Monthly highlights – January 2010

Every month I will try to wrap up some highlights about virtualization news, personal experience or other IT related items which had my attention, this time January 2010:

VMware acquires Zimbra, after a month of rumors, on January 12 VMware announced the acquisition of Zimbra. Zimbra is an open-source email and collaboration solution with over 55 million mailboxes. With this product VMware will step into the Software-As-A-Service market, which is a good move!
Next to Infrastructure-As-A-Service (vCloud) and Platform-As-A-Service (based on Springsource), VMware is now able to deliver well integrated cloud services to their vCloud partners. Will this put VMware as direct competitor to Microsoft and Google? Maybe, but the business model of VMware is different. VMware works with vCloud partners, who can offer services based on VMware technology. While Google and Microsoft sell their products directly. Anyway, this puts VMware in a strong position in the cloud market.

Microsoft & HP announcement, it’s about a new investment of $250M into their Frontline Partnership. They will both invest in the development of a “next generation infrastructure-to-application model”.
I still don’t know if this is just some marketing announcement or if there are real game changing developments. Microsoft and HP already have some kind of partnership, so why a press release? Probably this is just to stand up against the VMware-EMC-Cisco (vBlock) coalition.
Microsoft will build their Azure platform on HP hardware (servers, storage and networking). Next to this they will start developing solutions where virtualization and manageability are key components. This will make it possible of running a private cloud. I am curious if all these initiatives will introduce hardware dependencies. One of the major benefits of virtualization is hardware independency. And what does this mean for companies like Dell, who don’t have a partnership? Maybe some answers next month.

And then there was the Apple iPad, what about that? The hype creation is phenomenal. But is the product also? Last week a lot of people just loved the iPad or hated it.
A lot of complaints are based on a comparison to a netbook or laptop. Arguments like; it has no camera, no multitasking,…well, my TV hasn’t this also. We should see this iPad as a new kind of device, not as a replacement of our netbook or laptop. Therefore I also don’t see this device as a great endpoint device for desktop virtualization. See it as a content reader device. What if the iPad replaces the schoolbooks? And what about newspapers and magazine’s? I think there is a lot of market space for this device to be successful. And if Apple thinks it has added value, those features (camera, multitasking) will be there in a version 2.0 or 3.0 of the iPad. Perhaps this device isn’t developed for geeks, but just for ordinary people ;-).

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