The long speculated tensions among Cisco (CSCO), EMC (EMC) and VMware (VMW) may finally becoming to a head.
It's VMworld week, which means lots of fun in the world of virtualization -- where conflicted partnerships can turn into messy divorces. And the back channels are chattering about the buzz of VMware's new initiatives, notably the intro of EVO:RAIL and EVO:RACK, which pose new threats and questions about its relationship with both Cisco and VMware's majority owner, EMC.
EVO:RAIL and EVO:RACK look a lot like a hardware platform, with VMware and partner software loaded on top of servers and network applicances to create a sort of virtualized and distributed "god box" that handles storage, computing, and networking. This is what they are calling in the biz a "converged infrastructure." The partners include Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Inspur, NetONe, and SuperMicro. That's a big list of Cisco competitors -- remember that Cisco is in the server business. This has been VMware's most aggressive foray onto the hardware side, where it's starting to put together a broader story for disaggregation and Software Defined Networking (SDN) with the hardware manufacturers that can help make it happen.