A significant part of any enterprise mobility strategy begins with mobile apps that are designed, developed, and deployed in the cloud. Developers are consuming these services from the cloud and not letting IT stand in their way. However, every time a mobile application lands on the public cloud, it adds a potential risk to VMware's long term business model, since it is an application that is more likely to not be running on VMware infrastructure and has likely landed on Amazon AWS, Miicrosoft Azure, or some other developer-friendly and mobile-app-friendly cloud platform.
But, if you are VMware, you want the mobile application to start development on the VMware platform and you want the application to run in production on the VMware stack. So here is the premise of their value prop to businesses and a clear message that they are reinforcing at VMworld 2015.
Business that are designing mobile applications need to link back to the existing critical app infrastructure that perhaps is already running on VMware. The chances are high that the business is not in a big rush to move these critical applications to the cloud so this creates the need to create a link from the public cloud service to the critical business applications that are running on-premises in a private cloud. The mobile applications require access and some dependence on the business logic that exists internally so the new mobile app taps into this intelligence and projects it back out to the end-user.
VMware addresses this very real scenario by:
- Protecting sensitive data on-premises and linking it to mobile apps using NSX to help eliminate network bottlenecks and maintain security policy out to the mobile app.
- Providing new services to the developer that they are expecting from a mobile app platform. These include storage services and plans to offer a SQL database as a service.
- Providing IT with hybrid cloud management tools, support for containers, and a lightweight Photon hypervisor as part of the strategy to arm IT so they can support mobile app developers.
So, VMware clearly sees that they need to help IT support businesses that are creating mobile applications, since it wants them to land on the VMware platform. Microsoft and Amazon may snicker at this since they have already built out many of these services, but who wins the hearts and minds of the developer is still TBD. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said it best, "it's easier to get a developer to change religions than it is to get them to move to a new development environment and tools."