VMware bales out, who can stand against AWS? Microsoft!
Last week, VMware pulled out of the public cloud market. After four years of promoting its vCloud Air, it admitted defeat, selling the service, along with all its data centers and customers, to French data center provider OVH. So has Amazon won that game completely?
The deal certainly suggests that VMware couldn’t stand against Amazon. VMware is the leader in private cloud by a long chalk - it’s the main private cloud technology provider in about 50 percent of organizations, with Cisco and others trailing way behind. With VMware’s vSphere in-house, why would they not go to VMware in the public cloud to keep with that familiar technology?
As it turns out, very often, they wouldn’t, because they prefer to go with Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has ruled the public cloud unchallenged for a long while. So VMware admitted defeat, and handed the responsibility for its customers over to OVH.
There’s no shame in this, The Register pointed out. Other enterprise vendors, including HPE and Cisco, also failed and pulled out of public cloud services. By backing out, VMware will at least stop competing with its customers, some of whom offer their own clouds using its vSphere technology. The service will still be called vCloud Air, “powered by OVH”, and VMware will still contribute technology and support.
The writing was on the wall since October 2016, when VMware and Amazon put vSphere and other VMware technologies on the AWS cloud. After that, AWS would become even more popular for VMware’s on-premises customers.
But how solid is that AWS lead? New figures suggest it may not be set in stone. VMware,Cisco and HPE may have withdrawn from the fray, but it seems that Microsoft’s Azure is giving AWS a run for its money.
Azure is in use for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) at 52 percent of companies responding to 451 Research’s regular Voice of the Enterprise Cloud Transformation survey, based on responses from 780 IT decision makers in November 2016.
Beyond that, Azure is actually the primary IaaS provider for 35 percent of those respondents, snapping at the heels of Amazon on 39 percent. And the group of Europeans within that sample actually put Azure ahead for IaaS, on 43.7 percent.
Let’s not jump to any conclusions form that figure, as only a quarter of the 451 Research sample (about 200 people) came from Europe.
However, in the global figures, the number favoring Azure made a significant jump up from only 20 percent in 2015. And Google’s cloud service also showed advances.
Does this matter to Green Data Center News readers? A challenge to the cloud leader might not directly affect people building green data centers for enterprises and colos.
But with multiple credible suppliers, public cloud will be more attractive. The “Coke but no Pepsi” situation, when AWS had no real competition, may have put off buyers.
If this makes public cloud more credible, it will increase pressure on enterprises to move from their own servers to virtual machines in Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud. Part of this pressure will revolve around money, and part of it will be about efficiency.
Public cloud has long been able to claim it uses resources more efficiently and is therefore more environmentally friendly than enterprise implementations. Private cloud installations will have to make sure they are leading the way in efficiency.
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