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Gartner to VMware: Rock out with your socket out

Wizards like virty giant's old stuff better than its new stuff

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VMworld 2013 The wizards at Gartner have penned a pre-VMworld suggestion to VMware: go back to being teenage rebels.

Research veep Chris Wolf likens VMware to a band at a crossroads: does it essentially give up and resign itself to playing greatest hits tours to a dwindling base of fans, or try to once again turn the world on its head?

Wolf thinks the software defined data centre is VMware's chance to take the latter course and once again get hardware makers thinking it makes an awful noise they hate but can't ignore because their kids mention it every single day.

“VMware is pushing a software-defined data center (SDDC) mostly on top of enterprise-grade hardware from its partners,” Wolf writes. At a time when AWS and others offer a fine alternative to that arrangement, VMware's sounding dated.

Wolf hopes VMworld 2013 features startling SDDC announcements that show VMware isn't afraid to upset its partners.

“If VMware truly wants its SDDC vision to succeed, it’s going to have to learn to make some enemies and remember that if it keeps the focus on its customers, it will thrive in the end,” he writes.

Wolf's arguments are potent. VMware has been the tail that wagged the hardware industry's dog: server-makers have had to accept that server consolidation has eaten some of their market and margins and even parent EMC has changed the way it designs products to ensure they play nicely with virtualisation. But VMware has gone from being a disruptor to being an industry stalwart with an ecosystem to maintain.

Whether that status leaves it shy of continuing to disrupt is open to question.

Wolf therefore hopes VMware will be bold at VMworld.

“Your clients didn’t come to VMworld to hear Nickelback,” he writes. “They deserve better.”

The Reg will be there in force to report on whether that's the case. ®

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