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Software The Almighty Buck

EMC To Acquire VMware 304

kma writes "According to The Register, virtual machine software maker (and my employer) VMware Inc. will be acquired by storage giant EMC, pending the usual approval process." The article explains: "VMware makes the industry's premier set of partitioning tools for running both Windows and Linux on a single server and running multiple applications on a single system. EMC plans to grab the privately held VMware for $635 million in cash."
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EMC To Acquire VMware

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  • Interesting (Score:2, Interesting)

    by clifgriffin ( 676199 )
    I'm not aware of VMWare's current monetary standings, but this isn't something I would have expected.

    As long as they keep their product's quality up, I don't mind who's paying the bills.
    • I'm serious. If VMWare had the money to put into new reaserach then I doubt they would be allowing themselves to be bought out. The fact that they are allowing themselves to be purchased means that they most likely do NOT have the funds to put into Quality Assurance, much LESS to put into research.
      • by dmehus ( 630907 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:26PM (#7729603) Homepage
        VMware had filed its intention to go public in July of this year, and every indication was that process was proceeding normally. Analysts expected them to make their public markets debut soon. I suppose EMC, which has been on a buying spree with billion-dollar buyouts of both content management technology provider Documentum and storage management provider Legato Systems earlier this year, made an offer VMware just could not refuse. It had to be good, because they were expected to make several hundred million from an IPO. :)

        • by wackybrit ( 321117 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @08:28PM (#7730120) Homepage Journal
          VMWare is privately held, so I imagine there's only a few guys controlling/holding it. If someone came along and offered $600mn cash here-and-now, it's a bit of a no brainer, even if it burns your employees in the ass :-)
          • I guess that does still happen. I'm so used to companies bombing, and recent (and not so recent) MS activities have made emulating Gates non-PC. I remember when he was cool. Geeky guy becomes unimaginally wealthy. You matter how you look at it, never having to ever worry about money would be pretty cool. I'd forgottent that I ever wished I could be like Gates, and I can hardly imagine it. Now I can't stand MS & their practices. I wonder if MS changed or I did...

            $600 mill still wouldn't be too sh
          • by kma ( 2898 ) on Tuesday December 16, 2003 @03:42AM (#7732654) Homepage Journal
            Speaking as a VMware employee (not speaking for the company, yada, etc.), I'm feeling rather more "stoked" than "burned in the ass." In fact, I'm turning freaking cartwheels in the streets over this deal. The whole idea with pre-IPO companies is that you take the risk of working somewhere unstable in exchange for a larger than average stake in the company. Remember that whole "getting paid in options" thing? That's still how startups work.

            So, it's not just three people walking away with 9 digit checks, as you are imagining. It's hundreds of employees whose stakes are now worth 6 digits. The terms of our purchase are quite likely better for me than an IPO would have been. From the inside, it looks as though the board actually gave a lot of thought to how this would impact employees.
    • Re:Interesting (Score:2, Interesting)

      by atommoore ( 720369 )
      Remember that VMWare turned down some kind of Microsoft bid last year, but they were considering an IPO.

      I think this is probably a better move than an IPO, just given the lackluster performance of tech IPOs post-bubble burst. I'd take the money anyday, even though things seem to be improving somewhat [].

      IPOs are so 1990s!
    • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ebob9 ( 726509 )

      Well, when Microsoft buys your competition, that can tend to change plans.
  • Weird.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by notque ( 636838 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:18PM (#7729493) Homepage Journal
    I'm installing Vmware GSX right now. I was checking slashdot while the server reboots.
  • Whoa (Score:5, Funny)

    by Uma Thurman ( 623807 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:18PM (#7729505) Homepage Journal
    I hope they don't raise VMWare to EMC prices!
    • That was my first thought as well. While EMC makes some nice stuff I don't see how anyone can justify the cost.
    • Re:Whoa (Score:3, Funny)

      by mandolin ( 7248 )
      I hope they don't raise VMWare to EMC prices!

      The joke used to be that EMC stood for "Excessive Margins Corporation".

