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Sep 07 2016

Dell EMC deal closed today, what does the future look like for VMware

Just about 11 months after it was first announced the Dell buyout of EMC and VMware received final approval and is officially a done deal today. How will this effect VMware’s independence and the large open ecosystem that it evolves around it? If you ask Michael Dell he swears that VMware will remain independent but it’s easy to say that now and have things change down the road as the companies get cozy living together under the same roof and relationships start to change. If you check out the end of the Day 1 VMworld General Session he talks about it with Pat Gelsinger stating:

  • “The open ecosystem of VMware is absolutely critical to it’s success so we’re only going to continue and encourage that and that hasn’t changed and won’t change”.

Also in an interview on theCUBE at VMworld he kind of dances around some of the questions but also re-affirms that VMware will remain independent:

  • “What I see in VMware is an incredibly vibrant ecosystem that is getting stronger, I see VMware remaining independent and we’re obviously the majority shareholder and helping them ensure the ecosystem stays very very strong.”

VMware is definitely not in the same position that it was 10 years ago when it relied heavily on it’s partner ecosystem to enhance it’s core vSphere product. Over the years they have expanded and evolved their product line-up and have branched out into just about every area including storage, networking, management, containers, automation, cloud, backup and more that makes them compete now with almost their entire partner ecosystem. I’ve heard the term “Frenemies” mentioned to describe this relationship as VMware has to be both friendly to it’s partner ecosystem that it can’t completely shun and at the same time compete with it as a rival which makes for a delicate relationship with many of it’s partners.

This relationship has become a bit strained and heated at times, and definitely impacts how partners interact with VMware and now with new leadership over VMware it complicates it even more. Adding further complexity to the mix is that Dell has to play nice with VMware’s competitors such as Microsoft which may actually help VMware to stay independent from Dell. In the end there are no guarantees, words are just words but I definitely think that VMware has a much better chance to thrive and grow by remaining independent and I think Dell recognizes that and will stay true to their word but only time will tell.

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