In a move to compete against Amazon.com in the public cloud arena, VMware this week announced plans to deliver a software-defined data center, expand its hybrid cloud offerings and empower the multi-device era.
It's a challenge, but VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger has a vision to "radically" simplify IT through virtualized software and a track record of success that suggests he could do it.
"Our customers are looking to us to help them solve some of the toughest challenges in IT in simple and elegant ways, thereby delivering new levels of efficiency, control and agility," Gelsinger said. "To do this, we will continue to introduce new innovations and offerings that will empower IT as a broker of services that drive speed of business and competitive advantage."
Gelsinger's plan is composed of three legs: the software-defined data center; the hybrid cloud; and multi-device initiatives. But it's the hybrid cloud everyone is talking about this week.
VMware announced its plans to extend the software-defined data center with a hybrid cloud service offering that will allow its 480,000 customers to tap into the public cloud without changing their existing applications. VMware expects to launch VMware vCloud Hybrid Service later in 2013.
This product targets Amazon.com's public cloud, which has had its fair share of outages. Or did Amazon target VMware first?
Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group makes the argument that Amazon has been traipsing in VMware's space for years. VMware, like IBM, Hewlett-Packard and other companies, are responding to consumer companies looking for market share in the enterprise IT space.
"Amazon has represented a pretty big problem for IT managers who have to conform to policy using Amazon services to get things done cheaper and more easily than going through an IT service. So VMware is positioning against that opportunity by providing something that IT can accept more easily than an Amazon solution," Enderle said.
"VMware is positioning in its own market against Amazon's incursions. The enterprise vendors see the threat Amazon and Google represent as they reposition services to the business market."
Beyond the much-hyped public cloud, VMware plans to leverage software-defined data centers to extend the benefits of virtualization to network, security, storage and management. With that end in mind, VMware announced plans to merge the VMware vCloud Networking and Security product line with the Nicira Network Virtualization Platform into a single product family based on a common technology foundation, to be named VMware NSX.
When it launches in the second half of 2013, the company said, VMware NSX will work across VMware and non-VMware hypervisors and cloud management systems, as well as any underlying networking hardware. VMware NSX will also provide an open framework for the integration of ecosystem services for networking and security.
Finally, as the third leg, VMware announced VMware Horizon Suite a few weeks ago. A platform for mobility, VMware Horizon Suite uses virtualization to transform silos of data, applications and desktops into centralized IT services that can be provisioned, managed and delivered to end-users on the devices of their choice.