Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Ed Featherston, Dalibor Siroky, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

How VMware Could Beat Amazon in the Cloud

Hybrid cloud will change the game

Over the last four years Archimedius has tracked the evolution of VMware from server virtualization leader to private cloud leader and the rise of Amazon as a public cloud leader.  Earlier in December I predicted the rise of the hybrid cloud in 2012, and later discussed the implications in greater detail in Top Five Cloud Predictions.  In short, I think that hybrid cloud promises to transform the way that enterprises and service providers deliver IT services, and the way that vendors develop and bring to market their products and services.

Over the next five years we will watch IT move from a feudalistic, hardware-bound model to a service and software-driven model, thanks in large part to the transformation of public and private clouds into hybrid clouds.  That will shift enterprise investment into cloud computing and shift tech market valuations from the stable and hardware-enabled to the nimble, service and software-driven. Trillions in market capitalizations are at stake, based on the timing and breadth of this transformation.

VMware as a Tech Leader
One could certainly make the case that this recent transformation started with VMware and the advent of server virtualization, unless you want to go further back to the days when IBM introduced time sharing on mainframes.  In late 2010 I speculated that VMware could be the Next Microsoft (or Netscape).

Yet 2013 promises to be a watershed year for several tech companies, from VMware, Cisco, Juniper, and Amazon to a wide range of service providers who have been traditionally viewed as niche or segment specialists.  Let's start with VMware, who perhaps fueled the march toward software and service-defined IT.

VMware has been architecting itself deeper into the enterprise data center thanks to its powerful server virtualization technology and a series of smart partnerships, acquisitions and internal development strategies that have been paying off consistently since its 2007 IPO.  Early last year VMware acquired SDN(software-defined networking) startup Nicira for more than $1 Billion. The rationale apparently offered by VMware execs to a respected analyst I dined with in November 2012: "engineering expertise."

VMware, Networking and the Cloud
I wrote about the emerging importance of networks with cloud computing in November 2008; see, for example The Beginning of the End of Static Infrastructure.  That is why I think "engineering expertise" could be a carefully crafted understatement.

Let me offer an alternative answer: I think the team at VMware understands the role that networking and services will play in the evolution of virtualization in the data center and ultimately the hybrid cloud; it may be well on its way to extend from the private cloud into the hybrid cloud just as it extended from DevTest into production data centers in recent years. Part of this challenge is the economics and constraints of hardware-bound networking (in a software-defined cloud), the other are the core services required for apps to run across multiple environments (hybrid clouds).

With Nicira VMware gets an important part of the networking functionality needed to further enhance the ROI of virtualization in the data center, based on decoupling network functionality from dedicated (and often expensive) hardware.  As mentioned before, VMware could do to networks what it did to once expensive and custom ASIC-centric server hardware.

Validating the threat and opportunity posed by software-defined data centers and networks, Cisco announced "spin-in" Insieme Networks last year and Juniper recently announced its acquisition of Contrail Systems. Both are important first steps to an equivalent of VMware's broad software-defined data center initiative, but they are still missing key components that VMware already has on board. You can read more about the software-defined threat and opportunity at Cisco's Golden Age or Fleece.  HP made an OpenFlow Announcement early in 2012, but it is clearly grappling with "bigger picture" issues.

Higher up the OSI stack are critical capabilities related to hybrid cloud apps, services and storage technologies that promise to be hot in coming years.  See the buzz, for example, around the December 2012 launch of (my employer) CloudVelocity.  In the data center and shortly in the cloud, SDN could commoditize network hardware and make clouds more cost-efficient and easier to manage. Along with SDN come new solutions in 2013 that allow apps and services to be deployed across clouds (optimized across data centers) similarly to how VMware optimized apps and operating systems across server hardware. Payoffs also include devtest in the cloud (or cloud cloning) and cloud failover.

Amazon and the Public Cloud

As VMware advanced from its virtualization technology roots into the private cloud, Amazon, led by the brilliant Dr. Werner Vogels, has leveraged its operating strengths as an online retailer to become the undisputed leader in the public cloud.  Recently it has added more features and functionality around enterprise workloads, positioning itself for broader enterprise appeal.  Perhaps Amazon's only weakness at this point is its very public obsession with public cloud, to the detriment of its potential leadership in hybrid could development.

