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VMware CEO Paul Maritz leaves behind a vision of IT transformation

Thor Olavsrud | Aug. 30, 2012
Friday marks the end of an era, as outgoing VMware CEO Paul Maritz hands the reins to incoming CEO Pat Gelsinger.

The Transformation of Applications Depends on Cloud

On the applications side, Maritz's vision encompasses a dramatic change in the way organizations build, run and deliver enterprise applications. This vision too, depends on cloud.

"Our customers are standardizing on our cloud infrastructure to not only reduce costs in their data centers, but also to enable their developers with an agile and scalable platform on which to build new applications," says Jerry Chen, vice president of Cloud and Applications Services at VMware. "We've seen a fundamental change in the way our customers are building and running modern applications and the products within the cloud application platform portfolio are designed to address today's application development needs while providing a path to tomorrow.

At the application layer, VMware is counting on a triad of technologies: Cloud Foundry, the open-source Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) project it released under Apache License 2.0 last year; Spring, the open-source Java application development framework; and its recently released vFabric suite, a lightweight, scalable, integrated middleware suite for developing data-intensive custom applications.

Access is About Answering the BYOD Challenge

In some ways, VMware's answer to the transformation of the access layer brings it full circle to its very beginnings with desktop virtualization. But the vision now extends far beyond the desktop to enable organizations to deliver applications and content to any device in the BYOD era. VMware plans to accomplish this with a combination of VMware View for desktop virtualization, Wanova Mirage to provide central management of virtual desktops with local execution, and Horizon Suite, an integrated solution for managing devices, applications and data.

The Changing of the Guard

Of course, as Maritz moves on to his new position as chief strategist at EMC (which owns a 79 percent stake in VMware), the question is how much incoming VMware CEO Gelsinger will alter the vision laid out by Maritz. For his part, Gelsinger has given every indication that he intends to stay the course.

"I've known VMware for many years," Gelsinger said. "This is a period of great disruption in the industry. The infrastructure, applications and access layer are all being changed simultaneously. Personally, I'm committed to the strategy that Paul has laid out. I want to accelerate, define and deliver on this powerful vision that has been described."

During the four years of Maritz's watch, the percentage of Intel-based applications running on a virtualized base increased from 25 percent to 60 percent. Gelsinger says his goal is to push that number to 90+ percent in the next three to four years. He also says that he intends to push further dramatic improvements in provisioning, giving organizations the ability to deliver in minutes or seconds what today takes hours or days.


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