After 18 rather dramatic months, Broadcom's acquisition of VMware finally completed last Wednesday in the eleventh hour of a tumultuous month that saw the deal nearly close, then nearly fall apart due in some part to U.S.-China relations. In fact, if the deal hadn't closed by Nov. 26, Broadcom would've owed VMware a reported $1.5 billion termination fee.
Thank goodness the deal is done, because the limbo period since the acquisition was announced in May of 2022 has left everyone from customers and partners to employees long on questions and short on answers.
Now that it's complete, the pressing question from my perspective is: What's the future of VMware EUC and Carbon Black?
Until now, most communications from Broadcom, mainly through CEO Hock Tan, have mentioned VMware Cloud Foundation -- an architecture or platform for managing modern apps delivered from multiple clouds. This is built on VMware's data center, networking, storage and cloud businesses and doesn't really have anything to do with Carbon Black or VMware EUC, which includes all the various flavors of VMware Horizon (between two and six depending on how you count), VMware App Volumes, and VMware Workspace ONE and its broad stable of offerings.
There are many directions Broadcom could go with the two business units, but it sure feels like some sort of divestiture is in the future, especially since neither aligns with anything else Broadcom does. In fact, Tan has been quoted saying he will "review strategic alternatives" for the two business, so I think it's safe to say things will look quite different in the coming months and years.
That said, Horizon and Workspace ONE customers can probably rest assured. VMware EUC is too big and strategic to organizations to simply snuff out, so the products you use today will almost certainly be around for the foreseeable future. It's likely business as usual from the outside perspective, though the company name you write on the renewal check might change in the coming months or years.
Carbon Black, a security software company VMware acquired in 2019, is now an autonomous business unit within Broadcom, according to a blog published by VP and General Manager Jason Rolleston on Nov. 27.
This indicates that Broadcom isn't interested in folding Carbon Black into the endpoint security offerings they've got from their acquisition of Symantec in 2019, and it seems likely that it's being set up to be sold off at some point in the future. This is not a bad thing, though. Integrating Carbon Black into Broadcom's enterprise security portfolio would be a challenge, especially when it comes to enabling sellers and partners. In fact, keeping it separate and potentially selling it off could breathe new life into Carbon Black and its future.
While the acquisition of VMware by Broadcom is complete, the real work of implementing any plans created during the pre-acquisition period is just beginning; we're still going to be left with more questions than answers. The year ahead will likely be busy as we sort through the fallout from an acquisition this huge. For now, it looks as though everything will stay the course until a "strategic alternative" is identified.
Gabe Knuth is the senior end user computing analyst for TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group. He writes publicly for TechTarget in addition to his analyst work. If you'd like to reach out, see his profile on LinkedIn or send an email to [email protected].
Enterprise Strategy Group is a division of TechTarget. Its analysts have business relationships with technology vendors.