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 23rd, 2014
Veeam today released version 7.0 of the Management Pack for monitoring and management of VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V using Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012.
New in this release…
July 22nd, 2014
OpenNebula has just released the Beta version of its OpenNebula 4.8, codename “Lemon Slice”, that finally introduces the long awaited support for public clouds providers others than Amazon AWS….
July 21st, 2014
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is one of the hot challenges that nowadays enterprises are facing, that’s why AirWatch acquisition, made by VMware earlier this year, is extremely significative together…
July 17th, 2014
VMware has released a paper titled:"VMware Virtual SAN Design and Sizing Guide for Horizon View Virtual Desktop Infrastructures". The paper which contains 16 pages focuses on the definitions, sizing guidelines,…
July 16th, 2014
Citrix has released a technical preview of XenServer codenamed Creedence the next major version of XenServer, which is now at version 6.2. When released this version will probably be version…
July 16th, 2014
The Indian company VMUnify, originated from MindTree’s innovation program, announced this week the general availability of version 3.0 of its homonymous solution for managing Virtual Infrastructure Enterprises, Private or…
July 15th, 2014
vCloud Hybrid Service is VMware’s owned and operated IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) offering, released in September 2013 in the US only and extended to Europe (UK) in February 2014….
July 10th, 2014
Microsoft has released a paper titled:"Virtualization Fabric Design Considerations Guide". The paper which contains 53 pages helps you to understand how to design a virtualization fabric that is able to…
July 10th, 2014
Gartner has released its annual Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure, again positioning VMware and Microsoft in the leaders Quadrant. Leaders in this market have a clear strategy and…
July 10th, 2014
Red Hat has released its OpenStack platform version 5. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform is able to create, deploy, and scale a public or private OpenStack cloud. The…
July 3rd, 2014
HP has released a paper titled: “HP Reference Architecture for OpenStack on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS“. The paper which contains 15 pages provides guidance in the deployment of an OpenStack Icehouse…
July 3rd, 2014
Oracle has released version 3.3 of its enterprise virtualizatoin solution. The virtualization solution is available for both x86 and SPARC based processor architectures and uses the Xen hypervisor technology, supporting…
July 1st, 2014
Besides releasing the public beta 2 for vSphere 6.0 today, VMware also released a beta for Virtual Volumes (VVOLs).
Virtual Volumes allows a Virtual Machine and its disk to become…
July 1st, 2014
Microsoft has released version 9.1 of its capactiy planning tool the Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP). This version is the follow-up of version 9.0 which was released in December last…