“Oh, I’m not coming to VMworld this year, we are at Jenkins instead.” This is a sentence I’ve heard quite a few times now from vendors that I’m used to seeing at VMworld and it makes me wonder what’s going on.

VMware, in harmony with Dell EMC, have spent all year communicating how important DevOps, APIs and containers are to them. They even acquired a DevOps centric Analytics firm –WaveFront– to further add to their story. And then of course they announced their VMware Developer Ready Infrastructure and, through Pivotal, spearheaded the Kubo container management framework. Too little too late?

Remember during the OpenStack heyday when allegedly everyone was going to move away from vSphere in favor of this incredibly interoperable, open and infinitely scalable cloud platform? This never happened and VMware just announced pretty good quarterly results while OpenStack has drifted into obscurity.

This is not to suggest that Docker and Kubernetes will drift into obscurity any time soon, but let’s exactly watch what’s going on during this year’s VMworld 2017. The company cannot afford to fumble their container strategy, but on the other side, container companies like Docker and RedHat are also still figuring out how to actually get paid for container management. And enterprise customers are figuring out how to run containers in production at scale.