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Who VMware Should Fear in the IaaS Public Cloud (It's Not Amazon)

Amazon is not the only IaaS Public Cloud that VMware should be worried about!

I am sure by now you have all heard the controversy around VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger's comments at the company's recent Partner Exchange. To paraphrase, he cautioned partners that any workloads on Amazon public cloud are lost forever and that no one wins in that situation, not VMware and certainly not its partners.

Some think his comments are short-sighted and unjustified. VMware does not have a public cloud offering, so how can it fault Amazon for having a service that his company doesn't and verbally attack them so blatantly? In any case, I'm one of those who believe his attacks are short-sighted and here's why: VMware see Amazon Web Services as an enterprise IaaS threat, but it is neglecting the fact that Google will most likely launch its version of an IaaS probably right around the same time as VMware Public Cloud.

Google's Compute Engine is currently in beta testing or limited preview and does not support Windows workloads, which is completely unacceptable if Google aims to satisfy consumer or enterprise workloads. However, the consensus is that Google will get it right by launch date and many analysts believe that the public cloud will then come down to Amazon vs. Google.

I don't share that analysis and believe the public cloud is a very crowded space with backing of organizations with deep pockets. IBM, Microsoft, Rackspace, AT&T, Verizon, and Savvis are just a few of the companies that will most certainly carve a piece of the public cloud service for their own.

As such, VMware entering this market is not going to be easy. Google owns fiber-optic networks while VMware, Amazon and others will all rely on ISPs, thereby significantly affecting performance and SLAs among other things. All that being said, VMware does have an advantage. If they can properly demonstrate the capabilities of vCloud in the public cloud and and can demonstrate to enterprises what they should expect their private cloud deployments to look like, VMware would be uniquely positioned to win on both sides of the spectrum. Enabling the hybrid cloud would be the culmination of its efforts.

VMware vCloud has to evolve more into a services model that focuses on the delivery of a service rather than the current dominant focus on infrastructure. Don't get me wrong -- vApps and other enabling technologies are effective but they have to be further expanded and empowered.

Finally, I think VMware's decision to move into the public cloud is a spot-on move. It remains to be seen how well they will execute on it and how well they will enhance the vCloud suite to be able to convince enterprises that it is the right choice in the cloud era.

What are your thoughts on VMware entering the public cloud IaaS arena? Comment here.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 03/18/2013 at 1:37 PM


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