Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: SmartBear Blog, ManageEngine IT Matters, Patrick MeLampy, Liz McMillan, Carl J. Levine

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @BigDataExpo, 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

Greg Ness is a Silicon Valley marketing veteran with background in networking, security, virtualization and cloud computing. He is VP Marketing at CloudVelocity. Formerly at Vantage Data Centers, Infoblox, Blue Lane Technologies, Juniper Networks, Redline Networks, McAfee, IntruVerofficer at Networks and ShoreTel. He is one of the world's top cloud bloggers.

@CloudExpo Stories
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Security, data privacy, reliability and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house client hosted environments to a cloud platform. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Vandana Viswanathan, Associate Director at Cognizant, In this session, will provide an orientation to the five stages required to implement a cloud hosted solution validation strategy.
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
China Unicom exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE FDD, TD-LTE), fixed-line broadband, ICT, data communica...
Zerto exhibited at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which took place at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, in June 2016. Zerto is committed to keeping enterprise and cloud IT running 24/7 by providing innovative, simple, reliable and scalable business continuity software solutions. Through the Zerto Cloud Continuity Platform™, organizations can seamlessly move and protect virtualized workloads between public, private and hybrid clouds. The company’s flagship product, Zerto Virtual...
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often un...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and containers together help companies achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of Dev...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, will discuss how to use Kubernetes to setup a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace....