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VMware CTO: Adapt, enable choice, or die

Brandon Butler | Nov. 6, 2012
To some outsiders looking in, VMware has gone through quite a change recently by purchasing two companies, embracing OpenStack enabling multi-cloud support. CTO Steve Herrod says it's all part of the broader plan.

NW: What's the time frame for that? And would you roll out the management layer before releasing the higher-level networking features?

Herrod: We're doing them in parallel. They're related but they can be handled in a distinct way. We don't have a time frame yet of when it will be released.

NW: I wanted to move on to the DynamicOps acquisition recently. It seems that VMware has really been embracing a multi-cloud support strategy, especially with this purchase. Did you feel that was necessary in response to criticisms by some around VMware pushing vendor lock-in?

Herrod: What it really came down to was customers wanting choice in where they do different things. By having choice and being able to give options to be able to better move things around, honestly, they'll be more likely to bet big on VMware if they know they can move away if we're not adding the value they're after.

At the top level, DynamicOps is a tool that helps people automatically place their applications where they want, based on constraints they may have about data privacy, or for example, requiring certain engineers to work in the least expensive infrastructure environment. Most people use it with VMware, but it also works with Amazon and it allows you to deploy to physical hardware, if you ever want to do that (laugh).

It really gives customers this great combination where networking connects all these different worlds and there is a top-level decision engine that can place things in these different worlds. I think this approach will give customers the choice to move things in ways that best suit their business needs.

NW: VMware recently announced support for OpenStack in vSphere. How do you hope to continue to support that into the future?

Herrod: We've committed resources to make that integration work quite well and you'll see more announcements as this keeps going, especially leading up to the next Grizzly release of the OpenStack code.

There's a lot of demand from customers who use vSphere today to have some choice in cloud management systems around it. We want vCloud Director to be the top choice, but if they want to use something else, we want to support that, too. It's one thing to make it work as a basic place to run and launch VMs, but vSphere has so much value around fault tolerance, high availability, SLAs and I/O controls; we want to make sure people can leverage those other environments as well. So it's more than just letting you run a VM, but it would also be even cooler if you could take advantage of these other features.


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