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Trends in VMware business model anticipated for VMworld 2017

Analysts explore trends in the VMware business model, what makes an enterprise-class security vendor, and the costs of hardware and disaggregation.

Keith Townsend, blogging in The CTO Advisor, took a look at the VMware business model ahead of VMworld 2017.

Townsend said he disagrees with other analysts who view VMware as decreasing in relevance. According to Townsend, VMware vCloud Air didn't meet market demand, leaving many administrators accustomed to vSphere seeking greater API-level access and self-service for developers.

However, he said VMware has since reset, partnering with Amazon to provide VMware cloud in Amazon Web Services. Nevertheless, he added that Microsoft Azure is able to compete with VMware Cloud on AWS, with on-premises offerings, as well as good support and integration.

Townsend also explored the VMware business model from the standpoint of network and security. While he said VMware has done a good job hiring networking experts and debugging NSX microsegmentation deployments, the vendor still faces challenges from Cisco. He complained that VMware lacks a public strategy around cloud-native systems and doesn't directly address cloud-native hurdles, like serverless networking or platform as a service.

Read more of Townsend's thoughts on VMware.

What makes a cybersecurity vendor enterprise-class?

Jon Oltsik, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. in Milford, Mass., explored the list of vendors considered to be enterprise-class. Oltsik identified IBM, Symantec, McAfee and Cisco as the top vendors. Recent ESG research asked 176 cybersecurity professionals about the characteristics of enterprise-class vendors. Among respondents, 35% said the most important factor was a strong understanding of enterprise business processes and regulations.

Oltsik said enterprise-class vendors will serve as both technology and industry leaders, offering strong communities, cybersecurity education, open standards, research and abundant services.

"This blueprint for enterprise-class cybersecurity vendors won't be easy to build, as it will take shrewd leadership, ample resources, and a firm organizational commitment to get there," Oltsik wrote. "Nevertheless, I firmly believe that at least one vendor will separate itself from the pack. Winners have the opportunity to reap rich financial rewards and make a true difference," he added.

Dig deeper into Oltsik's thoughts on cybersecurity vendors.

The costs of hardware and disaggregation

Ivan Pepelnjak, blogging in ipSpace, said networking vendors prefer selling software-hardware bundles while pretending they're terrific hardware. In the early evolution of networking, software needed to be tightly coupled to hardware. But since Cisco PIX -- an early network address translation and firewall appliance launched in 2008 -- Pepelnjak said that software has run on commodity hardware.

"The 'real' reason networking vendors continue to use this charade is probably the habits and psychology of selling networking gear: Customers believe they're buying unicorn-based expensive hardware, whereas in fact they're really buying the zillions of man-years invested in software development," he wrote.

Pepelnjak joked that vendors are moving away from a hardware-driven sales model at "glacial speeds." He suggested that network professionals should focus less on the expense of hardware and more on total cost of ownership.

Explore more of Pepelnjak's thoughts on cost of ownership.

Next Steps

Top sessions at VMworld 2017

Organizing an effective enterprise cybersecurity team

Understanding the basics of white box switching

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