For those of you who are not familiar with VMWare, it allows you to create a “machine within a machine”. Imagine running a Linux box as an application within Windows, where the Linux machine had its own IP address, virtual hard drive, and memory. Moving this virtual machine to another physical machine would only involve shutting it down, copying a file over, and then restarting the virtual machine on another server. This ability to abstract the BIOS and hardware layer of a computer has almost limitless possibilities.
But back to the issue at hand…DCTM currently supports VMWare deployments but if DCTM were to endorse and even favor VMWare deployments they could change the entire IT landscape. Imagine if DCTM were to pre-bundle their systems paired with a standard OS and database. For example, instead of downloading the content server setup program, a customer would download a virtual machine that was optimally tuned for their environment. Everything from the OS parameters, to the databases indexes, to the Content Server would be pre-configured at DCTM headquarters, for instant deployment at the customer site.
Documentum would be able to eliminate dependencies on any specific hardware, which would bring support and development costs for its cross-platform application down significantly. Customers would benefit from the increased stability of a well-tested platform. High availability, backup, maintenance, could all be part of the download package.
The single platform yields standardization for binaries, libraries, folder structures, and drivers which would then open up huge markets for DCTM and partners offering bolt-on services. DCTM could offer maintenance plans which would allow these machines to upgrade themselves with the latest libraries or patches. The systems would be so uniform that DCTM could even tout a “maintenance-free” mode where you could have the machine administered remotely by DCTM professional services.
I realize that it takes a change in mindset to allow an ERP to be self-contained versus leveraging the OS and database already established within an organization. But when you look at macro trends such as software-as-a-service, externally hosted applications, and the influence of VMWare upon IT deployment – it’s just a matter of time.