A new spin on Cloud Foundry

VMware and EMC’s Pivotal Initiative could lift Cloud Foundry to higher ground

Chris Mayer

The transfer of key technologies and projects across to a new home could give new life to Spring and Cloud Foundry

months of speculation
, EMC and VMware have finally announced
plans to unite their cloud and big data technologies in a new
venture dubbed the Pivotal Initiative, which could breathe fresh
life into Spring and Cloud Foundry.

VMware will move several Tier 2 technologies across to the new
subsidiary including VFabric, meaning the Spring Framework and
in-data memory cache GemFire will also form part of the group.
VMware’s open source PaaS Cloud Foundry and Hadoop analytics tool
Cetas will also be transferred to the entity led by Chief Strategy
Officer of EMC Paul Maritz, who previously worked for VMware as

EMC, meanwhile, will bring the big
data analytics platform Greenplum (acquired in 2010) and agile
tools-focused Pivotal Labs to the umbrella group. EMC acquired
VMware back in 2003, and this move merely strengthens already
iron-clad links between the two companies.

In a blog post
, VMware’s VP of Global
Corporate Communications Terry Anderson explained that the

alignment of these resources is scheduled for
the second quarter of 2013 and that “
approximately 600
employees from VMware and 800 employees from EMC” would move across
to Pivotal.

She continued:

There is a significant opportunity for both VMware and EMC to
provide thought and technology leadership, not only at the
infrastructure level, but across the rapidly growing and
fast-moving application development and big data markets.
 Aligning these resources is the best way for the combined
companies to leverage this transformational period, and drive more
quickly towards the rising opportunities.

It’s a monumental deal for both parties and also a logical one.
VMware’s traditional focus on virtualisation technologies
threatened to stifle development in cloud and big data-focused
projects. VMware are renowned for their proprietary datacenter
work, so it proves especially to difficult to sell commercial cloud
products like Cloud Foundry with that branding still attached.

The decision to align with EMC (or, more importantly, rebrand)
gives both an opportunity to tackle the commercial cloud world
head-on, and there’s no doubt that VMware see value there. With
storage specialists EMC alongside and Cloud Foundry spun out, they
stand a much better chance of taking on the heavyweights of Amazon,
Google and Microsoft.

It also leaves VMware to concentrate on its most profitable
arm, the aforementioned virtualisation, and move the marooned
Spring framework into a
more suitable
home, perhaps giving it the new direction it so desperately

Transferring other technologies with Cloud Foundry seems like
a natural fit too – especially when you consider

Amazon’s recent introduction of
data-warehousing service RedShift
, the latest in a
growing suite of interconnected cloud services
. Having
a tranche of integrated technologies nearby is helpful to entice
enterprise customers as long as they can combine into a cohesive
and compelling solution.

Cloud Foundry may still be in beta, but it
likely won’t be for much longer, as the chasing
pack begin to emerge from several months of tinkering.

Details on the operational structure of Pivotal will be
revealed early next year, along with an update on its

EMC and VMware has set out their stall for cloud credence in 2013,
in what is shaping up to be the year where cloud platforms really
pique the interest of the enterprise, and become a cash cow for the
players who opt in. If the duo play this to perfection, we could
have a new credible contender in the marketplace.

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