“One who develops future intellectual pursuits by understanding and building on the research and works created by notable thinkers of the past” I thought this an appropriate opening to the topic of discussion here today. I will explain this metaphor at the end of my ramblings, but in the most basic form Amazon are the ones standing on the giant VMware shoulders at the moment…
My thoughts and reading this month have been mainly of VMware’s talk of taking down the giants that are Amazon, VMware was as bold to say “Amazon will kill us all”. This sparked my attention and intrigue in to investigate this a little further.
This all stems from the brand that Amazon have in the industry, in previous posts I have blogged about how Amazon are ahead of the curve and anticipated this era of cloud computing. True VMware may have enabled this at a hypervisor layer but Amazon are the true victors here. In my opinion I think Amazon crept up on everyone in their blind spot, maybe the big corporations were a little too relaxed in what they were doing and just did not see this coming. You could argue that VMware were riding so much of a growth wave that they didn’t think this could effect them. It is the typical market pattern that the big innovators grow fast and then become stagnant. Constantly innovating is tough and I think that VMware have been right to spin off the platform as a service business as it brings more focus to the company.
Okay so on to the point of Amazon killing us all! This is referring to the shift in focus to Amazon. Every customer I go to has some form of services running in AWS whether that has been approved or not is a different story. And as I have stated before the reason people do this is choice, conventional IT is restrictive and does not give even half the speed people want especially if they have a credit card handy.
Just lately though in my experience Companies are starting to look over their shoulder’s at Amazon and wonder, how much data do I have there? Is it safe? does my data live on a shared platform with other companies data? Can I have my data back when I want? In this world at the moment intellectual property is king and the risk of companies employees sending out data to the cloud is one that will keep some awake at night.
So what are VMware bringing to the table? They are looking to announce in the 2nd half of this year a public cloud offering to compete head to head with Amazon. They are looking to extend their vCloud Director technology from existing customers in to the cloud enabling the mobility of production workloads. And here we get to the real fight that is happening, traditional IT vendors are now fighting to keep production applications on their infrastructure, AWS has predominantly been for test and development applications, but the nosies made by Amazon at its AWS re invent show last year are that they now have these production applications clearly in their sites!
So no wonder the gloves are now coming off with the big guns, as their comfort zone is at stake.
Do I think VMware can pull this off? One official at VMware was quoted as saying “surely we can beat a company who sells books”. That is a harsh statement, if you follow Formula One and are aware of Red Bull, the big manufacturer teams once said “They are a drinks manufacturer” but look at them now, they are triple world champions. For me VMware has to make a public cloud service which I want to buy in to and enable its channel to effectively sell these services. Certainly they are making the right noises and in my view focussing their direction which they seem to have lost a little bit. Bringing on someone like Pat Gelsinger is a real message to the industry that they mean business, look what he has done at EMC for the last 3 years.
In my verdict the jury is still out and VMware have to prove they have what it takes, so to sign off how I started, Amazon in my view are currently standing on the giant VMware’s shoulders as they understood what VMware had created and how to make a service from it. VMware are left looking up at what their intellect has created and it now seems the red mist has descended and they are focussing on this space also.