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VMware database management bolsters vCloud Air

VMware continues its hybrid cloud push with the acquisition of Continuent, a provider of database replication and clustering.

Acquisition-hungry VMware continues to gobble up companies in an effort to feed its hybrid cloud and serve database management capabilities to enterprises of all sizes.

The company acquired Continuent for an undisclosed amount, and the San Jose, Calif.-based team will join VMware's hybrid cloud business unit. Continuent Tungsten, the company's central offering, will remain infrastructure-agnostic, though the technology will be integrated with vCloud Air, according to VMware.

Tungsten offers MySQL clustering and replication, including high availability and disaster recovery. It also works with data management systems such as Hadoop, Oracle and Amazon Redshift for transaction processing and analytics.

VMware has been building its portfolio through internal improvements and the acquisitions of SpringSource, CloudVolumes, AirWatch, Nicira, Log Insight, SlideRocket and others. This deal gives VMware high availability and disaster recovery capabilities it needs if it wants to be seen as offering a leading enterprise data management platform, said Carl Olofson, analyst for IDC, based in Framingham, Mass.

"It makes the overall offering a more mature, enterprise-ready product," Olofson said.

The addition of explicit support for database HADR clustering complements VMware’s efforts around management and deployment of its public, private and hybrid cloud products, Olofson said. It should fit well with vCenter and disaster recovery, and could feasibly be used to augment sister company Pivotal’s GemFire and SQLFire.

While the move could bolster vCloud Air, Tungsten doesn't have to be deployed in the cloud if the appropriate pieces are on-premises. These capabilities are typically only affordable for large enterprises, but Continuent offers a product intended to make them more broadly available and affordable, Olofson said.

Representatives for VMware and Continuent weren't made available to discuss the deal, but in a blog post Ajay Patel, VMware vice president of application as a service, noted that Continuent's customer base handles billions of transactions daily across a range of industries.

They appear to have the first story to tell around a very targeted hybrid approach to data management.
Nick HeudeckerGartner analyst

"These new VMware services and product capabilities will enhance our customers' ability to provide high availability, scale, and reliability for their relational databases and dependent applications," Patel wrote.

Continuent is expected to put greater focus on portability across on-premises data centers and public and private clouds, while VMware is considering integrating the technology into its Software-Defined Data Center products, according to statements from the companies.

Replication is needed in more than just relational databases, including NoSQL software like MongoDB and Hadoop, said Nick Heudecker, an analyst with Gartner, Inc., based in Stamford, Conn. As data resides in more places, services like Continuent are important.

"VMware is taking their cloud offering seriously; by purchasing Continuity they're making a clear commitment to being able to deploy on hybrid cloud from a data perspective, and that’s something that not a lot of vendors have really done yet," Heudecker said.

Before this deal Continuent was one of the largest remaining independent vendors in the sector, but it lacked the exposure of market leader Informatica Corp., and its focus on replicating open source database management systems like MySQL limited its customer base, Heudecker said.

VMware wants to provide management for data through an entire lifecycle, from the transactional to the analytical, Heudecker said. VMware still needs to add data warehousing options -- something that could come from its partnership with Pivotal.

"They appear to have the first story to tell around a very targeted hybrid approach to data management," Heudecker said. "Other vendors will round out their story later on, but for now VMware sees this as its advantage and I suspect moves to round out their offerings will continue."

Trevor Jones is the news writer for SearchCloudComputing. You can reach him at

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