SAN FRANCISCO — Only one day into VMworld 2012 and there’s already been a slew of change: VMware Inc. officially changed its CEO, unveiled a cloud software suite and announced it’s getting rid of its vRAM licensing scheme, much to the delight of the 20,000 attendees at the opening keynote.
Paul Maritz (pictured above), who has led the company for the past four years, bid adieu before he starts his next gig at parent EMC Corp. as chief strategist and introduced VMware’s new CEO, Pat Gelsinger, who officially starts the job on Sept. 1. “Fasten your seat belts for the next four years,” said Maritz.
In the future more than 90 per cent of workloads will be virtualized, said Gelsinger during his opening keynote. So, for VMware, the next step is to create a “software-defined data centre,” where all infrastructure is virtualized and delivered as a service. The idea is to use cloud computing for agile, efficient and reliable IT services by extending virtualization into every area of the data centre, from storage to networking to availability and security services.
Gelsinger unveiled VMware vCloud Suite 5.1, which integrates the company’s virtualization, cloud infrastructure and management portfolio into a single SKU — aimed at simplifying the adoption of cloud technologies. The new suite is based on an updated version of the VMware vSphere 5.1 virtualization platform, which offers more powerful VMs and more robust networking capabilities. And it’s aimed at any kind of cloud — private clouds or service partners working in public clouds.
“You need to provide (customers) with that solid path of how to evolve investments in virtualization and virtual infrastructure into this new cloud world,” said Rick Jackson, VMware’s CMO, during a press conference. “That’s the value of the suite … think of this as the passing lane to move fast and quickly into the cloud environment.”
(Pat Gelsinger during keynote. VMware)
Gelsinger also announced changes to the company’s pricing model. “Last year we created a four-letter dirty word called vRAM,” he said. “We are now striking this word from the vocabulary of the ‘v’ dictionary.” VMware will return to its previous CPU-based licensing model after a recent customer survey found a high level of dissatisfaction with vRAM, thanks to the complexity and costs it created. The vCloud Suite will be licensed per processor with no core, vRAM or number of VM limits.
This comes at a time when Microsoft Corp. has said it will simplify its licensing in Windows Server 2012, but Jackson denied that had any influence on VMware’s decision to ditch vRAM. “You cannot compete against Microsoft on price — they are the world’s most profitable for-free company ever,” he said. “You compete with Microsoft on value.”