or whatever you want to call it.
We have been forcing round holes into square pegs with object/relational mapping for years, but the approach is breaking down. Tools and datastores are becoming heterodox. something RedMonk has heralded for years.
As Matthew Aslett from the 451 tweeted yesterday from the NoSQLEU conference:
#nosqleu phrase of the day: choose the best solution/tool/storage model for the job. There might be something in “Not Only SQL” after all
The enterprise is beginning to notice that the web is working differently, and that there are alternatives emerging to the relational sledgehammer. VMware is positioning itself for the change.
Yesterday I tweeted:
monkchips: from riak deck: “we store lots of data in Oracle that we access using none of the SQL features” – chief architect Fortune 100 firm. #nosqleu
He is not alone. Oracle has been the defacto distributed data store for new apps in the enterprise since before i came into the business in 1995. This position is under increasing threat.
disclosure: SpringSource is a client, Oracle is not.