On Monday, VMware capped a news-heavy month with the unveiling of Project Pacific, a push to turn the company's virtualization tool into a Kubernetes-native platform.
The coming update, coupled with the acquisition of software development platform Pivotal and a bevy of other acquisitions announced this year, shapes a second act for the company, one where it hopes to solidify its market longevity in a multicloud environment.
Speaking from the floor of the VMworld Conference on Tuesday, Faction CTO Matt Wallace, described excitement among attendees at the San Francisco summit, as VMware projects itself as a different company than just a few years back.
"In past years people weren't anywhere near as excited," Wallace said in an interview with CIO Dive. "They couldn't see the connection between the past and the future, and now they do."
But excitement among a community alone can't guarantee longevity in the tech industry. In-demand products have to be part of the equation, and that's where VMware hopes Project Pacific can come in.
Part of a broader set of products called VMware Tanzu, Project Pacific will help VMware customers shift to modern application design, said Raghu Raghuram, chief operating officer, products and cloud services at VMware in the announcement.
According to Wallace, this update gives developers an easier way to transition projects into partial or total containers, Wallace said. Essentially, they'll be able to run their vSphere applications in a Kubernetes-compatible environment.
"It speaks to [VMware's] any cloud, any device strategy," Wallace said. "The vision seems spot on and they're erasing any of the headache of going back and forth."
Tech updates and heightened M&A activity from VMware are part of its response to an infrastructure as a service market dominated by hyperscale providers Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
In this market, it seeks to garner interest from enterprise customers and application builders.
"What the market is looking for is tech providers that are relevant to app developers," said Glenn O'Donnell, VP and research director at Forrester. "A company like VMware and its mother company Dell Technologies are important but application developers don't see any relevance in there because they don't have products that fit their world."
The Pivotal acquisition, O'Donnell says, seeks to change that by delivering interest and more brand recognition to VMware.
In turn, the $2.1 billion deal to acquire cybersecurity firm Carbon Black lets VMware boost its on-board security offering with an endpoint protection platform.
"Baking the security in," instead of bolting it on, represents an impactful move, according to O'Donnell.
A half dozen other acquisition deals struck this year add to VMware's portfolio. From remote IT support platform AetherPal to multi-cloud app delivery service Avi Networks or deep learning engine Uhana, VMware's acquisition appetite hasn't let up.
Massive growth from hyperscalers has led other vendors to partner with companies including Google and Microsoft or come up with new products that satisfy market needs.
In shaping its strategy for the future, VMware is trying its hand at both.
"We're in the midst of a big M&A wave driven by hyperscale providers, who are creating this vacuum of capability to compete with them," said Craig Lowery, VP of research at Gartner.
This market trend leaves more legacy providers like IBM, HPE and VMware the option of picking up as much intellectual property as they can or delivering something new to the market, Lowery said.
With it's multicloud strategy already underway, Project Pacific is a sign of the path VMware is following when it comes to introducing products to the market.
"I think it will make more people be VMware fans in the next generation," Wallace said. "They're becoming a layer that gives you fluidity, and could really entrench them as a go-to platform going forward."