More on VMware: 2015 guidance, software launches, EMC risk


VMware (NYSE:VMW) has used its analyst day (held at VMworld) to guide for mid-teens 2015 revenue growth; consensus is at 15.5%. Op. margin is expected to grow 100 bps Y/Y.

Software-related VMworld announcements include: 1) A collection of tools meant to support the OpenStack cloud infrastructure (IaaS) platform. 2) A partnership with Google, startup Docker, and the Pivotal spinoff through which VMware's software will support Docker's Linux app containers. 3) New mobile, storage, and on-demand services for the vCloud Air IaaS platform (formerly vCloud Hybrid). 4) Updates to VMware's NSX SDN platform and vCloud Suite that respectively add new security and provisioning features. 5) The vRealize Suite, a cloud management platform that bundles several existing products.

The OpenStack and Docker announcements have raised eyebrows, given OpenStack competes with VMware's cloud management offerings and Docker's containers act as a lightweight alternative to traditional virtualization software. The vRealize Suite will square off against products from the likes of Microsoft and Red Hat.

"VMware’s strategy would commoditize some of what EMC does," says Baird's Jason Noland, taking stock of VMware's hardware and software efforts. "Neither one will admit it, but they’re heading right at each other."

EMC downplays the commoditization risk, calling it "speculation at best." The storage giant has already shown a willingness to embrace software platforms that can affect sales of its proprietary hardware, or at least lower vendor lock-in.

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