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.