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After years of focusing on virtualization of server and desktop infrastructures and building a cloud computing platform, VMware has of late expanded into a variety of new areas including application development via acquisitions.
This expansion last month reached a new high with VMware's unveiling of plans to acquire Nicira, the leading developer of software-defined networking.
When EMC agreed to acquire VMware in 2003, EMC made a strategic decision to keep VMware independent of the parent company.
VMware Co-founder Diane Greene, in a 2008 interview with CRN just before she was fired as CEO, said that she and EMC Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci agreed to keep the two separate.
"We anticipated that we were probably going to get integrated," Greene said at the time. "But what happened was, the day we were acquired we realized that this was a company built to partner. It's just in our bones. We went to market with IBM, then HP and Dell, and we had really strong relationships with them. We've expanded our relationships with them since then in terms of making sure our virtualization works well with their servers."
In retrospect, it was one of the IT industry's turning points. By keeping independent, some of EMC's biggest rivals, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Symantec, are also major technology partners of VMware. This not only made VMware the top vendor by far of virtualization technology, but also helped it build one of the top platforms for cloud computing.
EMC has of late been drawing VMware closer in than in the past. Most recently, EMC appointed Pat Gelsinger, COO and president of EMC's Information Infrastructure Products division, to take over as VMware CEO starting this coming September 1.
Gelsinger also told CRN in an interview shortly before his move to VMware that EMC plans eventually to offer virtual machine versions of all its storage systems that can be run on industry-standard servers. Such a move would make it easier to run applications in a cloud instead of moving the data to the application.
EMC plans to also start demonstrating capabilities next year that allow customers to run virtual machines inside of EMC's storage arrays, Gelsinger said.
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