Hard on the heels of the VMWare/SpringSource acquisition, VMWare entered into a grand alliance with Cisco and EMC (although technically, VMWare announcing an alliance with EMC is like Buick announcing an alliance with GM).
Once the data center is fully virtualized, resilient and automated, it becomes the proverbial black box. As long as it is secure and performant, where it is located or what the hardware layer looks like is unimportant.
Any company whose value proposition is centered around feeds and speeds is going to have to scramble higher up the stack. If your target customer is hardcore data center guys, you are going to find fewer and fewer of those folks to talk to.
As customer IT shifts from hardware to solutions, vendors will have to climb higher up the value chain to keep engaged with their customers. With its Unified Computing System, network vendors like Cisco are becoming data center solution vendors. With Spring, virtualization vendors like VMWare are becoming development solution vendors.
At the top of the cloud stack is Platform as a Service (PaaS), which manages both how applications are developed and how they can be customized by end users. At WaveMaker, we see PaaS as the primary lever for delivering value from the cloud.
As IT vendors climb higher to deliver more complete solutions to their customers, PaaS will emerge as the heart of the cloud ecosystem.