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October 18, 2016


Dan Fisher

Interesting post and as usual I love the insights. However, I think your argument is based on a false assumption. VMware is not attempting to offer a Public Cloud platform, instead they are extending their Private Cloud platform to Public IaaS providers. Although VMware made the announcement, the real change is AWS is offering to be Hosted Private Cloud platform in addition to being a Public Cloud platform. That's big news. First IBM, now AWS. I suspect Azure is right around the corner.

Why is this significant? Well, as you've posted in the past, there is a difference between Public and Private Clouds. Chiefly, in how they are built and maintained. Both offer the three hallmarks of a cloud: self-service catalog; flexible, low maintenance infrastructure; and measures and metrics for cloud management. In Private Clouds you have to build all three. Select the infrastructure components, design and build your service catalog, program and orchestrate the services, and set up the measures and metrics to ensure all goes smoothly. You’ve also blogged that this approach is fraught with problems and pitfalls that usually leads to failure. No argument. Building a Private Cloud is not for the faint of heart.

Public Clouds are much simpler. All of the work is done for you so you just have to select the services you want and off you go. The down side is you pay more for the pre-built services.

Hosted Private Clouds are somewhere in the middle. In a Hosted Private Cloud, the infrastructure is already selected and built for you. So are the measures and metrics. That leaves just the service catalog to contend with. This is a much simpler endeavor than trying to do all of it yourself. Still not easy, but simpler.

The VMware announcement tells me one now has choice in building a Private Cloud. Through this partnership with AWS, one can extend their Private Cloud into a Hosted platform and accelerate their service catalog development. It does not invalidate the partnerships with on-premises infrastructure providers, but it does highlight their ‘commodity’ nature. I do agree with you that AWS sees a possible windfall as Private Cloud owners may not only take advantage of the their hosting services, but may migrate to full Public Cloud if the service catalog becomes unmanageable and would opt for something pre-built and tested – and are willing to pay for the privilege.

Sukh Grewal

EMC and its customers: (1) For the largest data centers that were within reach of becoming a cloud, EMC did not give them the tools they needed to grow into a real cloud (2) For the smaller data centers, it kept the VMWare faithful from making the move to the real cloud. Imagine a small town with its twenty server VMWare installation.
Another issue, at this point less impactful,has been EMC storage. EMC did not provide the efficiencies needed to compete with the cloud. They were often late with offerings, for example to counter NetApps when it began over a decade ago. The cost difference was not 10 or 20% - it was 100 and 200%.
Unfortunately, those who bought the full menu from EMC have paid the price. The idea that they will offer something on AWS may be the transition that may work for their faithful and extend the revenue stream with the believers - but it is unlikely to expand their customer base.
As a long time AWS customer (going on six years), it is difficult to imagine EMC getting anything more than crumbs from this deal. At this time AWS is firing on all cylinders and is a talent magnet to boot.
Chuck leaving EMC was more ominous than was previously believed.


No AWS SW goodness?
What is so special about providing infrastructure services with legacy VMW SW on top?


I agree that this announcement is mostly about optics, but also agree with Dans comment: VMwares Cloud strategy is not to compete with AWS for public cloud, it is to stretch their private cloud to leverage commodity hosting resources. We'll see how well they manage the services there, or if the adoption rate even supports the service.

Michael Endrizzi

Agree that there is currently a lot of smoke. Agree that VMware's NSX solution has a history of unstable releases that further invalidates their credibility to deliver. But on paper this is the solution that will enable a seamless private-to-public cloud transition because the back-end infrastructure is already in place to support the applications.

Peter Wilson

Great article, but you'd have to say Oracle isn't any better. Heck, I'd give IBM more credit with Bluemix/Softlayer and more of their products being offered up as SaaS

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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