February 9th, 2007

VMware goes public

Yesterday, EMC announced its plans to sell 10% of VMware in an IPO. It attracted so much attention I decided to throw my 2 cents into the pile of news hype. OK, trying to be brief:
  • VMware’s IPO is definitely a sign that virtualization market is quickly going from red-hot to white-hot, which is very good news for any virtualization vendor. Especially for the two-in-one company like SWsoft with Virtuozzo and Parallels.
  • A 10% sale makes VMware about as much independent from EMC as Parallels is from SWsoft. It’s unlikely that EMC competitors - IBM, HP, Fujitsu and others - will now consider VMware a much better partner candidate.
  • Going public means having a solid long-term strategy. Yet, so far, the EMC/VMware merger has been a financial move. VMware has not done much to integrate its product line with EMC, and has mostly acted on its own.
The last point brings us back to the question – will virtualization become an integral part of existing platforms or a platform on its own? VMware apparently is going for the latter, putting itself against Microsoft and Linux – so far successfully. However, in just a couple of years, with Viridian/Xen hypervisors and Virtuozzo integrated into existing platforms and a number of management vendors supporting multiple virtualization technologies, it will be a very different game.