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ShieldX 2019 Predictions: VMware's Future in Solar Energy?

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Ratinder Ahuja, Founder and CEO of ShieldX

VMware's Future in Solar Energy?

VMware was founded--and thrived on--a big savings model.  In order to survive and persist into 2019 and beyond, it has to maintain the same value prop or innovate into something totally different that brings revenues. However, two key trends threaten VMware's market today: cloud adoption and an on-premise stack offering by Azure and AWS. Both offer cost savings. More importantly, these trends together provide a compelling TCO that could quickly undercut VMware.

The first question to ask: What assets does VMware have? Amazon was able to move from books to everything because it had a powerful ecommerce platform and distribution center.

What is the VMware equivalent? It sits inside 90%+ data centers globally. Clearly, this means VMware has a bright future in cryptomining.  (Hopefully you laughed -- this is geek humor in action). Of course, unlike Amazon which owned and developed everything, VMware doesn't own the data center.

The answer for VMware could come from the solar energy industry. Energy companies didn't own the panels but saw they could leverage and resell surplus electricity. Could VMware do the same?

VMware could develop machine learning applications for its current customers to run. Imagine if all VMware customers pooled data centers together and created its own AWS using hardware from customers. How would it work? VMware would deploy a highly distributed application that leverages this pooled infrastructure to become an IaaS player. Customers, theoretically, would get kickbacks like solar panels with energy.

Would customers feel safe with such an arrangement? That would take some convincing...no -- a lot of convincing.  But if VMware found a financial arrangement that worked -- this idea is plausible. At the end of the day, VMware needs to mimic the architectural lock it has achieved with ESX, whose pricing commands a lot of renewals.

Could a solar panel model work for VMware? As Picasso put it, "Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun."

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About the Author

Ratinder Ahuja 

Ratinder leads ShieldX and its mission as its central pivot point, drawing from a career as a successful serial entrepreneur and corporate leader, bringing with him his unique blend of business acumen, industry network and deep technical knowledge. His previous three founded startups, Internet Junction, Webstacks and Reconnex were acquired by Cisco Systems, Extreme Networks and McAfee, respectively, where he subsequently served as Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of the Mobile and Network Security Business Units. His knowledge of innovation and emerging trends in networking, network security and data loss prevention are derived from years of industry experience. Dr. Ahuja holds a BS in Electronics & Electrical Engineering from Thapar University, in India and a Masters and Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Iowa State University. Dr. Ahuja has been granted 37 patents for security-based technologies, and has presented in many public forums including the Content Protection Summit, IC3, IEEE Computer Society, McAfee FOCUS and the Cloud Expo. Beyond his passion for technology and building new and exciting companies, Ratinder is a car enthusiast and a TaeKwonDo Master, with a 6th Degree Black Belt, practicing QiGong and weight training.

Published Tuesday, February 05, 2019 10:01 AM by David Marshall
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