      I'm assuming they'll have to jack the price just to keep their reputation intact.

  • Costs? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by -tji ( 139690 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:18PM (#7729506) Journal
    I wonder if the pricing will change?

    At one time, vmware had home user pricing at something around $100. Then, they cranked it up to ~$300. Hopefully EMC will have some pricing options for home/hobbyist/non-commercial use. $300 is a bit too steep for me.. I can build another PC to run windows for that much.
    • Re:Costs? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Deagol ( 323173 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:48PM (#7729799) Homepage
      I bought into VMWare at v2.x -- the hobbyist/non-profit price of $100. Since then, they're damned upgrades have cost that much. I paid for the 3.x upgrade, and I'm holding steady at the 3.2.0-2230 build. As long as someone maintains the patches to allow this version to run on newer kernels, I'll stay here.

      As much as I really love VMWare (the software), I think the company's getting too high on the horse. Anybody remember that Accelerated-X [] package? Once the only x86 X version that would run more than one head? The one that everyone bitched about their prices? Well, I haven't even thought of them since XFree86 got dual-head running, and I imagine I'm not the only one (they were pretty arrogant on USENET, I recall).

      When VMWare dropped the home pricing a couple of years ago, I had high hopes for bochs and plex86 []. Unfortunately, I don't have much hope these days, as development pace appears to be pretty glacial. Some Linux distros need to pitch in to fund the plex86 project. Emulation/virtualization has been commoditized enough that we shouldn't be paying $300/seat for it.

      • I bet they are really worried about things like nVidia's X drivers. Basically, if you ahve an nVidia card, Accel X hasn't got shit on XFree. The nVidia drivers are really fast, stable, and have full native GL support. Basically, they eliminate any advantage Accell X would have since their whole pitch these days is speed and GL.

        If ATi follows nVidia's lead (maybe they have already, anyone know?) I'd say Xig is essentially fucked since those two account for the large majority of cards and laptops these days.
    • When it only cost $100 it wasn't an option for server deployment. Now it's a lot more stable and a lot more useful, and the license cost is pocket lint compared to the value of the corporate uses.

      It doesn't make so much sense for them to focus on home users when it's the very uncommon home user/hobbyist that wants virtual machine software. They might as well ignore them.
      • Re:Costs? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Very uncommon for home users, perhaps, but for developers it's invaluable: VMs let one test software in a perfectly controlled and deterministic environment, and they let you test cross-platform software without having to have devoted machines for minor platforms, or even having to reboot.

        In other words, there is a potentially huge market for an affordable VM solution for small developers. But "affordable" is hard to define... given that we're used to getting our development tools for free, and our operat
        • Ah, but for developers that have to do serious cross platform bug testing, enough of them will be able to pay $300 that the increased market they get by dropping to $100 is almost negligible.

          There is a potentially much much huger market for an affordable VM solution for large developers. This just doesn't seem like a situation in which they need to be scrounging for market.

          Of course, if their high prices are what drive plex86 (or whatever they're calling it) to reach serious stability, speed, and ease of
  • Efficient Storage (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davidstrauss ( 544062 ) <{ten.ssuartsdivad} {ta} {divad}> on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:19PM (#7729509)
    Emulation seems completely the opposite direction I would want to take data storage, especially since performance and reliability are top concerns. How does adding an emulation layer enable the data environment?
    • Umm... what if you need to run several OSes on a single file server?
      • Umm... what if you need to run several OSes on a single file server?

        Why? To access different file systems? You should be able to mount the volumes all under one OS.

        Off-topic: A desktop Pentium-M would be great. I love my Pentium-M notebook.

