VMware sells software that lets customers run different operating systems, or several versions of the same operating system, on a single computer. The use of these so-called virtual machines has been common on mainframes for many years. VMware's software is used on lower-cost machines powered by chips from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Virtualization takes computing resources on different servers and storage capacity on various storage systems and makes them appear to be a single pool of resources that can be allocated as needed.
It's now easier to reach servers, Gahagan says.
Analysts had mixed reactions. "Legato gave them a lot of server functionality already," says Yankee Group analyst Stephanie Balaouras. "VMware appears redundant." But Steve Kenniston, an analyst at the Enterprise Storage Group, says the deal will help EMC compete. Now that there's a big company behind VMware, it may grab "customers that wouldn't buy from a small vendor."