VMWare just announced more details on their hybrid cloud strategy. I have to say I’m still a little surprised by all of it. On the technical front – I like it. From a business standpoint I’m still trying to figure out how this fits into a software company’s strategy.
I’m not going to go into all the technical details which are in the press release and the webcast. I will share some of the details that I found fascinating. First of all I like to think of these hybrid clouds as “colo clouds.” I call them that because VMware is renting space inside other provider’s data centers and inside their own cage they are running their own hardware and software stack. They wouldn’t share whose equipment they were running on but they did say it was enterprise grade and capable of running over 3500 applications that are certified to run on VMware.
Initially the hybrid services are delivered in two offerings – one is a dedicated service that requires an annual agreement and the other is a virtual private cloud (multi-tenant) that can be paid for on a month-to-month basis. They are also offering HA capacity for those that need it. To make all this possible they continued to enhance vCloud Connector and cloud catalog which includes an OS catalog with the major Windows and Linux choices.
Since security and audit levels are table stakes these days – the VMware hybrid cloud is SSAE 16 and ISO 27001 certified with effort already underway to become CSA Star Registry certified with other certs and audits to follow (many of these take some time to acquire). VMware will also be handling all service related calls with a typical service arrangement that is priced and tiered as you’d expect.
What I like about all this is – if you are using VMware on premises– you can now seamlessly extend your private cloud to a hybrid cloud. The differentiator will come in SLAs that match the kind of service purchased (dedicated vs multi-tenant) as well as the enterprise reference architectures. Oh – and it is being built and run by the manufacturer. If nothing else – having VMware eat their own cloud dog food should help them innovate. Economically they hope to increase their addressable market from under $20B to more than $70B. Here is where I get hung up still – this sounds like it competes with their SP partners and in my experience channel conflict doesn’t usually help companies grow. So I guess we’ll have to see how the market responds. What do you think?
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