        • Re:Efficient Storage (Score:3, Informative)

          by Glonoinha ( 587375 )
          In order to develop three tier client server apps without having three or more computers.
          In order to experiment with DMZ settings for a web front end and an SQL server back end.
          In order to test your Win98 client, your Win2000 client, and your Linux client against your server while you are in coach flying cross country (laptop with LOTS of memory.)
          In order to download and run the most spyware / virus laden crap on the planet without worrying about it hosing your primary machine.
          In order to host 6 different i
    • Re:Efficient Storage (Score:5, Informative)

      by DeathB ( 10047 ) * <adamp AT ece DOT cmu DOT edu> on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:24PM (#7729574) Homepage
      You're confusing emulation with virtualization. Storage virtualization is a really big deal these days. Check out the book "Virtual Storage Redefined: Technologies and applications for storage virtualization" by Paul Massiglia (of Veritas).

      Isolation, and performance guarintees on shared systems are often more important than raw performance in something like a datacenter environment.

    • VMware is not emulation it is virtualization.

      Its not really an instruction translator, really more of a fancy instruction scheduler.
    • Re:Efficient Storage (Score:5, Informative)

      by blunte ( 183182 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:37PM (#7729712)
      It allows supreme flexibility. If you currently have an assortment of servers doing different tasks (and with Windows 2000 Server, you eventually learn it's better to spread out the service responsibilities), sometimes it's difficult to plan 3-4 years in advance for your resource use.

      With VMWare, you can run several virtual servers on a big (quad cpu) server, attach essentially unlimited amounts of fast disk, and shuffle resource allocation around as you see fit.

      If absolute uptime is required, you have two such server in different locations, one of which is failover.

      If you can afford 2-8 hours of downtime, you just make sure the one server has as much redundancy as possible, and then you plan to call Dell/HP/IBM if the mobo or raid controller card fails.

      It's an old idea made new, but it's a good idea.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:48PM (#7729798) Homepage
      no no nooo...

      Vmware is the ONLY way many of us can reverse engineer hardware for linux use.

      I reverse engineered a serial analog data stream from a PH meter, Refractometer, Ion meter and conductivity meter in a lab I worked at for use with linux by using vmware and running the closed app under windows 95 and sniffing the serial data stream.

      VMware is the hardware hacker's dream... It's a way to pry the data you need from the idiotic corperate world.
      • Re:Efficient Storage (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @08:14PM (#7729994)
        Microsoft locked out other OS's in the 90's by locking in the OEM's. With the VM's around, we could run the one or two Windows apps we needed while migrating to GNU/Linux. Then, BANG, Microsoft purchases VirtualPC and their partner( EMC ) purchases VMware....

        Just watch what EMC does with VMware to see if it's being done to prevent OS competition. If they can the OS support and tie it into a Windows-only storage system, you know it was for Microsoft. Otherwise, they would have just partnered with them for use in their storage systems. It would have been cheaper to do that then to purchase the whole company and kill the current business model just to tie it into their SAN system.

      • no no nooo... Vmware is the ONLY way many of us can reverse engineer hardware for linux use.

        This has nothing to do with serious use in a datacenter unless you're actively reverse-engineering hardware on a production server.

      • You're much better off plugging serial port, USB, PCI, and/or FireWire protocol analyzers into real-world hardware. For serial ports and USB, the necessary hardware isn't even all that expensive (probably cheaper than VMware).
    • EMC has a deal with Microsoft for their SAN systems. Ie, Microsoft is paying EMC to support Windows as a platform( most likely ). Now, how do you keep your SAN up 7/24/365 AND do it on Windows AND keep hardware/management down? You do the same thing Microsoft is going to do. You put a few virtual machines on one box running a few copies of Windows. When one crashes, the others take over while the failed one is rebooted or serviced/reinstalled.

      I wonder how much Microsoft is paying EMC to take another VM pro
    • "Emulation seems completely the opposite direction I would want to take data storage"

      In general, VMware isn't emulation.

  • I just hope... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dreadlord ( 671979 )
    ...that VMWare keeps its good Linux performance, because it's the only option (that I know) left after that M$ removed Linux support from Virtual PC. []
    • Re:I just hope... (Score:5, Informative)

      by jhunsake ( 81920 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:26PM (#7729604) Journal
      Virtual PC can run most x86 operating systems lu ation/overview2004.asp

      They're not going to support it, it doesn't mean that Virtual PC 2004 won't run Linux as a guest OS. In fact, I know people that are doing so right now.

