VMware seems to be on a roll these days, having announced impressive earnings last week that included a hefty $1.06 billion in revenue for Q1 2012, a more than 25% increase over Q1 2011 revenue figures. VMware is putting that extra revenue to use, in part, by acquiring big data analytics firm Cetas Software (@CetasAnalytics), a deal that the virtualization giant announced earlier this morning.
According to the Cetas Software website, the company provides "real-time Big Data Analytics solutions to extract actionable insights for online businesses and enterprises to get instant recommendations, summarizations, segmentations and predictions from behavioral, social, locational and mobile data. What all this means is that VMware is embracing the latest IT buzzword du jour, which now happens to be "Big Data."
The move into big data products and services seems to be a natural progression of VMware's product portfolio, and fits neatly with the corporate strategy that VMware President and CEO Paul Maritz outlined a few years ago. Back at VMworld 2008, Windows IT Pro Technical Director Michael Otey and I interviewed VMware President and CEO Paul Maritz and asked him how he intended to keep VMware one step ahead of Microsoft. He told us:
"When you’re competing with Microsoft, you have to do two things. One is you’ve got to shift your tail lights somewhere they’re not comfortable going. And then secondly, make no mistakes, and that’s what we’re trying to do." (Read the VMworld 2008 Paul Maritz interview.)
VMware still has a commanding position in the virtualization space, and has moved aggressively into cloud products and services. The addition of big data services adds yet another layer on top of the product portfolio layer cake that Maritz and his team are building, and big data analytics should help VMware provide even more value to companies that are racing to embrace virtualization and the cloud.
A blog post by VMware Infrastructure CTO Richard McDougall (@richardmcdougll) goes into a bit more detail about the acquisition, pointing out that Cetas is designed to help enterprises get the most out of increasingly virtualized (and cloud-based) infrastructures:
"The Cetas analytics service provides next generation Big Data analytics and predictive intelligence systems that can operate at a scale of hundreds of terabytes and billions of events for online companies and enterprises. The key use cases served by Cetas are Online App Analytics, IT & Operational Analytics and Enterprise Hadoop Analytics. VMware will continue to invest in the Cetas technology and invite interested users to sign up for the service here."
It's clear that Maritz fully intends to keep moving to where "Microsoft isn't comfortable going" by racing up the IT infrastructure stack. Time will tell if VMware's strategy succeeds against the growing Microsoft virtualization threat from Hyper-V 3.0 in Windows Server 2012, but Maritz and VMware are obviously doing their best to stay a few laps ahead.
What are your thoughts about VMware, Cetas Software, and big data analytics? Feel free to add a comment to this blog post or contribute to the discussion on Twitter.