In a recent blog and video, I speculated about whether or not Dell would enter the public cloud provider space following their acquisition of EMC. I talked about how Virtustream could serve as the foundation for an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution (via Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry), which, when combined with VCE’s private cloud converged infrastructure offerings, could make for an interesting, end-to-end enterprise class hybrid cloud solution.
EMC recently announced that a new organization would be created consisting of Virtustream and vCloud Air along with the cloud and storage managed services groups of VCE and EMC respectively. The mission of this new EMC Federation conglomerate is to “create, shape and design new enterprise-centric cloud services.”
On paper this could be an effective way for Dell and EMC to counter some of the public cloud competitive head winds that are starting to eat into their market share. The fact that AWS just posted their first quarterly profit while EMC reported a significant drop in quarterly revenues, compared to 2014’s Q3 numbers, only serves to underscore this point.
The proverbial water-cooler chatter around the tech world is that the marriage of Dell and EMC was largely necessitated by the rise of the Amazon cloud machine. While newer, digital age companies have been flocking in droves to AWS to run their business applications, traditional enterprise companies have largely maintained their most critical workloads on-premises. And herein lies the strategic beachhead that Dell and EMC must protect going forward.
Virtustream can potentially serve as the linchpin for EMC’s and, for that matter, VMware's, hybrid cloud ambitions. One of the major differentiators, and the chief reason EMC acquired Virtustream earlier this year, is the ability for Virtustream to manage business-critical enterprise workloads, like SAP HANA, across a hybrid cloud environment. Aside from security, one of the big concerns that businesses have about placing their critical workloads in the cloud is maintaining application performance consistently.
If the newly formed Virtustream organization can demonstrate the ability to help businesses ensure application quality-of-service across hybrid clouds while reducing costs, improving operational efficiencies, and enhancing business agility, it could act as the much needed counter to the Amazon juggernaut. But as it is often said, the devil is in the details. Coordinating the various organizational factions across this newly minted Federation entity to function as a cohesive whole will require the talents of an orchestral maestro. For VIrtustream CEO, Rodney Rogers, the orchestra awaits.