EMC lays out a ‘Pivotal’ plan

Contact: Simon Robinson, Brenon Daly

Those wondering what ex-VMware chief Paul Maritz would end up doing as head of EMC strategy now have part of an answer: he’s going to run the Pivotal Initiative, what looks like a pending spinoff that brings together a number of ‘big data’ and cloud assets that EMC and VMware have developed and acquired in recent years. This new, 1,400-person organization (600 from VMware and 800 from EMC) will be ‘formally united’ by mid-2013, though the operational structure has yet to be determined.

At the core of the move is a desire to help EMC and VMware better capitalize on the effects that cloud computing is having on the application development and big data markets, with ‘new levels of focused investment.’ The initiative is centered on EMC’s Greenplum and Pivotal Labs, VMware’s vFabric (including Spring and GemFire), Cloud Foundry and Cetas, as well as other unspecified groups. Moving these assets into a single division also will allow both EMC and VMware to focus on their core businesses.

The planned joint venture continues the ongoing shuffle of assets between the parent company and its subsidiary. Since EMC sold a minority stake of VMware to the public in mid-2007, the company has sold at least two businesses to VMware. In early 2010, EMC divested its Ionix unit, with the service management unit finding a home in vCenter. A little more than a year later, the enterprise storage giant (quietly) sold its consumer online backup business, Mozy, to VMware.

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