VMware's IPO symbolizes for the data center what Microsoft's IPO symbolized for the PC: an entirely new and more efficient way to manipulate electrons for maximum user impact. As virtualization becomes strategic to the data center, security becomes strategic to virtualization; unprecedented flexibility in the data center will require new approaches to security which will ride the wave and reinforce virtualization. This kind of Yin/Yang tension between change and security promises to establish a new order of software appliances that run on standard hardware and are more accurate and easier to manage than their predecessors.
Simply imagine a dashboard of virtual machines that can be created, moved, saved (and even re-created) on demand... not unlike the first PC programs that replaced typewriters, financial ledgers and even fax machines.
The success of the VMware IPO and the subsequent XenSource acquisition is a harbinger of big changes which lay ahead. An old guard entrenched in dogma by billions in success is about to get replaced yet again by faster, nimble and more visionary players; and data center pros will be more productive as a result, data centers more secure. It appears that Wall Street agrees and has just voted for the promise of change. The question is: which vendors truly get the impact of what we are witnessing? Time will tell.
Ness is vice president of marketing for Blue Lane Technologies. He's been a marketing executive at Juniper Networks, Redline Networks, IntruVert Networks and ShoreTel.