      Don't confuse vendor support for an option with product support for that option. They are two entirely different types of "support".
    • Depends on what you need to do.

      If all you need is Windows functionality in Linux and Win98 will do, look into Win4Lin [].

      I have used and it worked well for my needs at the time, easily native speeds if not better (probably due to I/O being better).
  • by moehoward ( 668736 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:20PM (#7729518)
    I hope this is good news for us VMWare users. Can't help to think it is. Things seemed pretty iffy for them after MS entered the space.

    The only downside I can think of is that EMC focuses on the enterprise. Don't know if they give a spider-hole about us lowly single license folks.

    I, for one, will await a price decrease announcement after MS ships their product. I desperately need to upgrade, but can't afford their steep prices.

    EMC recently acquired Documentum. They are becoming quite a powerhouse. If they acquire Sun, things could get very interesting again.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      I desperately need to upgrade,

      why? what does your current version not do that is desperately needed, that the new version has??

      I'm still using a 4 year old version I bought for $100.00 when it was sanely priced. and it does everything I need, will even run Windows 2000/XP and helps me violate the DMCA daily by making windows only equipment work with linux. (Booo hiss! I'm a information terrorist!)

  • by bc90021 ( 43730 ) <bc90021&bc90021,net> on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:20PM (#7729523) Homepage
    One of the great things about VMware was that it was priced for home users, too... after the initial expense of the first copy, upgrades were available every version for only $100.

    I hope "getting more into server management" doesn't mean limited (or non-existent) availablity of a great product for a great price in the future.
  • Big Surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:20PM (#7729525)
    As an EMC employee, this is a big surprise to me. (That's why I'm being anonymous.) This is the first time we're buying something that doesn't have an obvious storage connection (or a connection to an existing EMC product).

    It will be nice if this means we can get everyone who currently has separate Linux and Windows systems to move to a single machine with VMware, as we won't have to worry about licensing. :)
    • The first thing that comes to my mind, is to wonder if VMware will run on DART?

      If it does (AFAICT, DART looks a lot like linux), I could see it being a part of expanding the functionality of the Celerra systems.
      • DART != Linux (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Legacy ( 42325 )
        DART is not Linux, it's a proprietary OS that is based off of another OS. The only piece of the Celerra that is Linux is the Control Station.

        Also based off this comment in the article, EMC has been working on a stealth project with VMware over the past year, according to EMC President and CEO Joe Tucci. The project includes building parts of VMware's virtual machine technology into EMC's storage management software. I expect their motive for this purchase it to extend the functionality of their products,
    • Re:Big Surprise (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Locutus ( 9039 )
      I know EMC partnered with Microsoft and then Microsoft started pushing it's storage system harder. The EMC people seemed cautious but were not sure how/what Microsoft was up to. Then Microsoft purchased VirtualPC....

      Reading the press release, it sure sounds like these guys are following Microsofts lead in using VMs to make a more reliable Windows based storage system.

      IMHO, EMC are still stupid for even opening the door to Microsoft. Hopefully, my friends at EMC won't be out of work too soon. :/

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Since EMC itself is on the "short list" for aquisition by Microsoft, this seems less strange but still very interesting.
  • What's old is new... (Score:4, Informative)

    by tizzyD ( 577098 ) * <tizzyd&gmail,com> on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:24PM (#7729589) Homepage
    All of these moves just demonstrate the increasing move back to the mainframe. Now, the mainframe presents a virtual GUI interface to the user vs. a 80x25 green screen. The mainframe now becomes a series of operating system images, working in a virtualized system, providing users with their environment to do their work. Really, look at the "on demand" efforts by IBM and others, or the moves by Microsoft with VirtualPC and continued strength of Terminal Server. And you'll have access all the way down to your PDA/Phone! And once they lick persistent sessions across your instance, well then, you'll never have to reboot again!

