Yesterday ESG got to sit in on the VMware announcement of its new Hybrid Cloud Services offering. As I understand it, VMware is going to manage and run Hybrid cloud services (IaaS) that are owned by its Partners. On the surface, this allows the company that has the expertise in its own products to build and manage true VMware cloud services and in the process create a global footprint of VMware Certified IaaS clouds that can compete with Amazon, Rackspace, and Microsoft.
If you go a little deeper this has many positives but there are some negatives to this as well. Lets start with the potential positives:
· Helps accelerate VMware customer’s migration to the cloud – after all, no one knows VMware like VMware.
· Assures the enterprise's on-premises experience matches their cloud services experience.
· It provides a branded network of hyrbrid (IaaS) clouds globally that can extend their colossal reach into the enterprise datacenter.
· This unifies the offering from the desk (VDI) to the Datacenter (vCloud/vSphere) to the cloud (vCloud Hybrid Service).
· Has the potential provide Enterprise accounts a strong alternative to other platforms (AWS, Google, OpenStack, and Microsoft).
Now for the potential cons:
· VMware is not a hardware or services company. So can they meet the SLA expectations and needs of the enterprise and how will they do that?
· Is there a conflict with the Cloud Credits program (also recently announced)? It would be a shame if the cloud credits program was impacted negatively by this shift to becoming a service provider.
· Not competitively priced. Too inexpensive and it could eat into traditional sales. Too expensive and it could drive the Enterprise more quickly to other offers. How do they manage to balance their go-to-market model as they shift to subscriptions?
These are a few of the lots of questions that I think VMware customers would like to see answered. VWware has hired a strong new executive to lead the team, Bill Fathers, previously from Savvis.
I think overall this is a good move for VMware. vCloud at the various services providers, particularly at the Telco’s, has seen a fairly lackluster uptake. Timing is dead on as the OpenStack Summit is coming out and IBM just announced putting their weight behind OpenStack. What VMware has done that is smart is that they have been working with the carriers for a while. Carriers provide a unique advantage in that they provide direct connections to all the large enterprises, already handle some overages and special projects in their data centers, and have VMware capabilities.
Then there is the enterprise viewpoint in this – having a unified strategy for desktop-to-datacenter-to-cloud (D2DC2C) is important. It allows IT to manage the desktop all the way through to cloud services from one pane of glass. Microsoft has a similar capability with their System Center offering managing Windows Desktops through Windows Server 2012 to Azure. Maybe one day as Google coalesces Android, Chrome, and Google Cloud we’ll see something similar from them. Meanwhile OpenStack continues to move in the same direction – especially with IBM being all in. Now that IBM, Dell, and HP all have OpenStack clouds themselves, it makes sense that they would come up with a way to make their vast management capabilities to manage the same D2DC2C holistically. Someday this will even change to End Point-to-Datacenter-to-Cloud (EP2DC2C) but I think we’ve got a way to go before we can declare that real at this point.
For the enterprise this means that the capabilities and vendor brands become more standardized across the various eco-systems. All this talk about Hybrid Cloud eventually fades into the sunset as IT starts to think of it all as just "cloud" and how to best place and manage workloads based on SLA, Cost, and Trust.