VMware spends $4.2B to grab Pivotal, Carbon Black to secure, develop integrated cloud world


All things cloud are certain to be major topics next week at the VMworld user conference, but VMware took things up a notch with plans to spend $4.2 billion to acquire cloud-development firm Pivotal, and security provider Carbon Black.

During its quarterly financial call VMware said it would spend about $2.7 billion on Pivotal and its Cloud Foundry hybrid cloud development technology and another $2.1 billion for Carbon Black, which includes its Predictive Security Cloud offering and other endpoint-security software.

VMware had deep relationships with both companies. Carbon Black technology is part of VMware’s AppDefense end point security product. Pivotal has a deeper relationship in that VMware and Dell, VMware’s parent company spun out Pivotal in 2013.

“These acquisitions address two critical technology priorities of all businesses today — building modern, enterprise-grade applications and protecting enterprise workloads and clients. With these actions we meaningfully accelerate our subscription and SaaS offerings and expand our ability to enable our customers’ digital transformation,” said VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger on the call.

With regards to the Pivotal acquisition Gelsinger said the time was right to own the whole compute stack. “We will now be uniquely positioned to help customers build, run and manage their cloud environment and customers can go one place to get all of this technology,” Gelsinger said.  “We embed the technology in our core VMware platform, and we will explain more about that at VMworld next week.”

On the Carbon Black buy, Gelsinger said he expects the technology to be integrated across VMware’s families including NSX networking software and vSphere, the company’s flagship virtualization platform. “Security is  broken and fundamentally, customers want a different answer in the security space. We think this move will be an opportunity for major disruption.”

Patric Morley, president and CEO of Carbon Black wrote of the deal: “VMware has a vision to create a modern security platform for any app, running on any cloud, delivered to any device – essentially, to build security into the fabric of the compute stack. Carbon Black’s cloud-native platform, our ability to see and stop attackers by leveraging the power of our rich data and behavioral analytics, and our deep cybersecurity expertise are all truly differentiating.”

Both transactions are expected to close in the second half of VMware’s fiscal year 2020, which ends January 31, 2020.

VMware has been on a massive buying spree this year that has included:

  • Avi Networks for multi-cloud application delivery services.
  • Bitfusion for hardware virtualization.
  • Uhana, a company that is employing deep learning and real-time AI in carrier networks and applications, to automate network operations and optimize application experience.
  • Veriflow, for network verification, assurance and troubleshooting.
  • Heptio for its Kubernetes technology.

Kubernetes integration will be a big topic at VMworld, Gelsinger hinted.  “You will hear very specific announcements about how Heptio will be used.”

Other updates about where VMware vSphere and NSX-T are headed will also be hot topics.

Introduced in 2017, NSX-T Data Center software is targeted at organizations looking to support multivendor cloud-native applications, bare-metal workloads, hypervisor environments and the growing hybrid and multi-cloud worlds. In February the company anointed NSX-T as the company’s go-to platform for future software-defined cloud developments.

VMware is battling Cisco with its Application Centric Infrastructure, Juniper with its Contrail system and others like Pluribus, Arista and Big Switch, and how NSX-T evolves will be key to that competition.

The most recent news around vSphere was that VMware customers can now migrate non-vSphere, as well as increased amounts of on-premises application workloads, to a variety of cloud services with a new release of the company’s Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX) application-mobility software. Introduced in 2017, VMware HCX lets vSphere customers tie together on-premises systems and applications with a variety of cloud services.

The HCX announcement was part of VMware’s continued evolution into cloud technologies. In July the company teamed with Google to natively support VMware workloads in its Google Cloud service, giving customers more options for deploying enterprise applications.

Further news about that relationship is likely at VMworld as well.

VMware also has a hybrid cloud partnership with Microsoft’s Azure cloud service.  That package, called Azure VMware Solutions, which is built on VMware Cloud Foundation, a package of the company’s traditional compute-virtualization software vSphere with NSX network virtualization and VSAN software-defined storage area network product.  The company is expected to update developments with that platform as well.

This story, “VMware spends $4.2B to grab Pivotal, Carbon Black to secure, develop integrated cloud world” was originally published by

Network World.

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