VMware Opens Cloud, Virtualization Marketplace

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2012-01-25 Print this article Print

VMware is opening its Solution Exchange, an online marketplace that offers virtualization and cloud solutions, to help the company attract new customers and fend off competition from Red Hat, Microsoft and IBM.

VMware is joining a number of other virtualization and cloud vendors in trying to leverage online marketing muscle to expand its customer base, while offering new products to its partners and developers. On Jan. 25, VMware officially launched its Solution Exchange, an online virtualization and cloud marketplace that is designed to help customers, partners and developers locate and purchase VMware-certified products.

VMware's new marketplace follows closely on the heels of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 (RHEV 3.0) offering from Red Hat. VMware Solution Exchange shares many similarities with Red Hat's marketplace, and both offer copious amounts of information about each respective company's products and associated partner products.

Pitched as a new way for customers to find solutions for the public and private cloud, the VMware Solution Exchange offers a method for partners and developers to feature products that are part of the VMware ecosystem.

"We are offering our robust partner network a new and centralized marketplace to promote their solutions and directly connect with customers," Parag Patel, vice president of VMware's Global Strategic Alliances, wrote in a statement.

While the new market place will prove advantageous for VMware partners, one may question how IT customers will benefit.

From VMware's point of view, customers have as much to gain as VMware partners. "For customers, our goal is to empower them to quickly and easily find the resources they need to make purchasing decisions to accelerate their journey to the cloud," Patel said.

The launch of VMware's marketplace couldn't come at a better time, especially after VMware reported a 67 percent increase in profits for its latest quarter (please see VMware Reports 67 Percent Profit Increase). At this time, VMware is at the top of its market, and maintaining and growing market share should be in the company's top priorities. A marketplace that helps build out the VMware ecosystem, while encouraging cloud adoption, can only help the company to remain relevant in the burgeoning cloud market space.

VMware's adoption of a marketplace methodology will not only help the company promote its various cloud, virtualization and management products, but also help smooth the sales process for its customers and partners.

That will prove to be critical as the competition surrounding cloud products continues to grow. Microsoft, IBM and Hewlett-Packard are making significant investments in cloud ecosystem products and services and each are looking to put forward their own solutions matrix that focuses on alternative hypervisors.

In other words, offering customers an alternative to VMware's own x86-based hypervisor.

In addition to Red Hat, VMware is facing pressure from other vendors such as Citrix Systems and Oracle, which have either launched or are planning marketplace-style communities to promote the adoption of their virtualization and cloud computing platforms and ecosystems.

However, with VMware's name recognition, market share and robust partner community, it will prove to be a challenge for competitors to chip away at the company's market share. It will take more than just easy-to-use marketplaces to gain the upper hand.

VMware claims its partner community includes more than 2,000 companies that have built more than 3,500 applications and 6,000 infrastructure products for VMware's platforms. Ultimately, the Solution Exchange will allow customers and additional partners to more quickly find those VMware-certified products. It can be expected that VMware will unveil more Solution Exchange members during the company's Partner Exchange 2012 conference, which starts Feb. 13 in Las Vegas.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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