VMware Containers? Patents Speak Volumes Sometimes
VMware is the holder of many patents as you can imagine. One that stood out recently among the many that are pending was one that touts the capability to perform virtual machine software upgrades using virtual disk swapping.
Is this the Docker alternative for VMware?
I found it interesting to read from The Register about the patent find. One thing that I did differ a little bit on the thought is that this may be less of a play against Docker, and more of a play against other vendors such as RES who use a similar method to deliver their layered delivery of application environments for VDI.
It could be a logical extension to linked-clone deployments which are driving massive efficiency with VDI. By extending the reach of linked-clone style upgrade capability to server and vApp environments, we would be looking at a strong reason to invest even further in VMware infrastructure potentially.
One thing that we do know is that Docker is the current darling of the industry and this is with good reason. The method by which it operates is a fundamental and formidable shift in infrastructure deployment.
The true cross-platform nature of the Docker container delivery is what differentiates it from what is being talked about within the VMware patent filing. This is clearly a VMware tool to run against VMware technology. That being said, many organizations are perfectly happy with broadening their VMware toolkit.
Patents Tell a Story, But Don’t Tell Time
One thing to be wary of when we look at patent filings to derive the direction of a company is that this may be a very early preview of something that may not hit production data centers for years to come.
While innovation is speeding up and Moore’s Law is seemingly a thing of the past, we also know that companies like VMware are chasing multiple streams of development all the time. Not every project makes it to the beta stage or beyond.
If you speak to the engineers today about products launching out of beta, you will see the long tail of development that has been around for 3-5 years. VMware does have some interesting patents in general that are filed and one thing that is for certain is that they will be keeping an aggressive tactic to stay ahead of their competitors.
What About Marvin?
Remember when we talked about Marvin recently? This is exactly the kind of hype that can be created from sifting through patents. While we saw leaked information that talked about a Summer 2014 release, there has been no further detail on the project.
As VMworld in San Francisco approaches, there will inevitably be a lot of speculation and prediction, along with some genuine releases. It’s a fun time to be in IT for VMware administrators and architects. We look forward to seeing continued innovation.