VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram on edge computing and multicloud

Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! now: How VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram prepares his company for edge computing, SaaS startups laugh at SaaSacre, and Kevin Mandia with security entrepreneurs.


KubeCon Europe is in full swing this week in Spain, making it a great opportunity to check the security state of Kubernetes. According to Red Hat, this is not good: 93% of respondents have “experienced at least one security incident in their Kubernetes environments in the past 12 months, which sometimes leads to the incident in revenue or customer loss. . ”

VMware did not take sides

Nearly a year into his tenure as CEO, Raghu Raghuram believes VMware is well positioned for the third phase of its evolution, but acknowledges its product innovation still requires some work.

“I think we’ve done a great job of repositioning and realigning the company around the massive opportunity that is ahead of us,” Raghuram said in an interview with Protocol. “If I measure it by what our customers are telling us about where they want to go and how our approach fits in with it, I think we’ve done well. If I measure it by level alignment of excitement to our employees, it’s great. Our product change is currently underway. “

Raghuram spoke at Protocol about the need for VMware’s Cross-Cloud Services (launched in October), how remote workforces have changed the product approach and its demand for on-premises computing to end up in a cloud in the world.

This lecture has been edited and abbreviated for clarity. A A longer version of the interview can be found here.

Can you talk about reorganizing VMware and what you’re trying to do?

About two, three years ago, we began to incubate VMware’s next move as a company, and that was born out of the realization that… our customers are rapidly transforming themselves as digital that company. And while they are doing that, they are rewriting their business applications as well as creating many new applications. They do that in their data centers, they do it in public clouds, many public clouds. They do this on the side of their network.

So there is a new era of IT… which we call the multicloud era of IT. This means that customers have multiple places they can run their applications. In fact, 75% of our customers use two public clouds or more in their applications, 40% will use three or more, and they continue to operate their data centers. And there are companies, many of them, that are also building on the side.

The chance of VMware… is [to] help our customers master the complexity of this multicloud world, give them a consistent way in which they can create new applications faster-wherever they want to build or run them, however they want to run it – and make it secure and connected. . That’s a big part of our focus as a company.

The second part of our focus as a company is… many of us… working from home, working from the road, clearly working in the office in areas where the pandemic has subsided. And in the world of hybrid work, IT organizations are looking for new platforms to make their employees more productive in this world, but at the same time, more secure. That’s the problem we’re solving.

You said the spinoff from Dell positioned VMware to be “Switzerland’s new multicloud industry.” Can you explain what you mean, and how being a standalone company does that?

“Industry Switzerland” refers to the fact that we are able to partner with almost everyone in the industry. We partner extensively with leading public cloud providers: in particular, AWS, Azure, Google, [Alibaba Cloud], Oracle and IBM, to name a few. We also partner deeply with infrastructure providers, such as Dell, and Dell’s competitors, such as HP, Lenovo, etc., as well as with software companies. We do not take sides; we are not saying that one is better than the other. In fact, we work with a customer and say, “Mr. Customer, with all these different cloud providers and infrastructure providers, tell us who you want to use, and we’ll help you execute and implement your approach the cloud providers and infrastructure providers you want. ”

Historically, we’ve done that in the context of the data center. Now we can do this in the context of the data center and the cloud.

How strong is the demand for those in the area today?

When we talk about on-premises, there are two areas: One is the classic data center, and one is the edge.

In the data center, customers build what they call a private cloud, and what customers realize [that] instead of cloud-first, they all use a cloud-smart approach. They look at their application portfolio and decide which applications live in cloud one, cloud two, which applications live in the private cloud. As a result,… corporate data center is also experiencing growth. They’re more of a single digit compared to the double digits of the public cloud, but it’s growing.

The other exciting thing that is happening is that businesses are rethinking the network side. If you’re a retail business, and you want to deploy cashierless stores in your retail stores, now you can put up multiple cameras that can track what consumers want to buy. All images need to be processed, so they want to be processed locally. And people are making clouds and applications that go with those clouds on the side. If you’re a manufacturing company and you want to introduce a new level of automation to your manufacturing shop floor, or if you’re a logistics and supply chain company, and you’re reshoring and you’re close to the supply chain, and you’re doing a lot of new things- all this activity causes an increase in edge. Or you’re a telco, and you’re building a 5G network.

The network side is, in many ways, what we would classify as on-prem. That is growing very fast. In fact, it is growing faster than the cloud.

– Donna Goodison (email | kaba)


The speed at which security has developed over the past 12 months is a derivative benefit of what we saw during the pandemic. Privacy, compliance and security are three feet of the same dirt. What we see more is the intersection that is constantly happening. RingCentral has invested in all of those elements.

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SaaS survivors

Despite the volatility of the tech stock market so far this year that includes delayed IPOs, declining valuations and declining investor sentiment, some tech enterprise categories have managed to continue to gain funding. Data platforms, supply chain management technology, workplace software and cybersecurity startups dominated the funding cycle over the past quarter.

When it comes to enterprise SaaS, the number of mega-deals-VC funding rounds over $ 100 million-rose last year, according to data from Pitchbook. Partly driven by the start of a pandemic that has accelerated the demand for everything from contact centers to supply chains to move to the cloud, the number of large VC deals will triple between 2020 and 2021. That growth is reached this year, where the number of mega-deals has already exceeded all of 2020.

Over that quarter, some of the biggest deals were in logistics, such as $ 420 million in Project44 funding or Remote software recruitment of $ 300 million. However, too many startups in those industries as well as data and cybersecurity have gotten mega-deals.

In this story, we take a closer look at the specific categories that have benefited from the increase in VC investment in this challenging year.

– Aisha counts (email | kaba)

The “next Mandiant” is everything

There’s a bit of irony in the fact that Kevin Mandia is a venture capitalist today: After founding Mandiant in 2004, it took seven years before the company raised a round of VC funding. Mandia is now a strategic partner with Ballistic Ventures, in addition to his day-to-day job as CEO of the cybersecurity powerhouse, which Google is set to acquire for $ 5.4 billion. I had the opportunity to ask Mandia a few questions last week.

Who is the next Mandiant? Do you see anyone as a relative spirit today?

I don’t know, because Mandiant was founded on a [different] time. It is self -funded and mission -focused. And right now, there is so much funding in cybersecurity, everyone is coming in to be funded. That changes the habit.

What behaviors?

It hit the gas pedal. People will bring things to market before they are ready. It’s “growth, growth, growth” – it can be as much or more than “mission, mission, mission.”

So none of today’s companies remind you of Mandiant in your earlier days?

I think the next Mandiant is all the security companies that are mixing technology with expertise to solve problems. Microsoft, PAN [Palo Alto Networks]CrowdStrike, Google-all these companies are becoming solution-based, [offering both] products and services. That’s how I feel. And that is always what Mandiant is.

So you feel your strategy has been replicated across the industry, more or less?

Exactly. I remember when I started Mandiant, [an analyst] said we would fail. And I asked why – and he said, “You have to be an endpoint company, or a network security company, or a consulting company, but you can’t mix any of them.” And I remember thinking, “You have to mix it all up.”

– Kyle Alspach (email | kaba)


At RingCentral, we are committed to making hybrid work simpler for organizations so they can best set up, run and manage their business. We ask ourselves what benefit can we get, or that we can enable, that is better than the best in class in the industry?

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Thanks for reading – see you tomorrow!


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