James Staten of Forrester Research offering an interesting take on the VMware CEO switch from Paul Maritz to Pat Gelsinger. In an article at ZDNet entitled “Gelsinger brings the ‘H’ word to VMware” Staten posited that with Gelsinger, VMware would focus on heterogeneity (that’s the “H” word) more than it did under Martiz. It’s an interesting theory. At the heart of the article Staten lays out a compelling pain point for businesses who are increasingly adopting virtualization:

At the same time, enterprises have been voicing strong concerns about VMware lock-in. The result was more push-back by customers on long-term enterprise agreements with VMware and a reluctance to commit to VMware-only management stacks. When every competitor is touting their heterogeneity, it was becoming increasingly hard for VMware to convince customers that a single-vendor virtualization strategy was a long term bet worth making.

Heterogeneity is running to the rescue at VMware as per Staten by way of the DynamicOps acquisition which allows customers to manage complex workload deployments to cloud, virtual (not just VMware vSphere but Microsoft Hyper-V and others), and physical.

My opinion? I certainly think that DynamicOps will be positioned as a marketing answer to System Center 2012’s embrace of the management of VMware vSphere. But I’m not seeing any indication that VMware is truly moving to heterogeneous stacks.

Where I live – which is in data protection – I’m daily amazed by how homogeneous the large virtualization vendors are with respect to their overall offering. Both VMware and Microsoft have data protection offerings – VMware which supports only VMware and Microsoft which supports only Microsoft.

Until I see VMware embracing true heterogeneity – and by that I mean cloud, virtual, and physical – I’m just not convinced. It’s easy to say that you’re heterogeneous when you’re focused on supporting your own products (perhaps with a nod to another, such as a niche data protection solution that supports only VMware vSphere and Hyper-V, for example.) It’s another when you’re truly customer-focused and are attempting to address not just what you want to sell them in the future but are handling the various aspects of a modern heterogeneous IT environment.

What do you think? Do you see VMware embracing heterogeneous virtual *AND* physical environments in the future?