Comment: Software maker VMware buys Nicira
Paper Edition | Page: 8
July 24, Online
Business software maker VMware is buying computer networking specialist Nicira for nearly US$1.3
The deal announced on Monday will expand VMware’s product line in the rapidly growing field of computer “virtualization”.
The term refers to software that lowers the costs of running data centers by enabling a single computer to function like multiple machines.
With everybody else falling asleep at the network switch, VMware and Nicira have cornered the virtual server market and thus become indispensable to cloud-based services.
But until now, these two had at least each other to compete with. This has assured both strong developments in virtual controllers and servers as well as fair pricing.
Now, however, the two are about to become one.
With everybody else lagging far behind, they will be able to not only monopolize the virtual server market, but also annihilate the old hardware-based switches from Cisco and company.
“So what,” you say. “Survival of the fittest.” Not so fast.
With the Cisco hardware obsolescence will come a dependency on virtual controllers and servers.
This is not bad in itself since they streamline the setting up and maintenance of networks. But it can be bad if the virtual controllers and servers take hold to the exclusion of everything else.
Aside from the inherent monopoly in this, we will also have a dependency on a networking platform, which though efficient, economical, and ingenious, has nonetheless not been around long enough to warrant a complete reliance on it.
A go-slow approach, therefore, might be in order and the Justice Department perhaps ought to look at all the ramifications before it gives its blessing to VMware to buy Nicira.
Besides, the two companies have already worked out the necessary protocol to coexist in networks, without being the same entity. Staying that way might be better for all of us for the time being.