Channel investors, Content, Endpoint/Device Security

VMware Owns Carbon Black: What’s Next for MSSPs?

Credit: WMware

VMware has completed its $2.1 billion buyout of Carbon Black and launched a Security Business Unit. The deal has endpoint security implications for MSPs as well as managed security services providers (MSSPs) worldwide.

Indeed, Carbon Black supported a growing base of MSSPs ahead of the deal. As of mid-2018, partners influenced more than 90 percent of Carbon Black's sales. By mid-2019, MSSPs were influencing some of Carbon Black's largest customer wins. As of the deal close, Carbon Black had more than 5,600 global customers supported by more than 500 MSSPs, VARs, distributors and technology integrators.

Meanwhile, VMware has spent recent years striving to help hosting providers and VARs to transform into MSPs. More recently, VMware parent Dell has invested in the MSP market. And a key VMware partner called HyAlto is helping MSPs to monetize cloud-based services.

Admittedly, there are clear differences between traditional MSPs and cyber-centric MSSPs. But it's a safe bet VMware and Carbon Black will promote multi-tenant cloud management and cybersecurity services to both audiences.

VMware Launches Security Business Unit

With the close of the Carbon Black acquisition, VMware is launching a new Security Business Unit within the company. Carbon Black CEO Patrick Morley shifts to general manager of the new group reporting to Sanjay Poonen, chief operating officer, Customer Operations, VMware. Carbon Black will form the nucleus of VMware’s Security offering, the company says.

Carbon Black CEO Patrick Morley shifts to GM,
Patrick Morley, GM, VMware Security Business Unit
VMware Sanjay Poonen

In a prepared statement, Poonen asserted:

“Carbon Black brings us an industry-leading endpoint and workload security platform, with a cloud-native architecture, an AI-powered data lake and a smart, lightweight agent. The Carbon Black platform, along with VMware NSX, VMware Workspace ONE, VMware Secure State and our future innovations, will deliver a highly-differentiated intrinsic security platform across network, endpoint, workload, identity, cloud and analytics. We believe this will bring a fundamentally new paradigm to the security industry.”

Added Morley:

“From the beginning, Carbon Black has been all about collecting and analyzing key endpoint data to understand attacker behaviors, and help make our customers more resilient against advanced cyberattacks. Joining VMware helps us reach a broader range of organizations, and enables us to build security into the underlying fabric of the compute stack. We are thrilled to join forces as we further our vision of creating a world safe from cyberattacks and see and stop modern attacks.”

Although VMware and Carbon Black are a powerful combination on paper, the company will likely face fierce competition from recent M&A rivals (such as BlackBerry Cylance) along with a lengthy list of independent, next-generation cybersecurity firms.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.