VMware To Embed EMC Storage Tech In vSphere, Could Shake Up Partnerships

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Channel sources close to VMware say the company is planning to embed a version of EMC's Avamar backup software into its vSphere virtualization and cloud platform, a move that would breach the technology firewall between EMC and VMware.

VMware is expected next week to use its VMworld conference to unveil plans to embed the Avamar Virtual Edition in VMware's vSphere 5.1, giving users the opportunity to back up a maximum of 2 TBs of data free of charge, according to multiple channel sources.

Avamar Virtual Edition is a virtual appliance version of EMC's Avamar data protection software, which is deployed within a VMware virtual machine.


[Related: VMware Kills vRAM Licensing, Will Focus On vSphere Cloud Bundles]

Customers would also have the opportunity to upgraded to a full version of the Avamar software, channel sources said.

Such a move by VMware, which is majority owned by EMC, would be significant in that VMware would be embedding data protection technology from EMC, which competes with VMware technology partners and EMC rivals such as Symantec and Veeam.

Unlike VMware's decision to end its vRAM licensing plan, which directly impacts customers' budgets, the impact of such a move will likely be felt less at the user or solution provider level and more at the technology partner level.

The Avamar decision would be of major importance to VMware's technology partners, said Greg Knieriemen, an enterprise technology podcaster and vice president of marketing at Chi Corp., a Cleveland, Ohio-based solution provider.

"If Avamar gets embedded in VMware, there will be a nerd riot at VMworld," Knieriemen said. "People, especially in social media, will be up in arms about it. It would be an incredible, a ballsy, move for EMC to do. EMC would be putting product into VMware where it didn't do before. It's not just stepping on the toes of (VMware) partners, but kicking them in the [groin]."

One solution provider equated such a move with EMC pushing in all its chips at the gambling table. "Is VMware going to start selling storage now?" the solution provider asked.

It is a valid question.

NEXT: EMC Kept VMware Separate, But Signs Point To Possible Change

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