    The cycle continues yet again. What will create the next requirement to move systems off of the mainframe? I'm not quite sure, but let's hope that VMware (really ESX Server and GX Server--the real reason they bought VMware) does not get too tied to EMC storage virtualization. There are too many good uses beyond creating reasons to buy hard drives or SANs.
    • Uhm, I think you might want to cool down a bit before you sell everything and invest in this brave new world of mainframe computing.

      Mainframes support 100s or 1000s of concurrent users. VMWare supports about 3. Don't get me wrong, it's a brilliant piece of software and there are tons of things that It's good for, from testing software on multiple platforms, to hosting several operating systems for a single user to use. However, it was never designed for and could never be used for hosting large number

      • by FreakyGeeky ( 23009 ) * on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:55PM (#7729843)

        Spoken like someone that's never run GSX or ESX server.

        Where I work, we run ESX Server 2.0.1 on a quad 700MHz Xeon system with 4GB RAM and a 150GB metavolume on an EMC Symmetrix DMX.

        We run twelve virtual machines on this system that support dozens of users. It works very very well. If we had more RAM, we could run even more.

        • Rather inefficient.

          I can run hundreds of full Gnome sessions in 4Gb of RAM. Course I'd do it on 4 single CPU boxes with 1Gb of RAM each cos it's lots cheaper with higher performance and higher availability. I suppose each to their own.

          • by FreakyGeeky ( 23009 ) * on Monday December 15, 2003 @08:55PM (#7730339)

            That's great for Gnome, but if your business requires that you provide Windows systems, the situation changes.

            For that, you can also cluster VMware systems. You can't cluster them directly, yet. However, you can cluster the virtual machines themselves to virtual machines on other physical machines.

            We did a proof-of-concept using ESX Server 1.5.2, two Dell PowerEdge 2550s, Veritas Cluster server 2.0, and an EMC Clariion CX600. It worked like a champ.

            The added benefit was that Veritas licenses their software per physical node, so we only had to buy two VCS licenses. If were were to use MSCS, we'd need to fork out enough for Windows Advanced Server on each of the virtual machines.

          • We need to run 4 and sometimes five separate machines that are not networked together--each box is on a separate network. We used to put 4 or 5 mid-towers in each cubicle. A nightmare in terms of space, power, wiring, KVM switchboxes.

            Now each cubical or office has one box, with 4 or 5 NICs installed, 4GB of RAM, running Linux as a host OS, and 4 or 5 virtual machines. The NICs are dedicated for each guest OS, not in promiscuous mode, and each guest runs on its own partition, not a virtual drive. It run
    • by macemoneta ( 154740 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @08:38PM (#7730217) Homepage
      Mainframes (at least IBM big iron) don't need this -- they have the original product that VMware was modeled on, zVM (VM/CMS, VM/370, VM/XA, VM/ESA, historically).

      zVM is what allows many (thousands on high-end machines) of virtual Linux images to run on a single large mainframe, in combination with other virtual operating systems.

      Mainframes are, on the high end, quite capable of supporting 10s of thousands of users, with massive I/O subsystems (litterally thousands of disk drives, all running nearly saturated, continuously). You can use machines with large CPUs for processor-intensive monolithic tasks, or many small CPUs for high-concurrency processes.

      You can dedicate resources (CPUs, memory, I/O) to specific virtual systems for high performance or share and/or cap the resource utilization on them. Configurations can be changed on-the fly as demand or needs of the business dictate. A virtual system can even be identified as a V=R (virtual=real) preferred guest, which can take control of the real system dynamically in the event of a VM operating system failure.

      Mainframe can be extremely cost effective, in the right circumstances.

      Now you know why mainframes still exist.
  • by GGardner ( 97375 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:25PM (#7729599)
    I predict the merger will fail, horribly. Of course, that's an easy bet, given the history of most corporate merger and acquistion activity. Seems like 90% of them fail -- Wind River buying BSDi, Compaq & DEC, AOL & Netscape. And of those that "succeed", seems like the success isn't any better than what they would have been anyway -- e.g. Microsoft & Hotmail. Can anyone name an acquisition story that's been a huge success?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Let's see...

