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VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger On Rapid Growth In Non-VSphere Products, How Partnerships With Competitors Make Sense And Why Running Containers Without VMs Is 'A Stupid Idea'

In a Q&A session on the main stage of this week's 2017 Best of Breed Conference, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger fielded questions on the company's new multi-cloud strategy, partnerships with rivals and the 'stupid idea' that you can run containers on bare-metal servers.

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Gelsinger Takes Center Stage

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger Tuesday stepped into the spotlight at the 2017 Best of Breed Conference to talk about the company's evolution beyond its foundational VSphere virtualization technology into a broader behemoth with a shiny new multi-cloud strategy built on numerous key partnerships.

"That now 50 percent of the business is non-VSphere says maybe we're not entirely done writing the second act, but we are well on our way, and our accelerated growth rates clearly demonstrate that," Gelsinger said during an on-stage interview with Channel Company CEO Robert Faletra.

Gelsinger spoke passionately the need for VMware to find a way to work with companies it considers rivals because that's what customers want.

"My promise to everybody here in the audience is if you need us to partner with anybody, we will," Gelsinger said to applause from the solution providers in the audience.

He shot down the notion that containers cut down on the need for virtual machines, arguing that the two technologies solve a different set of complementary problems.

"I need to build a specialized infrastructure just to run the containers and then they connect to everything that's non-containerized today? That's stupid," he said.

The interview also touched on the influence of Gelsinger's mentor, former Intel CEO Andy Grove, and how the lessons he learned influence the way he runs VMware today. Edited excerpts of the conversation follow.

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