Monday, April 21, 2014

There's a fly in my vSoup

A couple weeks ago Derrik Harris and Barb Darrow interviewed the VP of Marketing from RightScale about a survey they recently conducted to measure public cloud usage, see  It should come as no surprise that AWS ranked first among all cloud providers.  After all, they are by far and away the market leader in cloud computing.  What happened next was less expected, however.  According to RightScale, VMware finished second behind AWS, closely followed by Azure and Google.  This result was so surprising that RightScale went ahead and re-interviewed the respondents who said they were using VMware's public cloud because a) vCHS has only been in market since September, 2013 and b) the confusion surrounding VMware's product portfolio.  For instance, a lot of VMware customers running vSphere think they're using a cloud, but upon further inspection, lack the characteristics of a cloud, e.g. elastic pools of resources, metered services, broad accessibility, and so on.  When the results of the secondary survey were finally tabulated, RightScale discovered that fewer respondents were actually using vCHS.  Yet despite the confusion, the survey still showed strong interest in vCHS.  This is perhaps less surprising when you consider VMware's dominant marketshare in the virtualization space and the growing interest in hybrid clouds. For organizations that have already standardized on the VMware hypervisor, vCHS is a logical choice.  Not only is it compatible with vSphere, but moving a VM between vSphere and vCHS is a relatively trivial operation.  This freedom to choose [where workloads run] is especially attractive to enterprises that are fearful of vendor lock-in or are generally apprehensive about cloud computing.  

What remains to be seen is whether VMware can convert this interest into paying customers and whether it can offer enough differentiated value to compete against the big 3.  For now though, I think they'll settle for being a fly in the ointment.  

Waiter, can I get a new bowl of soup?

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