Chuck Hollis, Chief Strategist at VMware, discussed software-defined everything and the future of VMware in storage in networking with theCUBE co-hosts John Furrier and Dave Vellante, live at VMWorld 2013.
Explaining his decision to join VMware, Hollis said, “I really believe in software-defined everything, software-defined data center, software-defined storage — I think the entire industry will move in this direction.”
From a customer perspective, software-defined everything implies, using software defined storage as an example, “a controlled plain that’s programmable from any stack we want, the ability to do stuff, management, operations, as a natural part of provisioning,” Hollis explained. Everybody is looking for ease of management and convergence. It also entails a data plane, “being able to use a mix of some of the new software based arrays to mix and match.” Hollis also said storage would be the last discipline to move to the software defined model.
As commodity hardware has really improved, people need the efficiency of the operational model. “The customers are hell bent not only to get to converged infrastructure, but also a converged operational model,” said Hollis.
VMware’s multi-business strategy for the future of cloud
Commenting on VMware future development, Hollis said it should be a multiple businesses strategy. The company is bringing in talent and very well positioned, offering great technology, with good adoption in the enterprise, and passionate people about implementing it. “It all goes down to execution,” proclaimed Hollis. In the next year, VMware will focus on getting the market adoption it needs, and being taken seriously in the storage market.
VMware’s model of disruption has always been among the least disruptive in the market, encouraging companies to preserve operating systems and other assets. The company will continue with this model of preserving everything of the old infrastructure that is not ready to change yet. “They can do the same style of non-disruptive disruption for networking and storage.”
Asked if VMware could actually replicate that dynamic in networking in particular, Hollis said the networking community was ready for a change. “My belief is that the storage guys are ready for a change as well. Without that appetite, the technology wouldn’t be enough.” When announcing VSAN, early customer interactions showed they were intrigued, recognizing important new ideas they were willing to try out.
Watch the interview with Hollis in its entirety below:
The Era of the Intelligent Business User
Asked about the new mindset of users, Hollis said it was an era of “a generation of business users who are not scared to have the technology discussion. A whole generation of business leaders that are comfortable not only talking about technology, but also consuming it. These intelligent business consumers are the bigger drivers for all the technology transformations.”
As far as the personnel shift is concerned, CIOs are now looking for business-facing and people-facing skills when hiring. “They realize they have a service to sell, they look for process people, process engineers, customer engagement managers. It is starting to look a lot like a business,” explained Hollis.
Asked why VMware was not dominant player in storage business, Hollis stated that “the very best storage technology today shows up on the VMware platform.” The company plans on having the best ecosystem and best solution, but also some unique differentiator. VMware is very partner-centric. “Customers win when you have the best choices available and they work well together.”