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VMware Management Goes After Google's Approach to the Cloud

If you've been watching, you will have noticed VMware and Google going back and forth with each other in subtle (and not so subtle) ways over the idea and concept around the "Cloud".  Cloud is after all the new buzzword now that virtualization has become "mainstream" technology.  During the VMworld event, cloud became the new marching orders for the virtualization giant.  And it seems like Google may be taking a slight offense to that.

Google recently posted a blog entry titled “What we talk about when we talk about cloud computing”.  In the article, Google outlines what they perceive as advantages to its approach to the cloud.  But VMware greatly differs with Google's approach.

So, VMware's Dan Chu, the VP of Emerging Products and Markets, decided to post a response on VMware's blog, and yes, it starts out really good.  Chu starts off with:

To save everyone the time and energy, the summary of their post is essentially that Google uses cheap hardware that they expect to fail and smart software to build the equivalent of a giant computer, that Google AppEngine can deliver the cloud for traditional IT, and that the Google model can produce the fastest innovation for end customers. 

And then he goes on to defend issues like, Building the Giant Computer, Leveraging an Enterprise-class Cloud, and Innovating with the Cloud.

Chu writes things like:

While we are aligned on the overall direction, the Google blog claims that their scale and approach of managing servers lends a key advantage.  If companies had unlimited resources and were able to build massive datacenters with all of these commodity servers, the Google model may be the way to go.  However, this isn’t the picture of most datacenters today.  What virtualization is able to provide is improved performance of applications, improved utilization of existing resources and nearly unlimited scalability.


Google follows up by promoting its AppEngine stack as the way to deliver capacity and scaling for applications and databases, “to deliver the set of scalable services that customers would otherwise have to maintain themselves in a virtualization model.”

This sounds good, until you run into the issue of trying to run your core applications on AppEngine.  Customers are looking to match their IT platform to their business needs, not the inverse. The Google approach calls for a least common denominator set of non integrated cloud services that everyone squeezes into. Customers want the flexibility and breadth of solutions that exist today along with the efficiency of the cloud.   Customers are not about to re-write or modify their applications so that they can run in a specific cloud.

And when you end an article with a summary stating something like this:

For customers looking to maintain the flexibility to move back and forth between the external cloud and internal IT, Google’s proprietary platform is like the “Hotel California or the roach motel” where your apps go in, but they never come out.  

You know the response has to be a good read... and should cause an equally interesting response from Google.

Read the entire blog post on VMware's Management Blog - The Console.

Published Thursday, May 14, 2009 11:05 AM by David Marshall
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