And whomp, here it is: The Pivotal Initiative brought to you by VMware and EMC

At long last here it is: The long-simmering  VMware-EMC spin-off that is. The Pivotal Initiative will focus on bringing resources from the two parent companies to bear on big data and cloud application platforms, according to a statement from the companies

The effort, to be led by Paul Maritz, who was the former VMware CEO and then transitioned in the fall to EMC’s chief strategy officer, will be formalized by the second quarter of next year.  Although not mentioned here, former Pivotal Labs CEO Rob Mee is expected to play a key role as well. The spin out will include technology and people from:

  • EMC’s Greenplum data analytics group
  • Pivotal Labs agile development
  • Cetas analytics services
  • VMware’s vFabric (including Springsource Java frameworks and GemFire data caching
  • VMware’s Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service

As GigaOM has reported, this move will allow the semi-independent organization to focus on the cloud application stack — using Spring, Gemfire etc. and will leave VMware, now under CEO Pat Gelsinger, to concentrate on its core server virtuaization business — which is profitable but is also seeing increased competition from Microsoft(s msft) Hyper-V, and Xen and KVM open sourcerivals.  And the spinoff will also bring EMC, a legacy storage hardware maker, more credibility in the booming big data and cloud space.

There are lots of questions still. It’s not clear where other “non-core” VMware businesses like Zimbra and Socialcast end up, for example. So, stay tuned.