Since the term “vCloud” was made public at VMworld 2008 in Las Vegas, VMware has been working hard to define and implement its vCloud vision and strategies.
In 2009, VMware announced vCloudExpress with service provider partners such as Terremark. VMware also submitted its vCloud API spec to DMTF so that the industry could benefit from the standardized management of APIs. VMware also acquired SpringSource in 2009. The acquisition attracted a lot of attention, scrutiny and questions.
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Earlier this year VMware acquired Zimbra, the leading provider of SaaS collaboration software, and subsequently it also bought RabbitMQ. Both are now part of the VMware SpringSource portfolio. Last week, VMware and Saleforce.com announced vmforce.com which is a joint venture targeting enterprise PaaS cloud. Yesterday VMware announced acquisition of GemStone (pending).
With these acquisitions and announcements, the company’s strategy is clearer than ever. Looking back again, VMware has been building a cloud product and service portfolio under the vCloud umbrella. Some previously misunderstood acquisitions become well aligned in the vision and strategies of vCloud.
vCloud is not the only player in the industry but VMware is well on its way. Given its deep roots in enterprise data center virtualization, no one can ignore the potential of VMware in cloud computing.
To help enterprises better understand vCloud, I offer ten things you should know:
- vCloud is VMware’s vision of cloud computing. As the virtualization leader, VMware has its own vision of cloud computing. Unlike Amazon and other players, it focuses on both private and public clouds. It also enables partners to provide public cloud services.
- vCloud is about simplifying IT with services. With the cloud as architecture, enterprises can build better infrastructure in provisioning applications in a faster and easier way. vCloud is more than cost saving, which is the immediate benefit customers can see. More importantly, enterprises can achieve agility of IT infrastructure that help grow core businesses.
- vCloud is a journey. It enables customers to implement cloud computing in an evolutionary fashion, thus protect existing investment and facilitate smooth transition to the cloud. Check out my previous blog on the 3 phases of cloud computing.
- vCloud is a mixture of products and services. While VMware is building a rich product portfolio, it actively seeks partnerships with service providers. That way enterprises can implement an internal cloud with VMware products, or use services provided by VMware partners. The interoperability between the public and internal cloud is expected because vCloud is an open platform.
- vCloud is a full stack offering. With its deep root in enterprises, VMware has a unique position in cloud computing with a bottom up approach: from IaaS all the way to SaaS. With acquisitions and internal R&D, VMware is maturing into a provider of higher level software stacks (with SpringSource, RabbitMQ, Zimbra, and possible future acquisitions). Enterprises and service provider can rely on VMware to provide one stop solution for cloud computing.
- vCloud is based on open standards. The API spec has been submitted to the DMTF and is on its way to possibly becoming an industry standard. VMware will also ship products that implement the APIs.
- vCloud is an open platform. Enterprises can not only move workloads into the public clouds, but also move them back to on premise or switch them from one provider to another. With this openness, enterprises will have ultimate flexibility and freedom to leverage both internal and external resources.
- vCloud is built on top of the industry’s best hypervisor. While vCloud is not exclusive on the lower level of platforms, the majority of the services and products will be backed up by the best hypervisor and cloud OS: vSphere. You can expect a higher quality of service from vCloud than from other providers because the quality of higher level software depends on that of the lower level software.
- vCloud is probably the only player in town which helps enterprise build private clouds today. With open standards, VMware allows customers to leverage public clouds as well. For customers who want a revolutionary technology but through an evolutionary experience (most of us do), vCloud is the best choice.
- vCloud is evolving over the time. It’s not static but evolves from time to time with feedbacks from customers, partners and competitors. The product portfolio will be richer, and the service will be better. In that sense, it’s a journey for VMware as well.