2013: The Year of the Hybrid Cloud

The pace and breadth of hybrid cloud adoption could have a significant impact on the fortunes of Amazon and VMware as well as a host of other technology companies, as discussed in Hybrid is a Whole New Cloud. Service providers who understand the cloud could outgrow and "outmargin" those who are trapped in colocation offerings locked into traditional, hardware-bound approaches to IT.

Hybrid cloud promises to drive the adoption of new architectures, new solutions and new capabilities in 2013 as venture-backed companies and even larger tech players introduce new cloud migration, cloning and failover solutions for multi-tiers apps.  These solutions could reduce the barriers to cloud adoption by allowing apps to run across multiple environments, limiting their exposure to regional outages and even natural disasters.  With that you get the notion of a boundless data center no longer confined by specialized hardware and bricks and mortar, optimized almost continuously. See a recent tech trade press prediction: 2013 The Year of the Hybrid Cloud.

The hybrid cloud offers VMware a strategic opportunity to flank Amazon's public cloud leadership by enabling enterprises to adopt lower risk and lower cost hybrid cloud operating models; ways of operating that would give them greater control over their applications across multiple cloud providers. In the case of a cloud service provider outage an enterprise could light up their apps and services in a new zone or with another provider; they are not dependent upon a single cloud provider's ability to deliver very high uptime.

Enterprises would be well advised to work with multiple cloud service providers and/or regions within a single provider as extensions of their data centers. A core promise of the hybrid cloud idea is to get away from a single point of cloud failure, which today is challenging.

While Amazon trumpets the public cloud (and reliance upon Amazon's great pricing and expertise), VMware offers a virtualization-standardized private cloud vision with dependence upon its platform.  The question becomes: who steps up first to deliver on the hybrid cloud promise?

In 2012 Amazon also made some strategic hybrid cloud moves.  But as of December 2012 they have remained steadfast in the future of the public cloud.  2013 promises to be a watershed year for both VMware and Amazon.

In addition to Amazon and VMware a host of other companies emerge as either service providers or critical solution providers. I mentioned several potential leaders in Hybrid Cloud is a Whole New Cloud.

More Stories By Greg Ness

Gregory Ness is the VP of Marketing of Vidder and has over 30 years of experience in marketing technology, B2B and consumer products and services. Prior to Vidder, he was VP of Marketing at cloud migration pioneer CloudVelox. Before CloudVelox he held marketing leadership positions at Vantage Data Centers, Infoblox (BLOX), BlueLane Technologies (VMW), Redline Networks (JNPR), IntruVert (INTC) and ShoreTel (SHOR). He has a BA from Reed College and an MA from The University of Texas at Austin. He has spoken on virtualization, networking, security and cloud computing topics at numerous conferences including CiscoLive, Interop and Future in Review.

@CloudExpo Stories
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, provided some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacent...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Blockchain. A day doesn’t seem to go by without seeing articles and discussions about the technology. According to PwC executive Seamus Cushley, approximately $1.4B has been invested in blockchain just last year. In Gartner’s recent hype cycle for emerging technologies, blockchain is approaching the peak. It is considered by Gartner as one of the ‘Key platform-enabling technologies to track.’ While there is a lot of ‘hype vs reality’ discussions going on, there is no arguing that blockchain is b...
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
The need for greater agility and scalability necessitated the digital transformation in the form of following equation: monolithic to microservices to serverless architecture (FaaS). To keep up with the cut-throat competition, the organisations need to update their technology stack to make software development their differentiating factor. Thus microservices architecture emerged as a potential method to provide development teams with greater flexibility and other advantages, such as the abili...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
The use of containers by developers -- and now increasingly IT operators -- has grown from infatuation to deep and abiding love. But as with any long-term affair, the honeymoon soon leads to needing to live well together ... and maybe even getting some relationship help along the way. And so it goes with container orchestration and automation solutions, which are rapidly emerging as the means to maintain the bliss between rapid container adoption and broad container use among multiple cloud host...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
"Since we launched LinuxONE we learned a lot from our customers. More than anything what they responded to were some very unique security capabilities that we have," explained Mark Figley, Director of LinuxONE Offerings at IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.