Reading between the lines: A great disturbance in the Force

So, the cat formerly known as vSphere.next is finally out of it’s rather big bag, and vSphere 6.0 has been officially announced and will be available some time in Q1 (no date has been announced yet). There is enough of posts going into details on what is new and what has been announced, so I won’t be going over that right now. If you want to hear me talk about vSphere 6.0 and related news, you can always attend VMUG Norway on the 19th of february.

I do however have some other comments to make, and perhaps some observations that might have passed below radar altitude in all the announcement hoopla.

Some read this as “VMware is shifting to offering new features on their own cloud services first, then on premises later”, I don’t. I believe this means a monumental shift on how VMware is handling releases and offering new features. I wouldn’t be suprised if vSphere 6, and related products, is one of the last or even the last monolithic release they do.

My take on this is that VMware is moving towards adopting more of a cloud culture in how in handles development. Goodbye waterfall development and Hello Agile development. Sure, Agile development and cloud provides checkboxes in any decent buzzword-bingo game, but if we are to believe in Cloud, DevOps and a truly Software Defined Data Center, the color of the development carpet needs to match the drapes.

It’s not about treating on-premises customers as second class citizens, it’s about actually practicing what you preach. The next big thing might just start as a fling and end up as a feature, and you might not have to wait until v7.4 to get it.

“Cloud first” doesn’t mean “vCloud Air first”, it just means that you and me can get our hands on the naughty bits earlier. I must admit, I kinda like that. Of course, all of this is just speculation. There might not be a carpet to match at all.

6 Comments

    1. Transparency cuts both ways you know. It’s not like there won’t be beta’s or testing periods, I just think VMware is moving to a more modular release approach, rather than large monolithic releases once a year and a half…

  1. Interesting idea, but I’ve got my doubts – I don’t think enterprises would welcome the risk.

    I do think features can go into vCloud Air pretty dynamically (as VMware own and control the platform) but the DevOps mentality is harder to apply to the private cloud in the enterprise. It would pose many challenges for both VMware and their customers, despite the potential benefits. Quality assurance? Training? Technical support? It works for Google but everything they release is a perpetual beta and not exactly targeting risk averse enterprise clients.

    1. Is the risk higher if you modularize the offering? VSAN, while connected to a specific ESXi version now, has been offered in a “stand-alone” beta after all? I don’t think VMware will go all “release early, release often” on us, I just think that doing singular monolithic releases might be going away. In fact, I see that as a win-win, we get the stuff that is ready for release earlier and won’t have to wait for other parts that might take longer to bring to market. It also gives VMware the possibility to do feature releases more often, and not wait 12-18 months, or more, to release an entire platform stack.

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