VMware/EMC to spin off cloud assets to create a new company?

According to various reports, VMware and majority owner EMC are planning a corporate shakeup. The rumours emerged earlier this week from GigaOm, who reported that the Palo Alto, California, based virtualization and software company was preparing to spin out some of its cloud assets into a separate company, stating that these claims stemmed from “sources close to the deal”.

It is said, that the new company will be comprised of VMware’s Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service division, and parent company EMC’s Greenplum, as well as assets of Project Rubicon, a joint venture between EMC and VMware, in the infrastructure-as-a-service sector.

The account, published by GigaOm, further claims that the alleged deal is an attempt to build a cloud computing company that would act as competition alongside big players such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon.com, which are all building out the infrastructure and platform layers to become IT departments for developers and enterprise customers.

Once more, according to GigaOm, the plans are said to be “at an advanced stage”. VMware have so far refused to comment on the story and when quizzed by Forbes, a spokesperson for EMC claimed “she had not seen the original story, and that in any case the company would not comment on rumours and speculation.”

What is more, the article makes two allusions to the possible CEOs of the spinout. They include, Tod Nielsen, who is the co-president of VMware’s applications business, and Mark Lucovsky, who is the VP of Engineering in charge of Cloud Foundry.

But what does this mean for cloud computing more generally? Spinning out the Greenplum and Cloud Foundry assets would give VMware and EMC a platform that could tempt corporate users in a way that Amazon Web Services or Google’s Compute Engine might not. Due to the fact that big data play is associated with VMware PaaS, it has something that corporate clients are increasingly interested in, on a platform that may be capable of spanning multiple clouds. VMware has all the tools needed for the enterprise cloud, now is the time to use them.

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