It's early on in the adoption of SDN technologies though, which Forrester analyst James Staten says will limit the importance of that being a market differentiator for VMware. "NSX definitely has the potential to be a major differentiator," he says, but Microsoft and Amazon have advanced networking capabilities as well, so it will be important for VMware to prove the value of this functionality in a public cloud setting.
The overall message from VMware is that it is attempting to diversify beyond its strength in the compute virtualization market and be a platform that can handle both existing workloads and new ones that enterprise IT shops explore. Chen doesn't expect many customers to go all-in with one vendor and one cloud though. It will be a multi-cloud world for the foreseeable future where customers go with a best of breed technology. VMware will therefore not capture all of the workloads that are going to the cloud. But, Chen says VMware is increasingly making it harder to not consider the company seriously among the top players in the cloud industry.