Reactions to VMware’s billion-dollar acquisition and vSphere 5.1

VMware has the virtualization world – skeptics and hopefuls alike – buzzing with news of potential platform-agnostic support and vSphere 5.1 features.

Hot on the heels of last week’s CEO shake-up, VMware spared no expense (pun intended) making headlines again with a billion-dollar acquisition of network virtualization-startup Nicira. Also, in the news, new vSphere 5.1 features emerged at a time when the IT industry has already begun to turn its attention on next month’s VMworld 2012 in San Francisco.  

Industry experts and VMware users wasted no time offering their two cents, so we scraped together some of the best quotes.

"VMware has yet to prove vCloud Director, vCenter Operations Management, DynamicOps, Nicira and all other products can be integrated in a cohesive cloud management platform."
Alessandro Perilli, research director at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc.

VMware’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Nicira, its largest to date, indicates the vendor is opening up to cloud users' demands for platform-agnostic support and will improve the company's SDN offerings, according to analysts. Perilli makes a valid point: VMware has come under fire for lack of product integration, a fact which even CTO Steve Herrod acknowledged at a VMware User Group meeting in May.

The cloud computing world will likely pay particular attention to next month’s VMworld 2012 conference, which could give attendees the opportunity to find out how the VMware plans to integrate its array of cloud products.

The acquisition also seems to demonstrate that VMware is making good on some of the talk from last year’s VMworld conference. According to former-CEO Paul Maritz, network and storage optimization is the greatest obstacle for VMware in terms of taking its cloud capabilities to the next level.

The anticipated unveiling of vSphere 5.1 at the conference may also shed more light on a highly anticipated feature, shared-nothing live migration, which was exposed in the VMworld session catalog.

"In the future, this will be huge for moving VMs to private and hybrid clouds. This piece allows migration [of VMs] from one cloud to another, and one data center to another."
A beta tester of the new VMware vSphere release, speaking on condition of anonymity.

According to the description in the catalog, vSphere 5.1 can live migrate VMs without shared storage through integrating support for simultaneous memory and storage migration. This technology, coupled with the vCloud product suite, should eliminate some of the mobility hurdles surrounding VMware private and hybrid clouds.

“My first impression is that the VMware Certified Professional - Infrastructure as a Service (VCP-IaaS) certification could certainly use a name makeover, but I think it’s a great move for VMware.”
Jake Robinson, systems engineer at Bluelock LLC

Last month, VMware announced the latest addition to its certification pyramid, but the program’s name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

The cloud certification program indicates VMware is throwing a lot of weight behind its vCloud product line as the future of infrastructure management. The move could also be seen as yet another way the vendor hopes to attract the attention of cloud users, especially considering EMC and Microsoft offer cloud certifications, as well.

"Don’t get me wrong: I have nothing against booth babes and after-parties, but networking with other likeminded professionals is more important to your current job, and maybe, your next one.”
Rob McShinsky, senior systems engineer at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

If you’re attending VMworld 2012 next month, you might want to take McShinsky’s advice to heart. The conference attracts thousands of attendees every year. While listening to new product pitches and learning skills at breakout sessions is beneficial, the real value may be the countless networking opportunities. Even at those after-parties, it’s probably best to be on your A game.

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