Alessandro Perilli is Red Hat’s General Manager and Cloud Management Strategy, but much of his fame is due to his previous position at Gartner and his web-site, which has described for a long time the evolution of the market in the years when virtualization was thought as the future of IT.

What do you think about the announcements that VMware has done at WMworld in the United States and here in Europe?
I’ve got some doubts about how VMware is facing the evolution of the IT market, in particular I’ve been surprised but some of the concepts that marked the 2015 edition of WMworld.
The motto “any app, any device, one cloud” seems to have a note out of tune at the end: it’s really strange to talk about only one cloud in 2015. Especially if this cloud is VMware’s.
i’ve been recently at AWS Reinvent in Las Vegas and having participated to the sessions and keynotes and knowing the numbers it’s just impossible to imagine a cloud in which Amazon is not one of the fundamental players, while it’s clear that VMware, even though it has the technologies to implement cloud solutions, is a new player in the cloud services providing market. VMware also lacks some key elements on a technological basis, for example a licenses management system, cost evaluation and an hybridation at the application level. Today those who work in the cloud want a single management platform to use with different cloud services, but that goes far beyond the new feature of moving a VM from a cloud to another that VMware has announced here in Barcelona.
In terms of Security it seems that the company is left behind. For instance, NSX hasn’t made any meaningful step forward on this aspect.

Actually during the NSX round table, in which the Industry White Knights of security have spoken, VMware’s Ted Ranft (VP SDDS, Networking & Security, EMEA) frankly admitted that this product has been developed by VMware just to improve the network flexibility and has been thought in terms of security only because of the clients’ feedback.
VMware has quite missed the boat in this sector, there are plenty of third party solutions but, for instance, VMsafe APIs have been abandoned since vSphere 5.5. VMware completely lacks a middleware part that could be part of vSphere and their architecture.

We’ve talked about WMware, now let’s put the “red hat” on and talk about Red Hat and its position.
Red Hat is doing a very long and complex job with Cloudforms and is profoundly changing its vision. For example, our platform treats in the same way VMs and Containers with a single management panel and it’s natively based on the most widespread and engineerized Linux platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Red Hat is putting itself as a broker towards the cloud, out platform offers all the tools needed to manage the cloud’s various components and to use different hypervisors, VMware naturally among those.
The hypervisor is now clearly a commodity, in my opinion the future in this sector will be of those who can provide the final client with a unified cloud management platform with all the more advanced features. The management of the infrastructure is only one of these features.

Red Hat journey hasn’t come to an end yet I’d say, thre are several aspects to define, also regarding the role that you have in the IT market. How will you face its next challenges? Should we be expecting some important news?
There will be several news for Red Hat in the upcoming months, we’ll meet again when I can say more about it.

UPDATE: two days after our meeting with Perilli, Red Hat announced the acquisition of Ansible, an IT automation tool.

About the Author

Filippo Moriggia

After more than 10 years of experience in the technical journalism with PC Professionale (the italian version of PC Magazine) and other newspapers of Mondadori group, Filippo Moriggia founded GURU advisor, the reference website for IT professionals, system integrators, cloud providers and MSPs. He has a Master of Science in Telecommunications Engineering and works as a independent consultant and contractor for different firms. His main focuses are software, virtualization, servers, cloud, networking and security. He's certified VMware VCA for Data Center Virtualization.

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