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It’s Official, EMC’s Paul Maritz To Lead Cloud and Big Data Platform Play With 1,400 Employees Under His Command

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After weeks of a rumored change, EMC and VMware have announced this morning the “Pivotal Initiative,” a cloud and big data play that will be led by Chief Strategy Officer Paul Maritz.

VMware’s Cloud Foundry, SpringSource and Gemstone will join EMC’s Greenplum and Pivotal Labs groups to form one “virtual organization,” with 1,400 employees. Cetas, VMware’s big data analytics solution, will also be part of the group.

The exact structural definition of the organization will be announced next year.

VMware reported the news on its Console blog, stating that the cloud and big data effort will leverage the combined assets of both companies:

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.

Reading between the lines is important here. This frees VMware of Cloud Foundry, which will be far better suited to serve as a platform as a service (PaaS) with similar technologies such as the SpringSource Java framework and the Gemstone in-memory distributed cache. Adding to the mix is Pivotal Labs which EMC acquired last year. Pivotal Labs is a well-known application developer that built a core technology called Pivotal Tracker, which acts as a collaborative, lightweight project management tool. It is used widely by developers.

The news is not a surprise, as reports of the development of a new organization under Maritz have been floated several times over the past few months. Last week, GigaOm updated the latest and I followed on later in the week. The big difference here is Pivotal Labs. Its entrance into the story gives some hints to what EMC and VMware may be doing here. A potential outcome may be the combination of  the Cloud Foundry PaaS with the Pivotal Labs application development environment and the SpringSource Java framework. That could be supported by a backend with Gemstone’s distributed, in-memory cache and the data analytics offerins from Greenplum and Certas.

You can read more about the Pivotal Initiative on the Console blog.