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With AWS, VMware Link, Hybrid Cloud Battle Lines Become Clearer

Enterprises looking to build hybrid clouds saw a new entry in the stack war this week with news that AWS and VMware are looking to expand their partnership.

In October, the two announced a vSphere-based cloud service running on the AWS public cloud. While still unconfirmed, The Information reports that the new deal will be for AWS to work with VMware to develop software to run in enterprise data centers and provide a full (or fullish) stack when combined with AWS IaaS.


Let’s take a quick look at how hybrid stacks are shaping up for the Big 3 IaaS providers:

Google: At the recent OpenStack Summit in Boston, Red Hat veteran Brian Stevens, now the CTO of cloud platforms at Google, told the crowd that Google is committed to open source. “We don’t really believe proprietary cloud wins,” said Stevens. The OpenStack private cloud OS is in use by 50 percent of the Fortune 100 and supports 5 million cores of compute power.

Bottom line: Google’s emphasis on openness means a range of options for on-premises private clouds. For those worried about management, OpenStack advocate Rackspace this week announced a managed support service for Google Cloud Platform. Alternately, at its NEXTConf  last month, Nutanix launched an alliance with Google Cloud to enable a unified, full-stack cloud infrastructure. Highlights include a single control plane for migrating applications between GCP and Nutanix cloud environments and native support for Kubernetes in Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud OS.


Microsoft: The long-awaited Azure Stack private cloud suite, due in September, is engineered to look exactly like Azure, with a common management interface. The goal is to deliver a completely consistent hybrid cloud platform, regardless of where organizations choose to deploy applications or house data. That’s something that neither Google nor AWS can offer.

Bottom line: Microsoft has reference hyperconverged hardware designs from certified partners Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo as well as an established Azure marketplace for OS images and ancillary software, from Veeam Cloud Connect to Palo Alto and Fortinet NG firewalls to Citrix XenApp. Oh, and Rackspace will also be happy to support an Azure/Azure Stack cloud.


AWS: While Amazon is the undisputed IaaS market share leader, with holding a stable global market share of 31 percent, according to Canalys, Microsoft and Google are growing faster. Microsoft grew 93 percent and Google was up 74 percent YoY compared with 43 percent growth for AWS. No doubt that’s part of what’s driving the buzz around a VMware deal.

Bottom line: VMware is the hypervisor of choice for enterprises, and AWS is the undisputed leader in IaaS. If a full stack is integrated seamlessly, it would be a compelling option. However, the initiative is already well behind Azure, and even with the best intentions, market realities — namely competing interests by Dell EMC, more use of hyperconverged infrastructure and containers, and an unwillingness by AWS to make it easy to pull workloads — cast doubt on the depth and efficacy of integration.

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