Having recently attended VMworld, VMware’s annual user conference this year, I came away ruminating on VMware’s existential future. (disclosure: VMware covered my travel and expenses to attend the event). I spent much of the keynote on day one of VMworld trading tweets with other members of the commentating classes. My tweets were, admittedly, somewhat snarky in nature and reflected on my perception that VMware is a slow and lumbering monolith that has been successful in one field (virtualization) and is at risk of having that success overrun by new approaches (containerization, microservices, cloud, etc.).

As is often the case with unintentionally snarky tweets, I spent the rest of the day in conversation with a number of VMware executives, customers, and partners, and came to see that perhaps my snarkiness was unjustified. Before explaining that, let me lay out some context.

VMware is the undisputed king of virtualization – the reality is that the vast majority of the world’s enterprises (big and not-so-big) use VMware’s virtualization and associated technologies in order to gain efficiencies and move from a purely physical approach towards infrastructure to a virtual one.

Recent changes, both technological and macro, have led to an erosion of this opportunity, however. The rise of the cloud has led many organizations to move away from owning and running their own infrastructure. More recent developments like the rise of microservices and containerization have further raised some questions about the need for virtualization.

In the face of this perfect storm, VMware has followed a few different strategies over the years. It tried to become a software company, for example, acquiring (and then offloading) SaaS products such as SlideRocket and Zimbra. It’s dabbled (and is still dabbling) in its own public cloud platform, vCloud Air, and has created an end-user computing business.

Read the full story at source here: NetworkWorld.com