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EMC and Microsoft sign three year alliance on virtualization

with 2 comments

The headline at virtualization.info reads “Has Hell Frozen Over?” Sure feels like it, or does it?

On the face of it, this alliance is consistent with EMC seeking growth in an emerging tier of the virtualization market and Microsoft requiring a high-end storage partner. Ultimately, it is all about meeting the customer’s needs!

The situation for Microsoft today is no different from the one with UNIX vendors, notably Sun, in the mid to late 80’s when it wanted to gain a foothold in the datacenter/server market. During the early to mid 90’s, it was fighting for SQL Server market share against Oracle who was entrenched as the production database for mid to large Enterprises. Today, VMWare is the incumbent with several reference ESX implementations in production at mid to large Enterprises and Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V is the new kid on the block.

I am actually more intrigued by Cisco’s entry into the x86 server market and the relationships it may be forging with EMC and VMWare.

Written by paule1s

February 4, 2009 at 6:57 pm

2 Responses

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  1. You nailed it. I just posted a comment on Alessandro’s blog, and I’ll say it here as well…

    I’ve always tried to be consistent about this – EMC partners with technology partners to support what our customers ask of us.

    These days, in IT, coopetition is real. Putting aside virtualization thing, watch this – it will blow your mind.

    EMC Documentum and Microsoft Sharepoint on their surface look completely competitive, and sometimes they are. But also, sometimes customers ask us to integrate them.

    This example, even more clearly than the VMware/Hyper-V angle highlights the dynamic, as the EMC Content Management division isn’t independent. So there are parts of “core” EMC and Microsoft that literally compete and cooperate AT THE SAME TIME.

    We also need to maintain joint support/escalation, share roadmaps, solution testing/integration – it’s really unbelieveable how much when you dig under the covers.

    There are few black/white alliances at the largest of IT vendors.

    What’s the guiding principle? Simple. What does the customer need? When vendors stay focused on this, things tend to work out.

    Does a customer want Hyper-V? EMC wants to support them. Do they want VMware? EMC wants to support them. Exchange on VMware? EMC wants to support them. Sharepoint without Documentum? EMC wants to support them. Sharepoint integrated with Documentum? You got it. You see the pattern.

    Customers expect their leading vendors to support THEM.

    Are there strategic goals for EMC? Sure. Can it be black and white? Only if it were black/white at our customers – which it never is – so no.

    Now, within EMC, my job is to make sure that EMC is the best choice for customers, partners, and VMware themselves – and to do it on our own merits.

    There’s another group that does the same thing for Microsoft, including Hyper-V. I joke that they are my competition, but in reality they are my colleagues – and we “compete” during the day, and have fun at night.

    Does that make sense?

    Chad Sakac

    February 4, 2009 at 11:40 pm

  2. Thanks for sharing a very mature perspective, Chad. You are very articulate and your posts always carry a lot of personal energy. I enjoy reading them

    paule1s

    February 5, 2009 at 3:47 pm


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