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VMware Spins Out SpringSource, Cloud Foundry and GemFire

by Charles Humble on Dec 04, 2012 |

Following months of speculation, VMware has officially announced plans to transfer many of its tier 2 technologies, including the Spring framework, distributed in-memory data cache GemFire, the Cloud Foundry PaaS, and Hadoop analytics tool Cetas, to parent company EMC as part of a newly formed initiative called Pivotal. The resulting subsidiary will combine this set of technologies with EMC's big data analytics platform Greenplum, which EMC acquired in 2010, and adds Pivotal Labs, the agile development tools that EMC acquired last year, into the mix.

The group will comprise about 600 employees from VMware and 800 employees from EMC. It will be headed up by Paul Maritz, who left VMware as CEO in the summer after a four year stint.

"The companies expect to formally unite these resources by Q2 2013", EMC VP of Communications Terry Anderson wrote in the official blog post, "with a specific operational structure to be determined".

There is a significant opportunity for both VMware and EMC to provide thought and technology leadership, not only at the infrastructure level, but across the rapidly growing and fast-moving application development and big data markets. Aligning these resources is the best way for the combined companies to leverage this transformational period, and drive more quickly towards the rising opportunities.

VMware continues to be the dominant player in server virtualisation in enterprise data centers, but that market is increasingly a commodity. Whilst Cloud Foundry, the open-source PaaS that VMware launched in 2011 as an open project, has gained a following, VMware has struggled to use that to make a play for commercial cloud services. At the same time, Amazon has been adding services like the Redshift data warehouse as a service to its cloud offerings, with a clear focus on wooing enterprise customers.

GigaOM's Om Malik and Stacey Higginbotham suggested, when writing about the possibility of this move back in July, the change will let VMware focus on core infrastructure — virtualisation, software defined networking and so, whilst the new subsidiary can try and take on the industry leaders in the PaaS space.

The move would help VMware, which is majority owned by storage vendor EMC, offer a competitor to cloud computing services offered by Google, Microsoft and Amazon. All three of those players are building out the infrastructure and platform layers to become the IT departments for developers and enterprise customers.

InfoQ contacted VMware for further information on the transfer, but the company has no further statement to make at this time. Updates are expected from both companies in the new year.

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