In the past couple of weeks I’ve had some in-depth conversations from executives from both VMware VMW -0.65% and Microsoft MSFT +0.34%. Both companies are in the process of transforming themselves into cloud powerhouses – in the case of VMware, it’s a growing realization that their bread and butter business, virtualization, is becoming less relevant as cloud infrastructure hides away all the details. For Microsoft, too many years of keeping its eyes on a plethora of different battlegrounds has allowed newcomers to steal parts of it’s more lucrative operations – Apple AAPL -0.51%, Google GOOG -0.36% and Amazon all impact on Microsoft in different ways.
Given all of this turmoil, it’s interesting to see the messaging coming out of these two players, and even more interesting to see how the two seem to be following similar playbooks. For VMware there is a dual-pronged strategy – firstly they’re talking up the Software Defined data Center (SDDC). SDDC (an extension of Software Defined Networking or SDN) is VMware’s vision of the way data centers will be built in the future – a broad fabric of hardware with software (provided by, you guessed it, VMware) to abstract all the tin away from what organizations actually want, which is flexible infrastructure and networking platforms. The second VMware thrust is through vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) which promises to give customer a seamless transition between VMware powered private infrastructure and a VMware powered public cloud. Of course executing on the vCHS opportunity will take time and, as I wrote in a recent post, will result in shockwaves both inside VMware and within its partner ecosystem.