If you've been wondering what former VMware CEO Paul Maritz has been doing for the last eight months or so, last week the proverbial cat was let out of the bag. Maritz has been acting as chief executive of a new entity called Pivotal, a San Francisco-based cloud services company being spun off from a combined collection of EMC and VMware technologies and developers.
After being replaced by Pat Gelsinger as CEO of EMC-owned VMware last July, Maritz was given the title "chief strategist" at EMC, a role many believed to be a temporary placeholder on his way to becoming heir apparent at EMC, if and when Joe Tucci steps down as CEO. When Gelsinger took over the reins at VMware, Tucci explained it was time to move on to the next phase of cloud computing and solving the problems of the post-PC era where there was a tremendous opportunity around data and new products.
Maritz said that moving on from VMware would give him the freedom to think about some of these new application-oriented opportunities and address two of those very big opportunities: cloudinfrastructure and what you can do on top of that cloud infrastructure.
Evidently, eight months was just the right amount of time needed for Maritz to get things kicked off. Last week, ahead of the formal announcement planned for April 29, the two companies unveiled their new Pivotal spinoff as a well-financed and technology-rich competitor to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other cloud service providers such as Rackspace, GoGrid, Microsoft, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM.
Pivotal believes there is a significant opportunity to provide thought and technology leadership, not only at the infrastructure level, but also across the rapidly growing and fast-moving application development and big data markets. To answer that challenge, it has united strategic technologies, people, and programs from EMC and VMware.
The new company will provide an enterprise-class cloud computing platform and infrastructure that combines technology from Greenplum, EMC's big data analytics and data warehouse division; Pivotal Labs, EMC's application development environment which provides SQL queries on top of Hadoop data handling; analytics startup Cetas, which provides fast analysis of Hadoop data; VMware's vFabric middleware suite and tools such as GemFire and Spring, used for building and running data-intensive Java applications; and VMware's Cloud Foundry cloud computing platform.
Pivotal said its customers and partners are looking for solutions that enable a new generation of increasingly mobile and data-centric applications that can exploit the data center of the future. Pivotal aims to accelerate existing efforts in this area to create a unified and focused endeavor around a common mission, road map, and strategy.
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