      EMC's acquisition of Data General has been quite successful. (EMC cut out the server business that was losing money and made Clariion more profitable and improved its market share.)

      EMC's acquisition of McData was reasonably successful, though it was later spun off as a separate company again. (I suspect it was sold for more than it was purchased, but I haven't checked.)

      I think you hear a lot more about the ones that don't work out.
    • It may be a little early to make this call, but the HP+Compaq merger has already reportedly lowered the combined company's operating expenses.

      And of course, it put them on par with Dell in terms of sales (15% vs 15%).
    • Cisco and...a long string of companies successfully devoured. Including Kalpana and the company that originally made the Catalyst switches.

      Of course, it's still an good bet. M&A are always risky and often fail, but you did ask for a counter-example...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:26PM (#7729607)
    Like others, I wonder if this will have any effect on VMWare Workstation. It looks like they are pushing for server virtualization rather than programming/development. I use VMware *a lot* for consulting work, sysadmin and programming, even networking tests using the virtual networks. I run Windows, several Linux, several BSD, etc., and I haven't found anything that approaches VMWare (except maybe a stack of mini-itx machines each running a different OS, but that's obviously not as efficient). Not exactly a "hobbyist" but I'm not going to pay more than, say, $500 (and I *never* buy closed-source software so that shows you how useful vmware is to me). I'm probably just being silly, but I *always* get nervous when big public company X buys smaller private company Y, and I depend on Y's product. Because usually that's the one that gets axed or otherwise screwed up as they dream about their "enterprise sales". I bet the next version of VMWare will have a huge bullshit EULA, for instance.. (the existing one isn't so bad).
  • Thank God it's them and not Microsoft. The thought made my blood run cold and has given me nightmares. (Suddenly you apply a patch and the little bug of VMWare allowing Linux to run is suddenly 'fixed')

    Still, it's too bad they couldn't make a go of it independently. It's by far the best value, I actually shelled out $$ for a licensed version, of any piece of software that I've ever purchased.

  • It blows my mind (Score:2, Interesting)

    by haruchai ( 17472 )
    that VMWare would be worth that kind of money.
    Isn't that more than the combined worth of Redhat, Mandrake and Suse?
  • by freeweed ( 309734 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:29PM (#7729639)
    VMware makes the industry's premier set of partitioning tools for running both Windows and Linux on a single server and running multiple applications on a single system.

    I've been able to run multiple applications on a single system for many, many years now. It's called multi-tasking :) Or did they mean "running multiple operating systems on a single system", in which case isn't that redudant with the first part of the sentence (running both Windows and Linux on a single server)?

    Also, wouldn't a "set of partitioning tools" be something like Partition Magic or fdisk? Or are we using a more generic form of the word partition? I've used VMware a lot, and I had to re-read this a couple of times just to make sure they weren't actually talking about something else.

    Keeping things on topic, anyone know how OSS friendly EMC is? I'd love a free copy of VMware instead of guiltily using a years-old copy with a crack :/
    • Also, wouldn't a "set of partitioning tools" be something like Partition Magic or fdisk? Or are we using a more generic form of the word partition?

      The latter.

      You can "partition" anything computerish into several, virtual, smaller units.

      This sort of stuff is much more common in mainframe shops. You might have a single machine with a bunch of processors, I/O channel processors, device controllers, and devices. You partition it into several smaller virtual mainframe machines, each called "partitions" and
    • Or are we using a more generic form of the word partition?

      In the world of mainframes, a partition is a common name for a virtual machine...

      • In the world of mainframes, a partition is a common name for a virtual machine...

        Nope. A mainframe can have its resources literally partitioned. Physically. Nothing virtual about it. Partion A gets these disk drives, these communication devices, these consoles, this amount of the total physical memory and these dedicated CPUs. A partition runs its own OS natively on the silicon. A virtual machine relies on the parent operating system to make its resources available to it. Lose the main OS and the V
    • You've obviously not been using Windows.
    • >
      > I've been able to run multiple applications on a single system for many, many years now. It's called multi-tasking :) Or did they mean "running multiple operating systems on a single system", in which case isn't that redudant with the first part of the sentence (running both Windows and Linux on a single server)?

