Having dominated the server virtualisation market for over a decade, VMware has not rested on its laurels, leaping into the networking space in 2013 with NSX before making its debut in the cybersecurity market last summer with the launch of AppDefense.
The Dell-owned vendor's metamorphosis has not escaped the attention of Sam Routledge, CTO of Softcat, which first forged a partnership with VMware 12 years ago.
"I'm mega impressed with the way they've evolved," Routledge (pictured) said.
"Their positioning as a security platform company is interesting and with the bluster around security that's a really good thing. They've got NSX as a network layer that will help with security at a much more granular level. That's something we advocate: moving away from simply a perimeter-based security model to embedding security within your network.
"The other thing is AppDefense, which whitelists services running in virtual machines and will then take actions defined by you if it spots anything running that shouldn't be. I think that positioning in the current market is spot on."
VMware's détente with AWS (in 2013 former president Carl Eschenbach urged its partners to help it see off the public cloud threat posed by "someone who sells books") is another plus point, Routledge said.
"Fast-forward five years and they are in partnership. From a customer and hybrid cloud reality standpoint, that's really interesting," he said. "The [VMware-AWS] partnership won't hit the UK until later this year, but it's made them really relevant."
IBM CFO explains rationale behind recent acquisitions and sales following slight revenue rise
Is the so-called southern bias of the UK channel really as pronounced as people think? CRN data finds that 58 of the UK's top VARs are based in the north of England, with a further 16 based in Scotland
CRN's VAR 300 report maps the financial fortunes and focus areas of the UK's 300 largest resellers, MSPs and consultancies
Attendees at the annual BETT show heard of government plans for its £10m innovation fund