The first offering in the IoT space that VMware will roll out later this year is VMware Pulse IoT Center, which combines VMware AirWatch device management software with VMware vRealize automation software to enable IT organizations to monitor and manage an IoT environment.
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger says VMware plans to extend that footprint by leveraging the VMware NSX network virtualization software it developed all the way out to the network edge. Today, implementations of VMware NSX are limited to data centers and a handful of public cloud platforms.
“Tech is breaking out of tech,” says Gelsinger. “The power is moving the network edge.”
The challenge VMware will face is the degree to which organizations will decide to employ commercial versus open source software to fuel those projects. VMware sister company Dell EMC, for example, is behind an effort to create a standard open source operating environment for IoT gateways. VMware envisions its software being layered on top of those gateways. There are, however, likely to be an any number of open source alternatives for every type of IoT service.
IT vendors clearly view the IoT as the next great opportunity to extend their footprint. Competition across what can only be described as a nascent category is already fierce. But even though a vendor may have a dominant role in traditional IT environments today, it does not necessarily follow that they are guaranteed a dominant IoT position tomorrow.