The rumors of a two-parts deal reached by Novell to sell its assets continues to be the top discussion of the week.
Apparently, the deal will be finalized within 3-4 weeks. Most analysts suggest that Novell’s strategic buyers may be VMware, Oracle, Red Hat and CA.
A new article published yesterday by the Wall Street Journal confirms that VMware is indeed interested in the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) business unit:
Novell Inc. is in advanced talks with at least two buyers, including VMware Inc., to sell the software company in separate pieces, people familiar with the matter said.
Gartner Vice President of Research Chris Wolf weighs in, suggesting why the SUSE acquisition would make sense for VMware:
JeOS wasn’t seeing wide acceptance in the enterprise. Many of our clients with strict OS certification and support policies were only comfortable supporting specific Linux distros (e.g., SUSE and RHEL) within their organization. For some special purpose VM appliances, JeOS had success. However, for many use cases JeOS was not acceptable due to factors such as integration with operational software (e.g., security and backup).
Three of VMware’s major competitors – Microsoft, Oracle, and Red Hat – are offering a hypervisor as part of a vertical stack that also includes their own supported OS. VMware is at the mercy of OS vendors and it’s understandable that its competitors would optimize their own OSs to work best with their hypervisor offerings.
VMware’s Open PaaS strategy is designed to give organizations the option to deploy Java applications to a variety of cloud providers as well as to internal infrastructure. When you deploy an application internally, it has to be on an OS accepted and supported by the IT organization. JeOS wasn’t a sure bet, so VMware needed more. The logical answer is SUSE.
VMware already can achieve most of this with the OEM agreement just signed with Novell. But problems arise if the SLES assets go to an uncomfortable partner, like Oracle or Red Hat for example.
Rather than being trapped in an agreement with a competing vendor (both companies above offer a fully featured virtual infrastructure), VMware may prefer to buy SLES. The alternative for the vendor would be to create its own Linux distribution, which has a lot of downsides.
Novell was already for sale when the OEM agreement was signed, and this means that the virtualization vendor already considered the scenario above. Maybe the announcement of the deal was just a way to test the customers and partners reactions before proceeding with a full acquisition.
The acquisition of SLES won’t imply that VMware instantly becomes an OS vendor, interested in a direct competition with Red Hat. Wolf clarified this pretty well:
Acquiring SUSE Linux is not about what VMware is doing over the next 2-5 years. They’ll continue to do very well running Windows OSs as VMs. However, over the next 5-10 years, the stakes will change. Microsoft will work to more closely integrate the Windows OS and its Hyper-V hypervisor. Paul Maritz knows that as a platform for Windows apps in a market where Microsoft is a direct competitor, VMware will eventually succumb to Microsoft.
There are two key points to highlight here: the OS business is the one that the VMware’s CEO knows better, but his company has no credibility as an OS vendor and not a strong credibility in the open source space.
At the moment, for VMware, the SLES asset makes sense primarily as another component of the end-to-end software stack that it’s trying to build.
Anyway, the most important implication of the SLES acquisition is another: customers being equipped with a full software stack will probably demand for more.
With the ownership of an OS, VMware would control all layers but the hardware one. If Cisco (and Egenera) are right, and the sales figures of UCS seem to confirm this, we are slowly moving toward a phase where fabric computing (or unified computing as the industry calls it today) is trendy again. In a world where having to deal with a single vendor for support and licensing is more important than a potential technology lock-in, there’s no reason for customers to have one management solution (from BMC, CA, HP or IBM) to control the physical layer and one (from VMware) to control everything else.
Eventually, the market will offer the conditions for VMware to extend its domain to the physical layer, as virtualization.info already suggested more than one year ago.
A close look at the company’s portfolio will reveal that many of its products can already monitor and manage physical assets, despite VMware is artificially limit that management capabilities to the virtual layer. Even vSphere has some raw capabilities to monitor the ESX servers.
The missing key component, a Configuration Management Database (CMDB), was kindly provided by the parent company EMC without much clamor: Service Manager, already rebranded and available for purchase, albeit still disconnected from the rest of the offering.
In other words, the acquisition of SLES should be more concerning for the big four than for Red Hat, which instead would become an instant acquisition target.
blog comments powered by Disqus
virtualization.info Newest articles
July 1st, 2015
Containers continue to gain traction, IBM announced the release of enterprise class containers based on Docker and built on its Platform as a Service, Bluemix for hybrid environments. It will…
July 1st, 2015
The Xen Project, the community which develops the Xen hypervisor under the GNU General Public License (GPLv2) announced the availability of a new maintenance release, version 4.5.1 of the Xen…
June 29th, 2015
Last week, Red Hat held its premiere event in Boston, Massachusetts from June 23 to 26, the Red Hat Summit, where several announcements have been made.
The summit offered over…
June 29th, 2015
Network virtualization is one of the hot topics within the OpenStack community. Last week japanese startup Midokura focused on network virtualization announced the assignment of Takashi Yamamoto as OpenStack…
June 24th, 2015
On June 18 Red Hat announced its financial results for its fiscal year 2016 and for the first quarter of 2015.
Total revenue for the first quarter ended May 31,…
June 11th, 2015
Rancher Labs is a startup providing management on top of the Docker containers, today the company has announced that it has raised $10 million in a series A funding…
May 26th, 2015
EMC has acquired Virtustream, a Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider originally funded among the others from SAP for 1.2 billion US dollars. Virtustream also provides a Cloud Management Platform…
May 25th, 2015
Japanese startup Midokura focused on network virtualization announced the availability of Midokura Enterprise MidoNet (MEM). MidoNet is a scalable network virtualization solution integrated with OpenStack Kilo networking project and…
May 20th, 2015
Red Hat yesterday announced the release of version 3.2. of its cloud management software, CloudForms. CloudForms allows the management of hypervisors from Red Hat, VMware and Microsoft as well as…
May 20th, 2015
Besides releasing their annual Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, research and consulting firm Gartner also made some predicitons about the growth of Cloud Infrastructure as a Service…
May 20th, 2015
Gartner this week updated its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for the year 2015. The Magic Qudrant for 2014 was released in May last year (covered…
May 19th, 2015
Red Hat yesterday announced a new Suite which bundles its cloud portfolio to manage both Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) workloads. The suite, which…
May 18th, 2015
A day before the start of Citrix annual Synergy conference, rival VMware announced project Enzo. Project Enzo is the name of a new Software as a Service offering from VMware…
May 18th, 2015
Last week, Citrix held its annual Synergy conference in Orlando. During the conference Citrix made several announcements which will be summarized in this blogpost.
Citrix Workspace Cloud, which is a…