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VMWare chief technology officer Stephen Herrod believes in a future filled with choices. And he thinks networking companies better start embracing choice, especially open-source software, or face steep consequences.

“There’s not a networking company in the world that doesn’t realize things need to change dramatically,” Herrod said on-stage today at CloudBeat 2012.

VMWare currently has its hands tied to many different projects, trying to find a way forward in software-defined networking, trying to virtualize every piece of the data center, and embracing platform-as-a-service with Cloud Foundry. Herrod cited VMWare’s acquisitions of Nicira and DynamicOps as big wins that will help them continue to innovate in the virtualization space.

Herrod is so dedicated to choice that half of VMWare’s engineers are working on open-source software and the other half are on closed-source software.

“The approach we’re taking is the one that will win in the long term,” Herrod said.

Check out the great full interview with Herrod in the video below.

Photo credit: Michael O’Donnell

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