Broadcom’s chips, along with VMware software, could act as the bridge between applications in data centers and the cloud. Wall Street and industry analysts didn’t jump with joy at the imminent deal. Sometimes companies do stupid stuff; this seems to be the consensus. However, this deal could change your mind. Broadcom’s may be responding in some way to the fundamental changes in the industry in both networking and computing. While the cloud has many benefits, one of the most important is being overlooked. It gives applications identity. App front-ends allow customers, partners, and workers to customize their information. We now think about application orchestration and hosting. The data center used to be the focal point, the resource responsible for everything. I would argue that virtualization has brought us back to our original focus–the applications that help businesses.
Hybrid Cloud: The front end
IBM has proven that the cloud does not encompass all computing. They aren’t following the latest tech trends. One reason is their unwavering focus on hybrid-cloud, which uses the cloud for the front-end user interface to legacy programs that are still in the data center and interact with the critical corporate data stored in it. Hybrid clouds require access to the cloud as a network function, but also connections within the same data center. It is an agent of change within the data center network.
Enterprises often create their own data center networks. The data center network is the crucial link in hybrid clouds. It’s what connects the front-end and the back-end of applications, which are the most mission-critical ones a company has. The portal that controls hybrid-cloud orchestration, the link between cloud/data center, is the one that all data must follow. All of this is connected to the data-center network.
The shift away from building an enterprise WAN means that the data-center network will be the only true network. This is the network trend. It’s where capital equipment and operations are purchased. The hybrid cloud is also anchored here, in (you guessed!). applications. The data center’s network and the data center are its linchpins. Broadcom’s switches chips are already dominant in white-box data-centre and Switching Network switching. Now they want the connection for applications, which means VMware. Broadcom’s combination of chips that make up the data-center network foundation and software that makes the application platform gives them a solid position in the one technology area where the hybrid cloud is possible. The cloud is, however, the second point.
Let’s assume that this is the case. Assume that the cloud will be the future of IT. However, suppose that IBM is correct and that the hybrid cloud will be the most important type of cloud. The data center, its platforms, and applications are therefore more important than ever. Perhaps they are more important than the “cloud” part of the hybrid cloud. All the media attention, all developer interest, all the media attention has gone to the cloud part, leaving the data center looking like a nerd at the dance. Nature hates vacuums, but all the interest and attention that went to the data center seems to have made one. This is an ideal time to create a strong data-center strategy, with everyone else focusing elsewhere.
Most mission-critical applications and data remain in the data center. CXOs at enterprise companies tell me that this will not change, if ever. They claim that cloud-centricity is due to a combination of media attention, no new material, and the fact the new development and planning of technology is focused on the new part, which is the hybrid cloud. The most important is the way that the cloud hybridizes. At some point, the cloud will become commonplace. The media will shift to quantum computing, neutrino computation, or something else equally exotic. As the data center is still there, the applications and data that anchor hybrid cloud data will be preserved.
Let’s continue with the supposed game. Let’s say that this is what IBM discovered. Let’s say that the cloud providers have also figured this out. The cloud providers may need to have a common platform technology to run applications in both the cloud and the data center. This is why they are all working to expand their platform technology to the data center. VMware has the platform tools necessary to combat this. Data-centre networking could be the second critical piece. Broadcom chips may be the answer. Broadcom can close the loop with a single acquisition.
The history of computing in data centers dates back to 1970. We have seen transformation after transformation in our data centers, computing has shrunk to the size of a watch, virtualization has taken over, and yet, data centers still exist. Do you remember when personal computing or distributed computing was supposed to eradicate them? They’re still there, and they’re still crucial, and the data center network is equally important. While a VMware acquisition won’t ensure Broadcom’s success in this field, it will give the company a boost. I remember as a boy reading about a guy who used to fish in the junk bond. When confronted, the lad told a complex story that justified his decision. This got down to the fact that the pond could be a gateway to huge fishing opportunities. It is possible to stretch the boundaries of possibility. The story ends before the problem of the fish is solved. Broadcom may be seeing possibilities but not real opportunities, as the boy did, but that is just an opinion. Let’s say they are correct.