      You obviously have not tried to run Microsfot Windows servers. When Microsoft sold companies on replacing their UNIX servers with Windows, it soon was found that one UNIX box runni
  • Uh oh ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:35PM (#7729690)
    EMC plans to grab the privately held VMware for $635 million in cash."

    And I plan to grab the latest copy of VMware before the company disappears, of before their product becomes a giant mess.

    Remember AOLscape?
    • Re:Uh oh ... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by f1ipf10p ( 676890 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @08:12PM (#7729968)
      This is my fear as well.

      While EMC could do great things for themselves and VMware with this move, it does not mean that they will for sure.

      EMC has one of the best sales and support organizations in the industry. They know how to sell to decision makers. They may be second only to Cisco in this right now. If they choose to really back VMWare it could mean great things!

      I supported a co-worker's server consolidation plan that proposed a VMware solution that got shot down by decision makers that thought the small company too uncertain.

      VMware will not be from a small company if it part of EMC, but will it survive as the same great product or disapear like Amteva's uOne did into Cisco and CMG?
  • One Word: Bochs. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ZuperDee ( 161571 ) <> on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:36PM (#7729702) Homepage Journal
    Methinks maybe the FUD people are spreading here about VMWare and its potential pricing hike after the buyout is all the more reason for people to look at Bochs. ;-)
    • Except bochs is true emulation while VMware is just virtualization. i.e. it sends the actual instructions directly to your processor. plex86 was doing the virtualization thing, but has changed it's focus to only run linux. I don't know what advantages this has over user mode linux. Fortunately enough, all the microsoft programs I need to run are old enought that they work just fine under emulation, but we're a long way off from having a good free vmware alternative.
    • Re:One Word: Bochs. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:48PM (#7729796)
      One Word: Bollocks

      1) VMware is a virtualization program
      2) Bochs is an emulator

      The difference is that Bochs interprets foreign machine code, while VMware lets code run natively, with "traps" to catch it when it tries to do things with the virtual hardware. As a result, Bochs is slow but can run x86 code on any architecture (a PowerPC box) for example, while VMware is fast but only runs on x86.
    • Re:One Word: Bochs. (Score:3, Informative)

      by nathanh ( 1214 )

      Methinks maybe the FUD people are spreading here about VMWare and its potential pricing hike after the buyout is all the more reason for people to look at Bochs. ;-)

      People should always have been looking at Bochs because Bochs is GPL and VMware is not. Freedom is important. Don't forget that.

      However there are criticisms against Bochs as a practical replacement for VMWare.

      • Bochs is a pure emulator (contrast with the virtualisation technique used by VMWare) which makes it ~ 100-200x slower. This is
  • by C60 ( 546704 ) * <> on Monday December 15, 2003 @07:43PM (#7729749) Homepage
    At least from an abstract point of view. The VMWare people obviously have some people and technology that are good at dealing with multiple filesystem types and operating systems co-existing.

    A few years ago when I was specing new TB sized storage arrays, I wanted an affordable way to allow directly connected access to the same data to multiple operating systems, but allowing for each OS to make native FS calls to get that data. Nobody really had a gracefull solution. Most required isolated partitions, and those that provided a high level emulation layer either had no drivers for Linux, or the cost was in 6 figures for them to even consider developing something.

    Needless to say, the cheapest solution was going with a network based access system to that data, which unfortunately meant that I had to spend more money making an isolated high speed network just for FS data, and popping two NICs in everything that was serving that data. Once again, not the most gracefull of solutions.(in fact one of the companies we looked at was EMC, and they were quickly excluded from our list because of their pricing and lack of features)

    I've been out of that realm for some time now, so I'm not exactly up to date on advances in that arena. However I'm hoping that by EMC grabbing VMWare that this is one of the things they think they can address with VMWare's intimate knowledge of multiple operating systems peacefully co-existing.

