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By: Lilac Schoenbeck

It’s always been part of the cloud dream – the idea that we could buy resources without even a passing glance at the underlying infrastructure, hypervisor, management environment, etc. The dream of utter commoditization, switching between clouds with the bat of an eye.

2015 will bring us closer – and further – from that dream.

Closer…

2015 will be the year people stop caring about a whole lot of cloud STUFF. Hardware. Precise physical location (countries and geopolitical regions are still important — but where in California? No one cares). Clouds will be assumed to have certain inherent characteristics – and those that fail to meet those will be singled out as exceptions:

  • Real SLAs – 99.99% or 100% SLAs will be de rigueur;
  • Broad OS support, not just a smattering of options;
  • Straightforward pricing – confusion cannot reign supreme much longer;
  • Functional, effective hardware, regardless of storage vendor or server choices;
  • And a whole lot more.

So much will fall by the wayside of the selection process. If you can’t keep up, you’ll be left behind as a cloud vendor. But, these are no longer differentiating items. Buyers will stop caring. We’ll never hear “Well, let’s go with X vendor because they run on Dell storage.”

That’s the dream of cloud – caring less about the details. Fantastic, you say — when can I stop caring?

Much Further Away…

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. As more and more organization use cloud for more and more systems that are more and more critical, so many components are coming to light as necessary for straightforward operations.

Manageability — How many people are needed just to manage the cloud? How is easy is it to get performance metrics off your cloud? How much additional software will you buy just to get control of your public cloud use? Most companies have neither the time nor inclination to make a series of management decisions IN ADDITION to their public cloud choice.

Performance – This is where the platform still matters, and VMware provides a consistent performance profile that is unmatched by other vendors. Are you REALLY committed to restarting a system 10 times to get on the right server where performance is consistent? In order not to worry every day about performance, you care about the VMware platform during the buying decision.

Compliance and Security — More can be done to assure your workloads than ever before, from protecting data sovereignty to helping with audits. The question is just – will your cloud provider do it? Or are you going to face this hurdle alone?

Technical Support — The “shipping fee” of the cloud world, technical support can make your entire purchase far less cost-effective, and your cloud experience far more harrowing. Astute customers in 2015 will be asking up front what they’re in for with your cloud support.

On one hand, everyone hangs onto the dream of complete commoditization. On the other, I find customers are only too happy to find a cloud provider that differentiates on the back of things that matter to them — and this investment yields great fruit in the market, whether it’s in management portals or compliance support or a good customer service team.

So, you don’t really want all the clouds to be the same. You just want to easily locate the right one for you. In 2015, you may just meet your cloud match.

If you’re ready to find a service provider, visit us at vCloudProviders.VMware.com.

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