Click here to close now.

Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Lori MacVittie, Michael Jannery, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

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
Enterprises are turning to the hybrid cloud to drive greater scalability and cost-effectiveness. But enterprises should beware as the definition of “policy” varies wildly. Some say it’s the ability to control the resources apps’ use or where the apps run. Others view policy as governing the permissions and delivering security. Policy is all of that and more. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Derek Collison, founder and CEO of Apcera, explained what policy is, he showed how policy should be arch...
"We have seen the evolution of WebRTC right from the starting point to what it has become today, that people are using in real applications," noted Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President and Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy and Ecosystem at GENBAND, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
The 3rd International WebRTC Summit, to be held Nov. 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo, 6th International Big Data Expo, 3rd International DevOps Summit and 2nd Internet of @ThingsExpo. WebRTC (Web-based Real-Time Com...
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at th...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world...
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry. Resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, broke down what we've got to work with and discuss the benefits and pitfalls to discover how we can best use them to d...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US a...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than
The time is ripe for high speed resilient software defined storage solutions with unlimited scalability. ISS has been working with the leading open source projects and developed a commercial high performance solution that is able to grow forever without performance limitations. In his session at Cloud Expo, Alex Gorbachev, President of Intelligent Systems Services Inc., shared foundation principles of Ceph architecture, as well as the design to deliver this storage to traditional SAN storage co...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the...
"We got started as search consultants. On the services side of the business we have help organizations save time and save money when they hit issues that everyone more or less hits when their data grows," noted Otis Gospodnetić, Founder of Sematext, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
"CenturyLink brings a full suite of services to the table and that enables us to be an IT service provider," explained Jeff Katzen, Director of the Cloud Practice at CenturyLink, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises ar...
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, it is now feasible to create a rich desktop and tuned mobile experience with a single codebase, without compromising performance or usability.
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.
In the midst of the widespread popularity and adoption of cloud computing, it seems like everything is being offered “as a Service” these days: Infrastructure? Check. Platform? You bet. Software? Absolutely. Toaster? It’s only a matter of time. With service providers positioning vastly differing offerings under a generic “cloud” umbrella, it’s all too easy to get confused about what’s actually being offered. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Kevin Hazard, Director of Digital Content for SoftL...
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect t...
Malicious agents are moving faster than the speed of business. Even more worrisome, most companies are relying on legacy approaches to security that are no longer capable of meeting current threats. In the modern cloud, threat diversity is rapidly expanding, necessitating more sophisticated security protocols than those used in the past or in desktop environments. Yet companies are falling for cloud security myths that were truths at one time but have evolved out of existence.
Even as cloud and managed services grow increasingly central to business strategy and performance, challenges remain. The biggest sticking point for companies seeking to capitalize on the cloud is data security. Keeping data safe is an issue in any computing environment, and it has been a focus since the earliest days of the cloud revolution. Understandably so: a lot can go wrong when you allow valuable information to live outside the firewall. Recent revelations about government snooping, along...