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Sources: VMware Sets Sights On Startup VMTurbo As Cloud Management Battle Heats Up

VMTurbo, a cloud management startup founded by former EMC executives, is emerging as a major source of concern for the virtualization vendor, particularly among large enterprise customers, according to sources.

VMware, which waged a public war of words with hyper-converged infrastructure startup Nutanix a few months ago, is now setting its sights on VMTurbo, a cloud management startup founded by former EMC executives.

In a series of tweets over the past month, VMware has cast doubt on the enterprise-readiness of VMTurbo's flagship product, called Operations Manager, which lets admins keep tabs on compute, storage and networking resources in their cloud environments.

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Why is VMware trash-talking a tiny startup that's also one of its ecosystem partners? Sources told CRN on Friday that it's partially because VMTurbo recently began pitching its technology as better than VMware's when it comes to spotting infrastructure problems before they arise.

[Related: Tucci On Dell-EMC Deal: 'I Am Confident Deal Complexities Will Be Worked Out']

VMware is touting its competing product, known as vRealize Operations, as a better way for organizations to monitor cloud resources and ensure that business-critical apps stay up and running at a high level of performance.

VMware also sells a bundle called vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM), which lets customers buy server virtualization and operations management together.

Sources told CRN that the fact that VMTurbo has attracted several large customers -- the kind of firms that might otherwise choose to go with VMware -- is a major source of concern for the virtualization giant.

"VMware is feeling a lot of pressure in the market from VMTurbo," one partner that works with both vendors told CRN Friday.

VMTurbo earlier this month said it now has more than 1,200 customers, including big names like PNC, Merck, the NCAA, PwC and Cathay Bank.

Cloud management is a huge focus for VMware, in part because it represents a potential future area of growth beyond the vendor's server virtualization cash cow. During last week's third-quarter earnings call, VMware President and Chief Operating Officer Carl Eschenbach said just 16 percent of VMware's customer base is using its cloud management offerings.

VMTurbo has ties to current VMware parent company EMC that are also fueling frustration within VMware's sales ranks, according to the sources.

The sources said VMTurbo has several ex-EMC inside salespeople, and the startup recently became a member of EMC's business partner program, which means EMC sales reps can get paid for selling its products.

Since EMC reps don't get credit for selling VMware's vRealize Operations, "this is causing a lot of friction in the field between VMware and EMC," according to one partner who works with both vendors.

"The interaction between VMTurbo and EMC reps has irritated VMware reps selling vRealize Operations," said the partner, who didn't want to be named.

A VMware spokesman declined to comment. VMTurbo and EMC representatives couldn't be reached for comment.

VMTurbo's management team includes co-founders Shmuel Kliger and Yuri Rabover, both of whom previously worked at the storage giant. Dennis Hoffman, EMC's senior vice president of strategic planning and programs, was a VMTurbo board member from 2012 to 2014.

VMTurbo has raised $60 million in three venture funding rounds since its founding in 2009, the latest a $50 million Series D in January that valued the startup at $500 million. That round was led by Iconiq Capital, a Silicon Valley-based firm with ties to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.


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