VMware Looks to the Cloud

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-07-15 Print this article Print

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.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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