VMware has dominated the server virtualization marketplace since the early days — so why is it still so far behind in the cloud computing space?
In recent years, VMware has been pushing to stay even with other cloud competitors, with the release of products such as vCloud Director. In fact, the virtualization giant recently bragged up its burgeoning presence in cloud land. But how much is hype versus potential?
Tuesday, the company took another incremental step toward a more cohesive cloud strategy when it announced that this quarter it will ship vCloud Integration Manager (vCIM) — a toolset that enables third-party cloud resellers to self-provision cloud services to their customers without involving manual processes or intervention from VMware techs.
The idea is to cut the time and hassle required to configure, deliver and manage vCloud Director-based clouds for services and applications vendors, providing quicker monetization for a key segment of the cloud market. VMware vCIM will integrate with other VMware components, including vCloud Director and vSphere, as well as vShield Edge and vCenter Chargeback Manager.
Additionally, vCIM will provide a REST-based application programming interface (API) that ties into the service provider’s back office systems, including CRM and billing.
“[vCIM] is taking a provisioning request and automatically generating all that’s required to configure a new virtual data center,” Mathew Lodge, senior director of cloud services at VMware, said.
Meanwhile, the company claims to be making headway in the growing cloud marketplace, with more than 90 services providers now offering “vCloud Powered” services in some 19 countries. That’s triple the number the company could boast at the end of last year’s third quarter, according to Lodge.
VMware may be on the right path, from one analyst’s viewpoint.
“I believe that in order for VMware to spur more service provider adoption of [its] vCloud Powered stack — and to improve the quality of the service provider implementations that are vCloud Powered — the vCIM component is an important, useful element,” Lydia Leong, research vice president at Gartner, said.
But is it possible that some of VMware’s celebrations may be a bit premature?
“VMware has signed many service providers to [its] vCloud Powered program, but many of those service providers haven’t launched offerings yet,” Leong said. “While VMware-based solutions are getting strong adoption from mid-market and enterprise customers, especially for hosted private cloud solutions, the growth of Amazon Web Services in particular has dwarfed the VMware-virtualized market,” she added.
That’s not to say VMware is too late to come from behind, however.
“We’re early in the adoption cycle still, and VMware’s strong foothold in the internal data center should enable it to drive adoption of service provider clouds based on its technologies,” Leong said.