Virtualization related news headlines which topped in 2015!

Virtualization technology has evolved a lot in past few years and these are the news headlines related to it which made to headlines in 2015.

VMware takes a bad hit with Dell and EMC merger-VMware shares tumbled as never before, just after the news broke out that Dell was buying EMC for $67 billion in early October 2015. It is said that the virtualization vendor has shed more than $9billion of market capitalization during that period.

Wall Street analysts said VMware investors are wary of the fact that EMC shareholders would get a “tracking stock” in VMware if the Dell-EMC gets approved by regulators.

This could lead to more VMware shares hitting the open market as opposed to be controlled by EMC. There were also other rumors on this issue which said that Dell will take vengeance from the virtualization giant by sharing its profits with other entities, if it buys EMC-a parent company of VMware. But DELL’s CEO turned down these rumors as rubbish and instead said that the company will be happy, if VMware will see more profits in future. Michael Dell also commented that VMware will be treated as a separate entity, even if Dell purchases EMC and so no profit share will be witnessed.

VMware shares plummeted again on Oct. 20, the day after VMware and EMC announced plans to form a cloud joint venture with assets from their respective portfolios. At this juncture, VMware analysts, well-wishers and partners predicted that any further decline in the vendor’s stock price could put the Dell-EMC deal in serious jeopardy.

Microsoft changing licensing for Windows Server 2016- Microsoft announced in October this year that it will release two types of containers in its Windows server 2016 offering. Those are, a lightweight version called Windows Server Containers, and a more technologically sophisticated one called Hyper-V containers. Hyper-V containers, released as a public preview in November, are designed for customers that require stronger security as well as it will match scenarios requiring a higher level of isolation.

Meanwhile, Microsoft declared that Windows Server 2016 will offer technology called nested virtualization, with allows a server hypervisor to run inside a virtual machine. Nested virtualization can be used in dev and test scenarios and is a key enabling technology for Hyper-V Containers.

But all these extra innovations will be offered for a separate price and so Microsoft will be switching to per-core licensing in Windows Server 2016, and some users will have to upgrade to the premium Windows Server 2016, as they standard version will not support the said stuff.

VMware offers major update to its vSphere- Since, 2011, VMware hadn’t offered any major update to its vSphere. But in this year, it added a number of features aimed at making it easier for customers to move workloads back and forth between private and public clouds. For instance, VSphere 6, unveiled in February this year, includes several storage-focused features, including Virtual Volumes, a technology that pools storage from third-party storage arrays and makes it available to virtual machines. VSphere 6 also features Long Distance Live Migration, a technology that makes it possible to move running VMs and workloads between hosts across geographic regions for advanced DR.

Data virtualization attracts a lot of attention this year- While server virtualization has become a largely mature market in 2015; data virtualization space has also heated up a lot in this tenure, as many startups are coming up with technology that lets applications access virtual copies of data, as opposed to physical ones. This approach, they claim, can dramatically speed application development and deployment, while also cutting storage costs.

Over time, data virtualization is expected to eliminate storage bottlenecks and yield greater efficiencies in areas like cloud computing and big data analytics.

Delphix is leading the pack of data virtualization startups which has a lot to offer in the upcoming year.

VMware’s license agreements come under scrutiny- The current year witnessed VMware Enterprise Licensing Agreements (ELA) come under scrutiny, as some customers felt that buying VMware software in bulk was not at working out economically.

The U.S. Army was the first one to raise the issue as it has seen higher-than-expected costs from an ELA it signed with VMware in September 2013. According to our some of the issues stem from VMware constructing the agreement, so that, Army commands would have to buy the whole vCloud Suite just to get vSphere.

The Army National Guard ended up placing a moratorium on VMware purchases as a result of the financial impact of the ELA.

In October this year, Apple made an official announcement saying that it has decided to cancel a planned $20 million ELA extension with VMware and would be switching more of its infrastructure to OpenStack and KVM virtualization. While it’s not clear what prompted Apple’s decision, the loss of such a high-profile customer suggests others might be taking a closer look at their VMware ELAs.

Network virtualization had its own share in 2015- VMware and Cisco declared that their respective software defined networking technologies witnessed a major growth in this year and thus led the conformation that network virtualization technology witnessed a lot of growth in 2015.

Hewlett-Packard in May acquired ConteXtream, which sells carrier-grade software-defined networking technology based on the OpenDaylight open-source SDN project. In October, AT&T partnered with Juniper Networks to bring software-defined networking to the carrier’s AT&T Integrated Cloud (AIC) offering.

VMware said in September that NSX, its software-defined networking technology, had more than 100 customers using it in production environments, and 700 paying customers overall. Security has become the No. 1 selling point VMware is using for NSX, and partners said this approach seems to be working.

Cisco said in September that it now has more than 1,000 customers for its version of SDN, called Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). In November, Cisco said its data center switching portfolio, which consists of the Nexus 3000, Nexus 9000 and ACI, is on a $2 billion annualized run rate.

Citrix employee departures also made headlines– Citrix systems in January this year said that its 15 year old Al Monserrat was leaving the company for reasons and then the very next month disclosed that Brad Pederson, who was a 26-year old veteran of the company was also intending to leave due to health issues.

In April this year, Citrix issued a profit warning, and added that it was considering selling or spinning off its Online Services division; to GoTo line of SaaS applications.

In July 2015, Citrix announced that its CEO Mark Templeton will be stepping down due to the pressure from its active investor Elliot Management Group. According to few industry analysts, the future of Citrix looks bleak in the coming year.

KVM server virtualization gains momentum- Nutanix KVM open source hypervisor gained a lot of attention from server virtualization industry since June this year. KVM Acropolis technology allows users to automatically migrate VMware based workloads to KVM and Microsoft hyper-v. So, Nutanix is being approached by many vendors running KVM, and Citrix, Dell, Docker and Microsoft who want their apps to get certified on Acropolis.


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