Posted by Dan Chu
Vice President, Emerging Products and Markets
are not created equal. Google recently
posted a blog entitled “What we talk about when we talk about cloud computing” which
outlines what Google perceives as advantages to its approach to cloud. While VMware agrees that a major part of
future enterprise architectures will reside in the cloud, we differ greatly on
everyone the time and energy, the summary of their post is essentially that
Google uses cheap hardware that they expect to fail and smart software to build
the equivalent of a giant computer, that Google AppEngine can deliver the cloud
for traditional IT, and that the Google model can produce the fastest
innovation for end customers.
Google has a
valid and interesting model but we are finding that it simply doesn’t work for the
vast of majority of business IT. Let’s
address the issues individually:
1. Building the Giant Computer
that they take “a large set of low cost commodity systems and [tie] them
together into one large supercomputer” with their software. Fundamentally, we agree with this approach as
we have done exactly this for thousands of customers over the last 10
years. Using virtualization, VMware’s
solutions have become the de-facto standard for customers looking to improve
the efficiency of their datacenters while saving costs.
130,000 customers run VMware and
over 55% of VMware datacenter
customers have standardized on the VMware platform. Companies like Lockheed Martin
are building their own internal clouds using VMware.
are aligned on the overall direction, the Google blog claims that their scale and
approach of managing servers lends a key advantage. If companies had unlimited resources and were
able to build massive datacenters with all of these commodity servers, the
Google model may be the way to go. However,
this isn’t the picture of most datacenters today. What virtualization is able to provide is
improved performance of applications, improved utilization of existing
resources and nearly unlimited scalability. And VMware offers what many customers require—choice. In fact, more than 500 service providers including major global
players like AT&T,
and Terremark offer VMware as their platform to deliver services. In a recent survey of top global managed
service providers, every one of the top ten ran on VMware.
The VMware vision is to enable customers to run the
giant computer through software on top of standard hardware, to be able to choose
seamlessly to either run in their internal cloud or in an external service
provider cloud, and to provide connectivity and consistent manageability between
2. Leveraging an Enterprise-class Cloud
follows up by promoting its AppEngine stack as the way to deliver capacity and
scaling for applications and databases, “to deliver the set of scalable services
that customers would otherwise have to maintain themselves in a virtualization
good, until you run into the issue of trying to run your core applications on
AppEngine. Customers are looking to
match their IT platform to their business needs, not the inverse. The Google approach calls for a least common
denominator set of non integrated cloud services that everyone squeezes into. Customers
want the flexibility and breadth of solutions that exist today along with the
efficiency of the cloud. Customers are
not about to re-write or modify their applications so that they can run in a
specific cloud. In particular, given
current macro-economic circumstances, customers have a high priority for a
cloud platform that can take their existing apps, and enable them to take
advantage of the cloud.
customers want advanced business continuity, availability, and management
capabilities for production, enabled by such technologies as VMotion, High Availability, Fault Tolerance, Storage VMotion,
and SRM. Today customers are broadly using these
capabilities and VMware’s service
provider partners are also delivering these as a service. For example, T-Systems has built a solution
practice and large customer footprint for running SAP implementations in their VMware-based cloud.
blog further suggests that “there is limited value to running an Exchange
Server in a virtual machine” and that customers should just use Gmail. Enterprises aren’t going to move off an
enterprise class mail platform for a personal-use platform. To take Exchange as an example, it represents
the kind of business-critical core IT application that is what customers want
running on VMware today. It is consistently one of our top several
workloads being run on VMware, and
we have invested in a lot in ongoing performance work with Exchange. In fact, IBM has demonstrated industry-leading
capacity of Exchange mailboxes where customers can scale Exchange greater
horizontally with VMware than
natively on regular hardware.
3. Innovating with Cloud
blog closes by asserting that “IT systems are typically slow to evolve,” and
that Google is much faster to innovate.
This supposition is mostly focused on Google Apps and its pace for new
feature rollout. This is fine for
customers who are looking for exactly the features that Google happens to be
working on, but for any other IT needs that a customer might have, the Google
stack is a black box to the customer without the component architecture that
lets many different types of partners integrate and contribute their new
technologies. In contrast, VMware embraces and extends the entire X86 ecosystem
of thousands of ISV’s along with hundreds of service providers to bring the
cloud to customers on their own terms. There is nothing like that for Google’s
customers looking to maintain the flexibility to move back and forth between
the external cloud and internal IT, Google’s proprietary platform is like the
“Hotel California or the roach motel” where your apps go in, but they never
VMware provides choice—allowing customers to put new and existing
applications where they want, when they want.
So in a nutshell, if you’re a business of pretty much any size and want
to consume cloud services, there are options that allow you more flexibility,
reliability, compatibility and mobility.
you’re already a VMware user,
leverage what you know about the reliability and compatibility of VMware VMs to run the cloud internally or with cloud
providers worldwide like SunGard, T-Systems, Tata Communications, and many more.
With VMware, the cloud isn’t something “out there” as simply a destination to
get to; it’s a new “state of IT” that can also come to you.
Dan Chu is vice president of Emerging Products and Markets for VMware. He
leads VMware’s efforts in the areas of small and medium business,
virtual appliances, and cloud computing.