One might argue true visibility is not something you can buy, only becoming clear after the rain has gone. However, following their recent acquisition of the True Visibility business unit from Blue Medora, VMWare might disagree with my assessment.
True Visibility brings more visibility to the vRealize Ops platform, allowing customers to automatically map, discover, and analyse their infrastructure.
One thing that I find interesting about this acquisition is that most of the capabilities of this platform were already available to VMWare customers as Blue Medora has been a partner for years. This mirrors similar acquisitions by Microsoft. When Microsoft acquired Metaswitch, we pointed out that Metaswitch had already been partnering with Microsoft to ensure tight integration of its platform with Azure. It seems like Microsoft; VMWare is making some sensible acquisitions of tried-and-tested partner companies.
However, if this is the case and customer’s can already benefit from the solution, the only real reason for this acquisition must be future and forward development. You are bringing in partner organisations for closer integration, but also so you can build on those platforms as part of your portfolio.
With this in mind, we can review the other recent VMWare acquisitions and try and determine how they fit in a broader portfolio of future network technologies.
Last week we saw VMWare acquiring Datrium – a Disaster-recovery-as-a-service company. In July, it was cloud-native security platform that allows for the visualisation, detection, and containment of sophisticated cyberthreats on premise or in the cloud – Lastline. In May, it was another cloud-native security for Kubernetes company called Octarine. Finally, in January, the company acquired Nyansa, an AI-based network analytics company.
These acquisitions clearly point to VMWare trying to improve is security offering. One of the reasons for acquiring these companies could be to build in those offerings into the VeloCloud network platform to offer more intelligent network and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) services to customers.
VMWare are well on track to be able to offer those services, and their aggressive acquisition plans is leading many to speculate what the next acquisition will be. With various pundits making predictions like this one about a possible acquisition of Bitglass. The fact is that with the downturn, companies like VMWare have said they will be looking to acquire new businesses, so it will be interesting what others they decide to take on.
Added to this is the recent acquisition of Silver Peak by Aruba – which I gave my thoughts on here. We are entering a consolidation phase in the industry.
Much of this is driven by the rising SASE trend – you will see an upcoming article on this summarising this by me in the next few days. The crux of the matter, is that legacy approaches to networking can not handle the flexibility needed by an ever flexible mobile and remote workforce, and that means that many of these companies offering these services have to either partner, develop or acquire their way to them. Clearly the big companies have chosen to acquire and partner, most of the mid-level vendors are also offering tight partnerships with the likes of Zscaler.
Our next guess for acquisitions in the Networking space is for VMWare and/or Cisco to look to acquire someone with strong distributed network security credentials. Or to announce an even stronger partnership with ZScaler. A few months ago I would have included Palo Alto here, and perhaps I still should as their security is known for being best-in-breed but given their acquisition of CloudGenix, they are now also competitors with these vendors who would also be their partners.