By contrast, VMware has yet to spin up its own offering, so it's unclear whether VMware's IaaS or those of partners will launch first. While Fathers stopped short of suggesting there will be a certification program, he said VMware plans to "choose its partners very carefully at first" to ensure they deliver on the value proposition — an enterprise-class, VMware-driven cloud. That seems essential for the strategy to succeed.
Fulfilling the hybrid promise
In one sense, it's obvious there's a market for a truly hybrid VMware cloud that can extend the capabilities of enterprises as needed — and that high-end customers would be willing to pay a premium for that over the "commodity" offerings of, say, Amazon or Rackspace.
But this vision is not new and it's taken a while for VMware to settle on a strategy. The balance between maintaining enterprise quality of service and catching up in the cloud game is going to be tricky. Much will depend on the details of the new public cloud technology package to be offered to partners — and which partners commit to offering the new service.
I've often wondered: By the time we get all these standardized IaaS offerings ironed out, will enterprises have already turned to SaaS for all but their legacy enterprise applications? By their nature, those legacy apps don't need to scale like, say, public-facing Web apps do. I think there will be a place for VMware hybrid clouds, but they may be the solution of choice for a bygone era.
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