This week at VMworld, Pat Gelsinger issued a tweet:
We know there are almost too many clouds to count. At #VMworld, we’re looking at bridging the gaps between them.
Ok. Any cursory glance at an analyst report will show a litany of cloud options, starting with the “Big Box” clouds and moving to smaller, regional and specialized players. But, is this “too many clouds,” per Mr. Gelsinger?
I can’t speak to the rest of the list – but as one of the less-hyperscale vendors, I feel somewhat obligated to defend our place in the world. Why, you might ask, are we even… here?
It isn’t all in the platform. VMware makes some exceptional technology – but all VMware-based clouds run very similar exceptional VMware technology. Of course, we couple ours with out-of-this-world hardware for Cisco and Nimble, and a gamut of cool software partners like Veeam, Zerto and Trend Micro. We’re proud of our stack – but it’s not sufficiently differentiating.
It’s partly about the integration. There are two ways to go about a cloud – you can either create a marketplace of sorts and let all the functionality live in the apple-store of your world. Or, you can remove the decisioning and integration burden from your customer and bake functionality in. The former allows a lot of upcharging. The latter tends to be all-in pricing.
It’s mostly about the service. Different vendors take different approaches to customer service, whether they are targeting only Fortune 500s or DevOps types or “normal” mid-size enterprises. Solutions like DRaaS can be a bit tricky if they have fancy networking or physical systems. So, service – from the initial architecture discussions to ongoing technical support can vary wildly between vendors, both in quality and in cost.
It’s actually rarely about the price. Cloud prices are remarkably consistent, once you’ve smoothed out all the pricing anomalies like surcharges, VM charges, support charges, on-boarding fees and so on. It’s not about price.
iland exists – and is doing tremendously well with our growing customer base – because we’ve made choices that differentiate us from our competition. And, as long as these choices are appealing to our customers, then no, Mr. Gelsinger, there are not too many clouds.