VMware in talks to buy Novell (or a part of it): implications

Posted by virtualization.info Staff   |   Friday, September 17th, 2010   |  

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
Paper: VMware vCenter Server 6.0 Deployment Guide

March 3rd, 2015

VMware has released a paper titled: "VMware vCenter Server 6.0 Deployment Guide". The paper which contains 100 pages covers two new simplified deployment models introduced with version 6. Embedded which…

VMware hires new CIO: Bask Iyer, former Juniper Networks

March 2nd, 2015

On February 24 VMware disclosed that the former chief information officer of Juniper Networks, Bask Iyer, was elected as the new CIO at VMware. Iyer is taking Tony Scott position…

Parallels Acquires 2X Software

February 27th, 2015

On February 25, Parallels announced that it has acquired 2X Software. 2X Software is a Maltese company, with offices in the United States, Germany, UK, Australia and of course Malta,…

Release: Proxmox Virtual Environment 3.4

February 27th, 2015

Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH headquartered in Vienna, Austria announced to have released the version 3.4 of Proxmox Virtual Environment, an open source virtualization management solution that leverages KVM technologies. Proxmox joined…

Release: Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6

February 17th, 2015

Red Hat today announced the release of version 6 of its OpenStack platform management tool Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack. Version 6 is the follow up of version 5 which…

Release: Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5

February 12th, 2015

Yesterday February 11, Red Hat has announced the global availability of version 3.5 of its virtualization platform: Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (aka RHEV).
RHEV is based on the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor and…

Release: Oracle VM 3.3.2

February 12th, 2015

Oracle has released version 3.3.2 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…

Release: Docker Engine 1.5

February 12th, 2015

Docker has released version 1.5 of its container virtualization solution. Docker provides so called container virtualization, allowing an application and its dependencies to run as an isolated process inside…

Release: Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 9.2

February 12th, 2015

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 9.1 which was released in July…

NIMBOXX acquires VERDE assets from Virtual Bridges

February 10th, 2015

NIMBOXX a company which creates converged hardware appliances combining storage, server, networking and virtualization technology announced that it has acquired the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology product VERDE from…

Citrix announces to cut 900 Jobs

February 6th, 2015

Last week Citrix announced its financial reports for Q4 and Fiscal year 2014, despite the positive results that the company had for full year 2014, the general opinion is that…

Paper: Reference Architecture – Lenovo Client Virtualization

February 5th, 2015

Lenovo has published a paper titled:"Reference Architecture: Lenovo Client Virtualization". The paper which contains 44 pages contains a reference architecture for Server Based Computing (SBC) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure…

Book: Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure

February 4th, 2015

Microsoft has published a free ebook titled: “Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure“. The book, which contains 246 pages covers the fundamentals of Microsoft Azure’s cloud offering. It concentrates…

VMware acquires Immidio

February 3rd, 2015

VMware today announced that it has acquired Immidio. Immidio provides several User Environment Management related product: Immidio AppScriber and Immidio Flex+. With the acquisition of Immidio VMware wants to fill…

 
Monthly Archive