On Tuesday VMware announced their answer to the public cloud: the vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS). One of the biggest hurdles for the roughly 500,000 VMware customers has been that their on-premise, private infrastructure isn’t directly interoperable with any sizable public clouds, like Amazon AWS or RackSpace. If you want to move towards a public or hybrid cloud model you need to add additional software, like Enstratius’ offerings or VMware’s own vCloud Automation Center.
The Pivotal Initiative is is a bold bet to reinvent how applications are built and upon what platforms they run. While VMware has revolutionized data center operations, and public cloud vendors like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and the OpenStack cabal have revolutionized Infrastructure as a Service upon demand, the future of how applications are built, deployed and managed in production remains unresolved. Maritz and Pivotal are putting a bold stake in the ground as to one way that this will turn out. The value that the IT industry brings to the business hangs in the outcome of this battle.
Cloud Computing ...
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Acquiring DynamicOps has kick-started VMware into a heterogeneous virtualization management strategy. This will be demonstrated in detail at VMworld this Fall. We now face a dramatically different virtualization landscape. The focus has now shifted to management – of business critical applications running on multiple virtualization platforms and potentially distributed across internal data centers and public clouds.
VMware is already the most important, and with vSphere the best systems software vendor on the planet. This is true not only based upon the current success of the vSphere platform, but the quality of the long term strategies in place for vFabric, vCloud, and vCenter. With vSphere 5, VMware can ill afford distractions that detract from the momentum of the attack upon the remaining 60% that is not virtualized. The strategic investments in vFabric, vCloud, and vCenter then call into question of viability of having a desktop virtualization business (View) that is today in product and tomorrow in vision a minor subset of what Citrix is delivering and articulating.
As mentioned in my previous piece I’ve been doing some prototyping using SpringSource’s Grails. Grails can be thought of as the top of the stack. If you pick up Grails you would naturally pull in the other pieces of SpringSource, including vFabric and ultimately vFoundry. In a future post I will deal with what happens when you stick Grails onto vFoundry, but at this stage I’ve been assessing the health of the SpringSource Ecosystem.
Cloud Computing ...
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Over the last few weeks, VMware (as we indicated in an earlier post) and Red Hat have initiated two very similar initiatives known respectively as CloudFoundry and OpenShift. These are Platform as a Service (PaaS) plays, being developed for the longer term, primarily looking to encourage the development of (and thereafter to provide infrastructure for) applications specificallysuited to the the cloud. In this article we compare and contrast the two offerings and discuss their significance for the PaaS market as a whole.
Todd Nielsen has already succeeded twice at what he is now being asked to do at VMware – once at Microsoft and once at BEA. This time what hangs in the wind is VMware’s ultimate destiny. Will VMware be the device driver to the dynamic data center (vSphere), or will VMware be that and the next generation application platform for IT as a Service and Public Cloud based applications?
Open Source continues to be an important part of the mix in Virtualization and Cloud. Indeed, this year has seen major developments in established players at the Operating System and Hypervisor level, as well as a major new cloud entry at the IaaS cloud layer.