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VMware's top brass Wednesday made sure its hundreds of partners gathered for the company's Partner Exchange conference understood the threat posed by public cloud provider Amazon in the software-defined data center era.
Rallying partners to make sure VMware's virtualization stronghold extends into the public cloud, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger told partners that if "a workload goes to Amazon, you lose, and we have lost forever."
"We want to own corporate workload," said Gelsinger. "We all lose if they end up in these commodity public clouds. We want to extend our franchise from the private cloud into the public cloud and uniquely enable our customers with the benefits of both. Own the corporate workload now and forever."
VMware President and COO Carl Eschenbach was even more blunt in his assessment of Amazon, whose public cloud offering -- Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) -- is being embraced by developers and even lines of business frustrated with provisioning IT services from corporate IT departments. "I look at this audience, and I look at VMware and the brand reputation we have in the enterprise, and I find it really hard to believe that we cannot collectively beat a company that sells books," said Eschenbach, drawing applause from the partners that have put VMware at the center of massive push to drive IT as a service into corporate America. "That is our challenge."
Amazon did not return a call for comment at press time.
Both Gelsinger and Eschenbach promised more innovative programs and offerings aimed at powering the growth of VMware's Service Provider Program (VSPP) partners, a business that grew 87 percent last year for VMware.
"What is really amazing -- we haven't done anything to earn that business," said Gelsinger. "All we did was change the business and the licensing model. We haven't written a new line of code to specifically enable the service providers. That is changing.
"We are going to take this very seriously to deliver the products, the technologies, and the services for our service provider customers," said Gelsinger.