A week of VMworld news- As I see it.

Well VMworld is over for another year.  The much anticipated event for many high tech fans means networking, new technology and of course parties.   That said, we saw some interesting news come from VMworld this week and here’s a short recap and my thoughts.

1) Microsoft announces they offer a private cloud that is 4 times cheaper than VMware, but more importantly they roll out some hilarious marketing that smacks VMware while they recover from the recent pricing snafu.

2) Dell announces they will offer a public cloud leveraging vCloud Director, only weeks after announcing they will make OpenStack commercially available.  Makes you wonder why they would choose vCloud for their public offering, but encourage an open source stack for everyone else to figure out?

3) Eucalyptus announces High Availability in version 3.0 and the confirmation that they aren’t dying.  Mr. Micko’s, glad to see that you’re still in the game.  By the way, in case you missed it, Abiquo announced High Availability in version 1.8 a few months ago.

4) Citrix decides to give Cloud.com away for free via Open Source, or loss leader or proliferation strategy, what ever you want to call it.  Will this be their winning hand against VMware for cloud penetration or will it end up like their other open source offering?  Oddly, this report sites that while it’s claiming open source, the price is still $995 per 2-core host- but doesn’t state if that’s for support or what you’re getting for that price.

5) Lastly, VMware announced a ton of stuff, but the interesting part was vCloud Global Connect, which seems to be a partnership “hug” around working with a few providers looking for some airtime from VMware.  I agree with Gartner’s Lydia Leong on this one. I’m not sure VMware can execute on this promise and if they did, do people really want this?

We also saw lots of nice stories  that summarize what’s happening and who to see at VMworld- so if you’re looking at private cloud solutions, this short list  from The VirtualizationPractice might make it easy to create your own short list when you get back to work.  Or if you want more detail, this report from Forrester gets to the heart of it all.

We can all take a breather now and wait for the next cloud wave in November, when Cloud Computing Expo hits the Bay Area. See ya there.

This week’s news from OsCon reveals another vendor looking for ways to take money off the table leveraging OpenStack.  A recent post from GigaOm analyst, Paul Miller, highlights the fact that although open source is gaining traction, companies are still looking for commercial solutions.  One reason sited includes the need for a “single throat to choke” on support and development of new functionality.  This begs the question of success for open source as a cloud platform in the enterprise, and what unique value these commercial solutions will offer.   Interestingly enough, Paul asks users to respond to a polling question “In which areas are users willing to adopt open source solution’s on their own?”  The results to this research will be interesting for many.

GigaOm

Will enterprises allow open source into the cloud stacks?

Some of the media articles are making reference to open source stacks, like OpenStack, being equivalent to tomorrow’s Linux.  Maybe that’s true and everyone will have a flavor of OpenStack, customized internally or commercialized?  That said, we can also look at other open source offerings like Xen and see the impact it had on virtualization.  You may equate Xen to Amazon and the beginning of the cloud, or you may equate Xen as a failed attempt by Citrix to be where VMware is today?   The facts are open source solutions may be good for some, but not others. Given OpenStack is a group of commercial vendors, including Citrix, Cisco, Dell, newly added HP, Abiquo and many others, that are all looking for an easier way to sell a cloud solution to service providers and businesses, will it be the answer customers are looking for?  Stay tuned as we explore this option with analysts, customers and vendors– or join the cloud management linkedin group to be part of the discussion.

It’s been a busy week in the world of clouds.  Following on the heels of our the newest Abiquo release ( v1.8), VMware rolls out the newest version of vSphere or Cloud Infrastructure as they are calling it, and Citrix makes a play to be a real cloud player by acquiring Cloud.com.   It’s interesting to watch Citrix figure out how to compete with VMware in the cloud wars.  By aligning themselves with OpenStack  through their commercial offering, Project Olympus, and the most recent buy they seem to be positioning to target lots of regional service providers with a low end offering to compete directly with the likes of Amazon.  Ironically, as they compete to go head to head with VMware on being “the” cloud platform- they are building out offerings that compete with other Xen users.

On the other hand, we are delighted to see Citrix buy cloud.com, as it validates the need for cloud management as part of any cloud infrastructure stack.  Another study recently published by Evolven shows that over 60% of companies have or plan to have private cloud projects this year.  These two proof points show that cloud plans are materializing and cloud management is the lynch-pin in moving businesses beyond virtualization and onto cloud environments.

With the Microsoft partner event this week, we see that they now allow for a portal to mange hyper-v environments, assuming you only want manage a single environment- this might be good news for you.  Stay tuned to see how this 3-legged battle for the cloud platform plays out and what it means for vendors like, Abiquo, but also for the traditional hardware folks like Cisco, EMC, NetApp, IBM and HP- there seems to be even more musical chairs at play.