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VMware Is Betting Data Center Technology’s Future Involves Google-Created Software

Data center technology company VMware is tying its core product more closely with a buzzy Google-created technology used by business customers.

VMware said Monday that future versions of its vSphere product, used by companies to manage their data centers, would come embedded with Google’s free, open source Kubernetes software. Kubernetes has become a popular tool for companies for building and running apps using containers, a trendy technology that helps power sophisticated apps.

A company spokesperson declined to disclose the exact timing of when the future versions of vSphere would be ready.

Additionally, VMware is debuting a new product suite, VMware Tanzu and Project Pacific, for companies that want to use Kubernetes to build apps that can run in both internal data centers and cloud computing services like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

The new products underscore the rising popularity of Kubernetes, which was modeled after Google’s internal Borg software for managing its vast data centers. Since Google debuted Kubernetes in 2014, several big enterprise companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Cisco, have all pledged support for it and have created their own paid-versions of the software.

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger acknowledged in an interview with Fortune the growing role of Kubernetes in the IT industry, comparing it to previous market-changing technologies like the Java programming language and virtualization technology.

One of Kubernetes’ benefits, Gelsinger said, is that it lets companies run their corporate apps across multiple cloud services instead of just one vendor. Other companies like IBM, Cisco, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which have declining hardware businesses because of the rise of cloud computing, have also echoed Gelsinger’s sentiments about the benefits of Kubernetes.

Technology analysts have also pointed to the rise of Kubernetes as hurting previously hot enterprise tech startups like Docker, D2IQ (formerly Mesosphere), and Pivotal, which VMware is acquiring for $2.7 billion. These companies have all had to tweak their technologies because of Kubernetes' rise or risk failure.

“If you don’t get in front of these waves of transition, you’re driftwood,” Gelsinger said.  “You’ve got to get on the right portion of the wave and have that energy pull you forward.

VMware, although an independent company, is part of the network of businesses associated with Dell Technologies via its $67 billion purchase of EMC in 2016. The company detailed the new products during its annual VMworld event in San Francisco.