VMware Looks to the Cloud
Customers generally understand virtualization and how it makes IT systems more efficient, Raghuram said, but there's still a lot of education needed about the nature and advantages of cloud computing.
"The larger companies certainly know about all this. What we're seeing now that we didn't see a year ago is newer customers saying, 'Now that I get it, tell me how does it map to what I'm doing, and how do I get there?'" Raghuram said. "Very often the 'how do you get there' starts with virtualization."
Raghuram said that globally, the geographic sectors that are growing fastest in the deployment of virtualized systems include China, India, Russia, South America and parts of Eastern Europe.
Most businesses have their legacy applications that already work, so why should they change anything if it isn't broken?
"One of the great virtues of virtualization is that it takes existing applications and drops them into a more modern environment and gives them more modern attributes. So application migration has always been a big use case for us -- forget about the cloud," Raghuram said.
"Once they put that existing app into a virtual machine which runs on a cloud infrastructure -- that being a vSphere structure inside an enterprise, or at a service provider that's external -- they can take the same application and move it around," Raghuram said. "That assumes that the data can also move around. But certainly, inside of a data center, that data is available. So that's how they go about it."
Gemstone acquisition will loom large
VMware is very aware that to build a high-functioning cloud system, the data needs to be as close as possible -- at least in virtuality -- to the virtual machine running the workload. Raghuram said that VMware's recent acquisition of Gemstone and its prized data fabric technology are going to do just that.
Gemstone will become strategically more important to the company as time goes on, Raghuram said. Gemstone's fabric insulates the application from the underlying physical location of the data, by either caching the data or moving it around, Raghuram said.
"This makes the data appear local to the application for better response, etc.," Raghuram said. "But the real source of the data could be back inside the enterprise, or in some other location."
In order words, it's about abstracting the source of data to make the application run faster and more efficiently.
"We're really excited about this technology. You'll see us talking about this in the days and months to come," Raghuram said.