VMware has a dedicated team for application services working to improve vCHS, Lodge says. The company already announced support for Cloud Foundry, which is an open source platform as a service (PaaS) that's aimed specifically at application developers. vCHS supports not only the open source software, but also the distribution by Pivotal, which is a spin-out that's associated with VMware and its parent company EMC.
"We're very pleased with our progress," Lodge says about the company's cloud offerings. Of particular success has been the company's disaster recovery as a service — he said seven out of 10 customer conversations are around using vCHS for DRaaS. While Lodge admits that the DRaaS market is a crowded one — with companies like Sungard Availability Services, IBM and others offering options for customers as well — he says vCHS is a natural public cloud to back up existing VMware workloads to. Many of VMware's current customers have backup and recovery plans in place for their tier 1 important applications, Lodge says. But, the company's recent success has been around establishing a backup and recovery plan for tier 2 and 3 services that did not previously have a backup strategy. VMware offers hosting of applications for $95 for 1 TB of data and $100 for additional TBs of data beyond that.
The other area VMware hopes to target are independent software vendors (ISVs). Lodge says VMware has a large community of software vendors who have optimized their services to run on VMware virtualized environments on customers premises. There's a new opportunity to turn those into cloud-based SaaS services that are hosted on vCHS.
In the Magic Quadrant report, Gartner noted VMware's partner community as an area that needs some building up; it pales in comparison to the leading public cloud marketplace associated with AWS's public cloud, which has hundreds of companies. Building up ISV's hosted on vCHS would help with that.
But VMware has some significant progress to make in its public cloud strategy. The company, for example, does not have any databases available in its public cloud. AWS has at least five options for customers to run various types of databases in its cloud, and literally dozens of others that partners have certified to run on its cloud. To support those, AWS has dozens of different types of virtual machines that users can specify to optimize their workloads for the best type of virtual machine with just the right amount of compute and memory capacity. By comparison, VMware has only a handful of options for customers in the area of VM sizes.
Lodge is right though, it's early yet. The market is still defining itself, but Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant shows that the definition of the market is becoming clearer with each passing year. Behind AWS stands Microsoft, and behind them is a long tail of other providers, including VMware. "We're not doing this with an aim to be a top 10 provider," Lodge says. "We want to be a top 3." With vendors like AWS, Microsoft, Google, Verizon, IBM, Rackspace, CenturyLink, CSC, Virtustream, Joyent, GoGrid, HP and Dimension Data would are all aiming for that positioning too.
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