VMWorld Part 1
I apologize for not posting much the last few weeks because I have been on the road for three weeks straight. From the sweltering 113 degree heat of Arizona to the wilds of Michigan to the Streets of San Francisco.
But I am back now and I have a ton of footage to edit. My last stop in SanFrancisco was for VMWorld 2019, and let me tell you it was quite a show. Last year my perspective was that it was a show in decline, and that VMWare was trying to stay relevant in a world that is increasingly being dominated by Cloud.
Clearly VMWare’s CEO Pat Gelsinger was on top of it, because they made some impressive and bold moves over the last year or so.
To start, the show was well attended. There was the usual suspects there, and there was a large presence for data protection. Pretty much all of the players were there in force. Rubrik and Cohesity were going head to head with both a booth and what we call an activation. Rubrik’s activation this years was a basketball court like last year, but this year the special guest was Klay Thompson from the Golden State Warriors. He knocked down some shots, talked to the crowd and signed autographs. There was a free throw contest that raised money for Klay’s foundation.
Over on the Cohesity side, they had a mini golf activation that helped raise money for Special Olympics. They had Football Hall of Fame receiver, Jerry Rice. They had some Special Olympians that competed with Jerry Rice MCing the event.
Special Olympics has been a long time passion for Cohesity’s President and COO, Rob Salmon and he and CEO Mohit Aron were there to present a large (in size and amount) check to Special Olympics. I will have an interview with Mohit coming up in another episode very soon, so check back.
I think it is really great to see companies giving back to the broader community, and this was a big theme at VMWorld 2019.
The other data protection company making a big splash at VMWorld was Clumio. There has been a lot of speculation around this SaaS based data protection company, and they officially launched at VMWorld with a fairly impressive booth for a company just coming out of stealth. More impressive was that Clumio won Best of Show in its inaugural outing. Pat Gelsinger was there to personally congratulate them.
So let’s talk a bit about VMWare. They have been aggressively positioning themselves to be central to the hybrid cloud market. Initially, some of their acquisitions left me scratching my head, but now I can see that there was a broader strategy to what they were doing.
Let’s go back to the end of 2017 when they acquired SD-WAN leader VeloCloud. Then they picked up Cloud security and compliance company CloudCoreo. That was followed by the cloud governance product CloudHealth. Then came Heptio, which was a a bit of a shocker because they are a big player in the Kubernetes space. Heptio was started by Joe Beda and Craig McLuckie who created Kubernetes. That gave us an indication that VMWare was prepared to embrace containerization rather than compete with it. This was followed by the Bitnami acquisition. Then in July they acquired Next-Gen, Hybrid Cloud, load balancer Avi Networks. Then leading up to VMWorld, look at the list of acquisitions:
And finally Pivotal.
With this package of IP, VMWare is positioned to be a leader in the hybrid cloud space. They are really covering a lot of ground here, and you really have to give them credit for aggressively repositioning a very large company and maintaining a competitive position. It is going to take a lot of work to integrate all of these technologies, and it won’t happening immediately, but they are off to a great start.
There was just so much to cover at VMWorld this year that it is going to take a few videos to get it all in, so keep checking back for more new content.