‘In a cloud you need to re-struc­ture your IT or­ga­ni­za­tion’

Voice&Data - - INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH -

Af­ter Paul Maritz, as the new CEO what new will you bring to the ta­ble at VMware? Or will you just be push­ing your pre­de­ces­sors plans?

It is not that VMware has a prob­lem. Paul has given VMware a solid strat­egy and the com­pany is in a very good state. So job one for me—smooth tran­si­tion. Ac­tu­ally Paul has spo­ken to em­ploy­ees, cus­tomers, and part­ners, and so have I. And ev­ery­body is say­ing, “Very good, let’s get back to work”. Also since the com­pany is per­form­ing well, so far ev­ery­thing in­clud­ing the tran­si­tion has been pretty good. It’s not like the Marissa Mayer of Qa­hoo! who has to trans­form the com­pany. Those are hard sit­u­a­tions and they have to take some bold ac­tions. In our case, there are as­pects that will re­quire strong fo­cus. We have laid out a very bold vi­sion like the soft­ware de­fined data cen­ter, the new com­pany that we have ac­quired which needs to be op­er­a­tional­ized, the 3-layer tran­si­tion (from PCs to user de­vices, from of­fice ap­pli­ca­tions to new apps and big data, and from servers to cloud) that needs more re­fine­ment. Paul in many re­spects was a re­luc­tant CNO. He loved strate­gies, he loved tech­nol­ogy, and direc­tions, but he was not an op­er­a­tions guy. VMware is a com­pany of 13,000 peo­ple, an op­er­a­tions per­vade ev­ery­thing we do. VMware is like a clumsy ado­les­cent that has grown up too fast. As a com­pany it had ex­tra­or­di­nary growth but some of the op­er­a­tion dis­ci­plines and ma­tu­rity need more work. That has to be re­fined, ac­cel­er­ated, and made more ma­ture.

Since you are talk­ing so much about the need, as the new CEO, to fo­cus on ops, what are those spe­cific ar­eas that need spe­cial at­ten­tion?

For in­stance, we have laid out our vi­sion on soft­ware de­fined data cen­ters. It is a good and bold vi­sion, and we are all ex­cited about it. For that strat­egy we an­nounced vCloud Suite that re­quires pack­ag­ing and de­liv­er­ing all its com­po­nents in­clud­ing com­mon in­ter­face, sin­gle-sign on, up­grade poli­cies, and all that is a big engi­neer­ing task. Sim­i­larly, there are so many other of­fer­ings with so many dif­fer­ent com­po­nents that have to be pack­aged to­gether for our part­ners and cus­tomers. We are now try­ing to con­vert into sin­gle

For more re­lated ar­ti­cles go to voicen­data.com

prod­uct of­fer­ing. For all this a lot of engi­neer­ing and op­er­a­tional dis­ci­pline will be re­quired.

CIOs are now get­ting dis­il­lu­sioned with cloud, spe­cially be­cause of its prom­ise to bring down costs. CIOs be­lieve that with cloud you only shift costs from capex to opex. Ac­tu­ally they are say­ing that cloud is more ex­pen­sive. How do you plan to con­vince them?

I would agree with some part of the state­ment and dis­agree with some. If you see vir­tu­al­iza­tion as a pre­cur­sor to cloud, where one server has re­placed 4 servers, then we have clearly shown the huge ad­van­tage. Opex im­prove­ments are far more op­er­a­tionally de­pen­dent. If I keep all the peo­ple oper­at­ing in the same way as they were oper­at­ing in a silo struc­ture, how can they be op­er­a­tionally ef­fi­cient, be­cause un­der cloud the struc­ture is changed. Nar­lier there was a data­base team that owned data­base hard­ware and pro­cesses, and HPC team that ran and owned all HPC hard­ware, the net­work­ing team, and the apps team, and so on. They were all work­ing in si­los. But in a cloud en­vi­ron­ment you need to fun­da­men­tally re-struc­ture your in­fra­struc­ture team. Here no one will carry a net­work­ing des­ig­na­tion, and ev­ery­body will be part of this in­fra­struc­ture team. So you need to re-or­ga­nize the team and set up new dis­ci­plines to take ad­van­tage of the cloud ar­chi­tec­ture. That is why one of the key an­nounce­ments we have done is Cloud Ops IP that will help or­ga­ni­za­tions in build­ing, oper­at­ing, staffing, and mea­sur­ing pub­lic and pri­vate cloud in­fra­struc­ture.

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