What VMware gains with the takeover of Mozy's cloud storage

VMware plans to leverage Mozy's data compression, synchronization, client integration, and analytic tools

VMware is taking over the operations of the Mozy cloud-based storage service from mutual parent company EMC, once again expanding its cloud offerings and further signaling its intent to be a major player as a cloud IT service provider.

At first glance, virtualization users may be a bit confused as to VMware's plans and intentions for the product line. Mozy, after all, isn't known for its ability to back up virtual machines. In fact, the Mozy product line currently has no virtualization awareness built in. Instead, the company focuses on backing up data from physical Windows and Mac clients and moving that data into the cloud.

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But if you've been following VMware these last two years, you'll know the virtualization giant has been trying to transform itself from a pure virtualization platform play into a cloud services-oriented company.

VMware and Mozy will continue to work together to achieve their short-term goals. Mozy COO Charlotte Yarkoni writes on her blog that "it has become increasingly clear that moving to VMware will allow us to take advantage of and extend the synergies we've been building between the companies. VMware and Mozy share a vision for how cloud computing will transform IT and help businesses achieve greater agility. By joining forces, we believe we can accelerate the development of offerings that businesses are looking for."

In a different blog post, VMware CTO Steve Herrod writes, "Mozy has taken the base technology that keeps you from losing your data and turned it into a scalable, fail-safe way of building out a collection of highly-automated datacenters with strong security and 24/7 operations fronted by elegant, user interfaces across many client types. This is the foundational architecture for the many cloud-based services being delivered today."

Herrod said the Mozy team would be able to help VMware continue to service its growing SMB community as they move forward into cloud computing. "It's clear that organizations of this size (with little or no IT staff) are moving even more rapidly to adopt IT services via the public cloud. We'll make sure that these customers have easy access to the Mozy back-up service as well as other related data services to come."

But more important than the short-term effects of the move, Herrod explains the longer-term value: "We believe that, by being directly engaged with the delivery of such a service, VMware will further ramp our own cloud-related learning and accelerate new IP, scale, and capabilities into the products that we provide to our customers and public cloud partners."

Herrod goes on to say Mozy's data compression, synchronization, client integration, and analytic tools will be used to extend several existing and not-yet-announced VMware products. Yarkoni adds that the two companies will "integrate longer-term development plans central to building and delivering hybrid cloud solutions."

As VMware embarks on this journey, questions abound. There is speculation that Mozy may somehow tie back into VMware's Project Horizon, the company's yet-to-be-released self-service application delivery portal for private and public clouds. Others wonder whether there will there be integration into other VMware product lines such as vSphere, View and/or vCloud Director? If so, what will it look like? And what does this move mean for existing backup software providers who are already partnered with VMware?

At the very least, VMware seems to be doing a good job of going after the low-hanging fruit. With the acquisitions of application provider SpringSource, Zimbra, WaveMaker, and now Mozy, VMware has cloud services offerings for development, email, Web applications building, and now data backup environments.

I'm sure we'll learn more about these strategies over the next few months and certainly during VMworld 2011.

This article, "What VMware gains with the takeover of Mozy's cloud storage," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.