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Moreover, does it make sense for a VAR to invest in a tool that only supports one platform such as VMware? Consuming services from multiple sources will be the best value in cloud as long as you can manage multiple clouds. VMware can't address this space from a price vs. value perspective and is having a hard time justifying the cost to pull out the tools and operationalize the integration between multiple systems.
This week's VMware announcement of its vCloud Hybrid Service, the company's much anticipated and not-so-secret foray into public IaaS, only further illustrates that VMware doesn't have a plan to support multiple vendors.
The vCloud suite was meant to be VMware's answer to infrastructure VARs, to help keep them relevant. VMware still has not delivered on this product, and even worse, due to its early decision not to support other platforms, the company is now penalizing the market that needs its help the most -- small and midsize businesses. The SMB, in most instances, can't afford most cloud management tools, and the vCloud suite could enable amazing value if it was priced right for this market.
Aside from the management implications, there's more to take away from Gelsinger's comment about AWS. While companies may not yet be adopting public cloud to host all solutions, the use of public clouds to create new applications based on relevant technologies is critical to the long-term success and adoption of cloud services and design capabilities. Once those applications are developed, they are generally brought internally to consume an internal cloud or sent externally to a private cloud solution from a provider with the appropriate SLA to support the new applications and replace the legacy application running on VMware-hosted legacy operating systems.
In a blog post, Lydia Leong, a research vice president at Gartner, explained this cloud ecosystem. "In the VMware world, you move your data center (with its legacy applications) into the modern era with virtualization, and then you build a private cloud on top of that virtualized infrastructure. ... In the Amazon world, you build and launch new applications directly onto cloud IaaS. Then, as you get to scale and a significant amount of steady-state capacity, you pull workloads back into your own data center, where you have Amazon API-compatible infrastructure," she wrote.
For the solution provider partner, the key is adding value and services that support both the VMware-centric customer and the customer that is developing applications to consume public cloud resources. Ultimately, the VARs' goal is to be able to support any new platform that is released for their customers. Partnering with Amazon, VMware, Rackspace, AT&T and others is required today. You must have a platform that can support your customer anywhere, no matter where the workloads end up running, and VMware can't do that today. Make sure you choose your platform carefully.
John Ross is an IT consultant building new service offerings for channel-focused customers and partners. John holds positions with several leading manufacturer advisory councils and regularly works with IT analysts to help define major paradigm shifts in the technology industry. He previously was CTO of Kittery, Maine-based GreenPages Technology Solutions.
PUBLISHED MARCH 15, 2013