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VMware last month launched a free 90-day trial of the Hybrid Cloud Evaluation but ran into account provisioning delays due to high demand. Despite the glitches, VMware needs a horse in the public cloud race as it works on its Hybrid Cloud Service, one partner told CRN.
"If VMware shuts down Zephyr, they won't have a place in public cloud, and that would lead to a perception that they are behind," said the source, who requested anonymity because he's not allowed to comment on confidential VMware projects. "With the Hybrid Cloud Evaluation, VMware is showing they have the capability to compete and build an audience."
VMware is also working on vCloud Hybrid Service, an offering slated to arrive in the second quarter that extends its on-premise management, orchestration, networking and security model to the public cloud. VMware says vCloud Hybrid Service and the Hybrid Cloud Evaluation are two different projects, though both are clearly aimed at giving the vendor a larger presence in the public cloud IaaS market.
Maritz often talks about taking calculated risks to establish a foothold in an emerging market, but Project Zephyr looks like a classic case of VMware playing catch-up. As CEO of the Pivotal Initiative, Maritz's goals are very different and much more future-looking.
Maritz is now looking to build an open cloud platform for big data and other emerging applications, which will sit on top of IaaS offerings like Project Zephyr and others.
So even if Maritz did remember Project Zephyr, he probably wouldn't have any spare cycles to spend thinking about it. "We think of infrastructure-as-a-service as the new hardware," he told CRN in the recent interview. "If infrastructure-as-a-service is the new hardware, we are the new OS on top of it."