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Why VMware's vCloud Approach Is Ahead of the Curve

VMware cloud computing rumors have been in play for a while now given the company's major data center construction efforts in Washington State. (In a few years, will license plates there have a tagline that reads "The Data Center State"?) At VMworld I had a chance to speak with Wendy Perilli, Director of Product Management for Emerging Business, about this. I asked her outright if the company had any plans to go down the path of providing services out of that facility. The outright answer was no. Fair enough, I would have been surprised to hear otherwise since doing so would be a radical change in business model best left for another time in the company's development.

Wendy also provided some interesting color on the vCloud initiative that Paul Maritz spoke about extensively in his keynote. VMware's strategy is basically an integrated, two-pronged approach. With VDC-OS, they will work towards the somewhat elusive but worthy goal of building the next generation data center or NGDC as I like to call it. This will be a fully virtualized entity including transparency between compute, networking, and storage resource pools as editor Keith Ward explained in his blog.

But it doesn't stop there. VMware already has a large number of customers that currently have some sort of cloud-based offering. SunGard, BT, and Savvis are top of mind examples. The plan is that VMware will work with these "partners" (the company's terminology) to do joint marketing and customer education.

Which customers you ask? Simple: any customer or potential customer that might want to buy a VMware solution set for their own enterprise (or "Internal Cloud," again using VMware’s terminology) and at the same time might also sign on to one of these VMware partners for external cloud services.

Here's the payoff: in this scenario, the value add that a customer would get is an internal cloud that's integrated and interoperable to varying degrees with the external cloud provider of choice. Sounds like a great strategy to me (courtesy no doubt of Paul Maritz who, keep in mind, was formerly President of EMC's Cloud Infrastructure and Services Division) and a strong differentiator from competitors.

I'd love to know what you think of the company's new strategy. Post here or send me an e-mail at tvalovic@1105media.com.

Posted by Tom Valovic on 09/22/2008 at 12:49 PM


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