Tough Talk From VMware President On Microsoft, Oracle And Amazon

Eschenbach On The Record

VMware President and COO Carl Eschenbach sounded off on Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon, the peril of vertical architectures and the need for partners to change their business models in an exclusive interview with CRN Editor News Steven Burke and CRN Senior Editor Joseph F. Kovar at VMware Partner Exchange. Here are five tough talking points from the 11-year VMware veteran, who is leading the charge on the company's software-defined data center sales offensive.

On Loving Microsoft And Free HyperV

"It [Microsoft] works great on top of VMware. I love Microsoft. I love Microsoft apps. They run beautiful on top of VMware software-defined data center.

"Microsoft HyperV. You know how much it costs? It is free. So I don't know how you make margin off of free. Microsoft goes into our channel partners and says, 'I'll give you $5,000 to go deploy HyperV into your account. You can't sell it, but I'll give you money to go do it.' Let me be very clear. I don't want VMware focused on Microsoft. I want VMware focused on innovation, driving this radical transformation to simplify the data center through software-defined data center, and I want the customers based on the business value we bring them to decide and dictate what the competitive landscape looks like."

On Oracle Going Vertical In a Horizontal World

"Oracle is going vertical to support Oracle Apps. The majority of applications in the enterprise are not Oracle. If you have an entire Oracle world and Oracle shop and 100 percent of your applications are Oracle: Good luck, go do it. But if you look at the data center architecture and the applications that reside there and the new types of applications that are being written in lighter-weight frameworks with different underlying architectures, they are Web-based services. That is not the Oracle application stack. When you look at the proliferation of SaaS models, this is why we think the standardized approach to a common underlying architecture is the best way to go today and in the future. But again, we will continue to support customer choice."

On Amazon's Public Cloud Silo

"We fundamentally believe that the hybrid cloud approach is the best way to run your infrastructure in the future. It is not private. It is not public only. Public only is Amazon. It is another silo. We think a hybrid cloud approach with a common underlying platform architecture is the way to go. And what our customers are telling us: 'Today in our data center our enterprise runs on VMware in VMware virtual machines. I have come to know them as the secure, reliable, scalable, automated infrastructure for the private cloud. I want that exact same architecture and protection that I have in the enterprise -- I want it in the public cloud.' That is why VMware's hybrid cloud of the future will effectively compete against a siloed approach of an Amazon public cloud offering only."


On Vertical Vs. Horizontal Data Center Strategies

"There is a reason that a building can only be built so high. When you go vertical, you have limits. When you go horizontal, you can scale forever. A horizontal approach to building data centers through software-defined data center is the right approach. It captures everything. When you go to silos, you complicate the data center. Anytime you build silos you need different operating tools and management tools. The key to scalability and simplicity is standardization. VMware drives a standard approach into the industry, but we respect choice for our customers and will support them with heterogeneous types of management and automation solutions as well as support for multiple types of networking platforms, protocols, virtualization solutions from a networking perspective."

On The Opportunity And Danger Facing Partners

"Partners are recognizing that they have to do something different because the industry is moving in another direction. And if they don't move and transform their business models they will be driven out of business. I have seen people here and talked to people here and they recognize it time and time again. But they also understand it is not going to happen overnight so they have to go do their own business model transformation to take advantage of disruption in the market. So they need to protect their legacy business while building a new business model so they can do this over time. That is what I see them coming to grips with more than ever, which gives us a unique opportunity to do it with them."