DynamicOps Acquisition Helps VMware Differentiate From AWS And Infrastructure Players

VMware announced the acquisition today of DynamicOps, a purchase that puts it in position to differentiate itself from the traditional infrastructure providers.

It’s not a sexy acquisition, but it’s practical. VMware gets a tighter story for how it plans to add value, in face of deeper competition from the likes of Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and OpenStack, the open-source environment for building your own cloud.

VMware is the leader in the virtualization space but it needs a deeper play that goes beyond licensing virtual machines. DynamicOps has established itself by helping its customers turn their existing IT infrasrtuture into more elastic environments that essentially mimic the public clouds of the world.

Why this matters? It’s a battle that pits the Web-style, commodity infrastructure players versus the more IT oriented solutions giants. VMware is trying to do both by acquiring companies like DynamicOps and offering new ways for customers to manage multiple cloud environments with an IT focus.

That’s what it gets from DynamicOps, which supports multiple hypervisors. It can manage apps no matter if they run on VMware, Xen or a KVM virtualized infrastructure.

It also fits with VMware’s push to move higher up the stack, as Krishnan Subramanian, principal at Rishidot Research, tells us.

“They see that the infrastructure market getting fragmented and moving towards a more federated ecosystem,” he said. “They also understand that competing in the commodity infrastructure market is not going to help them in the bottom line like how virtualization helped. They understand that the action is on the layers above the infrastructure (i.e. multi-cloud management, platform as a service (PaaS), application lifecycle management, SaaS, etc.”

It’s a big deal for VMware. It shows they are willing to look beyond their own environment to support apps that may run on any number of different architectures. That’s critical if they are going to remain relevant in increasingly heterogeneous world.

Enstratus CEO George Reese said the Big Four of IT (IBM, HP, Dell, BMC)  have had difficulty int providing cloud management solutions. The deal puts VMware in position to reach into that market.

“This is definitely a meat and potatoes acquisition,” Reese said.

DynamicOps was founded in 2008. It spun out of Credit Suisse. The company had $16.3 million in funding. Last September it raised $5.3 million from Intel Capital.

Today’s data centers may have hundreds of software stacks independent of each other. DynamicOps provides an orchestration layer so those apps can run in a private data center, AWS or any other infrastructure. This type of hybrid cloud is increasingly popular. With DynamicOps, VMware will have greater ability to manage these virtual, physical and cloud resources and support the hybrid data center model.

CEO Erica Brescia of app marketplace BitNami said the deal “shows that VMware is serious about its plans to move up the stack. Supporting heterogeneous environments (other hypervisors as well as AWS) is a bold move for them, but the right one if they want to remain competitive.”