IT infrastructure manager, Alliance Data
The Zimbra acquisition resembles what we've already done for server infrastructure. Server virtualization has abstracted servers from hardware, and here we are abstracting the infrastructure from a core application.
It isn't clear what an integrated product roadmap may look like, but any option that infrastructure administrators have to relieve server and storage requirements allocated to email systems will be attractive.
Managing email, even with proper governance, management and support, still brings incredible roadblocks from an infrastructure standpoint. Issues such as retention and purging, archiving, quotas, usage policies and funding are among the most frustrating for administrators.
There is a great opportunity to streamline email and extend the VMware solution up the stack -- and possibly into the cloud with the appropriate governance, encryption, retention and other controls. I'm excited to see what the Zimbra (and SpringSource) acquisitions will bring to the VMware portfolio.