VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger weighs in on acquisitions, blockchain, security and more

VMware Inc. is on a roll.

The past week has seen a constant stream of major announcements from the virtualization and software company. As well as the usual product reveals that accompany any major tech event such as VMworld 2019, the company has managed to make two major acquisitions — Pivotal Software Inc. and Carbon Black Inc. — and declare better-than-forecast quarterly earnings.

“I think of our last week as a triple-double,” Pat Gelsinger (pictured) chief executive officer of VMware, said in an exclusive video interview. “I was excited about VMworld before I got here. Now I’m just euphoric.”

An effusive Gelsinger joined Dave Vellante and John Furrier, co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during this week’s VMworld event in San Francisco. They discussed VMware’s ongoing acquisitions and strategy and Gelsinger’s predictions for the waves of the future (see the full interview with transcript here).

The magic of Kubernetes

VMworld has always been the domain of operations, but the time has come to bridge the gap between development and operations, according to Gelsinger. The “magic formula” for bringing the two together is Kubernetes.

“[Kubernetes] isn’t a VMware thing; it’s an industry thing. … I really see it as one of those key transition points in the industry,” he said. “This is the biggest re-architecture of the core platform in a decade.”

Transforming enterprise software management on Kubernetes is VMware Tanzu, a new portfolio of products and services that builds on VMware’s commitment to hybrid strategies as the future of cloud. Project Pacific (currently in technology preview stage) promises to make VMware’s vSphere hybrid platform Kubernetes native, and Tanzu Mission Control provides a single point of control for Kubernetes clusters.

This is “key for the future,” Gelsinger said.

VMware goes shopping

VMware could be accused of being on a “buying spree,” with Carbon Black and Pivotal just the most recent of a slew of acquisitions reflecting the companies determination to achieve credibility with developers and the open-source community.

“A year or two from now, VMware could be seen as the most developer and open-source-friendly company in the community, and that’s the goal I’m on,” Gelsinger stated.

VMware is already a top-three contributor to Kubernetes and has “hundreds of engineers committed to open source,” Gelsinger said. “At the end of the day, winning developers is nothing to do with great marketing … you have to do great code.”

Bitcoin bad. Blockchain good.

“We’re going to engineer for good, and we’re going to do good engineering” is VMware’s mission statement, Gelsinger explained. He spoke out Monday against bitcoin, which he views as “bad for humanity.”

Why? Gelsinger gives two reasons: First, bitcoin consumes vast amounts of energy, which contributes to the environmental crisis. Second, bitcoin is unregulated and primarily used for illegal and illicit purposes.

“Over 95% of the use of bitcoin is criminal,” Gelsinger said. “Let’s go and make it good!”

A partnership with the Australian Securities Exchange and U.S.-based blockchain specialist Digital Asset Holdings LLC is one way that VMware is promoting the positive attributes of blockchain.

“That’s good,” Gelsinger stated. “We’re making it suitable for enterprises and meeting the regulatory requirements.”

So, what’s the wave of the next 10 years that organizations should be riding?

“If they’re not on the networking wave, get on it,” Gelsinger responded, emphasizing that Kubernetes is the crest of the “multicloud, hybrid wave.”

Gelsinger also repeated his commitment to a security “do-over.”

“I’m going to change security,” he said. “If it kills me, I’m going to get this done.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s almost weeklong coverage of VMworld 2019:

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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