Joseph Kovar’s CRN story on VMware Inc. embedding EMC Corp. backup technology in its flagship vSphere virtualization product carries some colourful quotes from Greg Knieriemen, vice-president of marketing at solution provider Chi Corp. Knieriemen warns of a potential “nerd riot” at VMWorld, and says it’s not so much stepping on storage partners’ toes as “kicking them in the (groin).”


Will VMWare face a “nerd riot” at its annual conference?
 (I love the transparent bowdlerization, by the way. One guess as to what he actually said. But I digress.)

Why this comes as a shock eludes me. Yes, since EMC acquired VMware in 2003, they’ve been run as discrete businesses. Yes, VMware was built on partnerships. But the two were made for integration — why else would EMC bought VMware in the first place? — and as virtualization becomes a dominant theme in enterprise technology, integration of the various pieces of the puzzle will only increase.

VMWare recently acquired virtual switching company Nicira to integrate networking in its virtual environment. And storage networking is not only a critical element of a virtualization strategy, virtual storage was probably the first technology to gain a foothold in the new era of virtualization. Integrating EMC technology is a no-brainer.

Kovar notes that partners will ask, “Is VMware going to start selling storage.” In fact, the corollary was already true: EMC, through VMware, was already selling virtualization.

Will VMware’s storage partners be annoyed? Certainly. But they should have seen it coming.


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