    On another note, I've been a huge fan of VMWare, and still use it for dev on a daily basis. If the pricing for VMWare reaches the point of EMCs pricing it will be a very sad day for me.

    I sincerly hope that EMC is after the brains at VMWare, and not just the technology. Many companies these days think it's enough just to buy the tech, without its creators, and that's a horrible travesty.
  • If I recall, the fellow who created the Bochs emulator (maybe his name is Bochs?) claimed that Vmware was using one of his key ideas and not giving credit. I wonder what he thinks of that company being sold for over $.5 billion.
  • It's just going to take a while to get those small unmarked bills. Don't get them started about having to count them...
  • VMware's VMotion (Score:4, Insightful)

    by XNormal ( 8617 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @08:06PM (#7729924) Homepage
    from l:

    What is VMotion technology?
    VMotion technology lets you move running virtual machines from one physical ESX Server to another while maintaining continuous service availability and complete transaction integrity. VMotion is enabled by the ability to keep the entire state of an x86 Server in software, which then allows that state to be duplicated and shifted from server to server. VMotion leverages a shared storage infrastructure -- such as a storage area network -- to allow the state of the virtual machine to be moved from one physical system to another without requiring its data to be moved.

    Yup. That sounds like EMC to me.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 15, 2003 @11:47PM (#7731569)
      take emc's mirrorview (synchronous data replication between clariion disk arrays over fcip).

      now add vmware's esx/gsx with vmotion (which lets me pass a virtual machine over the network from one host to another).

      then and add some *really* simple hooks into esx/gsx for mirrorview...which btw are already exist as part of emc's standard CX?00 host agents.

      now one can move a server, collection of servers, or datacenter full of servers from one location to another while preserving the state of the disk, memory, and cpu.

      so for those out there that are worried about the workstation line, fine...whatever. this purchase is about the smartest consolidation and disaster recovery play i've heard of in a *long* time (if they can make it work right :)).

  • VMware + EMC (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 44BSD ( 701309 )
    I can certainly see how a big player in the server consolidation biz might want to team up with a big player in the storage virtualization business.

    If VMWare's developers are going to be assimilated into EMC, I'm pessimistic about this thing. On the other hand, if EMC allows VMWare to maintain substantial autonomy, then it may work.

    I'm waiting for IBM to decide it wants to play bigtime in this space. They know how to run Linux on enterprise-caliber hardware, and could probably give "EMWare" a good fight
    • Re:VMware + EMC (Score:2, Interesting)

      Up until now IBM's approach has been to support VMware, the have some partnerhip agreements and IBM has a reseller agreement. IIRC on some of the xSeries servers you could order VMware factory installed. I assume that three things are happening now a) IBM is considering a counteroffer b) the IP lawyers are going to be looking HARD at potential infringements of IBMs patents in this area c) they are looking at existing software assets for something they can use as a quick start to get in this game directly.
  • They're going to pay $635 million in cash?

    I hope they hire some pretty good security - and choose a highly secure location when they make the transaction, or someone might have a really bad day!

    Haven't they realised that there are other ways of transferring such large quantities of money around??

  • VMware is a bread-and-butter product for people like me delivering computer classes. The company has steadily introduced better and better features for educational customers and I fear we will be kicked to the curb as EMC tries to please enterprise storage-type customers instead. I also suspect that VMware may start to fade into an expensive, proprietary sort of space, ceding the cheap and dirty part of this market to Microsoft's Connectix products.

    BTW, a severe gotcha I learned with VMware is that if yo

  • by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Tuesday December 16, 2003 @12:55AM (#7731950)
    Salemen that will wine, dine & fellate to get a contract, then nonexistent support on equipment that's 2 generations behind at 2 x the price of their competition. Where I used to work we had EMC SAN that never even had the phone lines attached that EMC was to use to dial in & monitor, and after asking about an upgrade for a unit they had to come and physically look inside the cabinet because they didn't even know what the **** they sold us. They got our pinhead CFO to sign an ironclad 5 year contract we couldn't get out of. Yay, EMC!

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.