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VMware makes cloud moves at VMworld Europe 2010

VMworld Europe 2010 was packed with cloud computing announcements, but skepticism seems to follow every cloud move the virtualization leader makes.

Weekly cloud computing update

VMworld Europe 2010 has closed its doors in Copenhagen, Denmark, but the memories will last forever. Or at least until Monday.

VMware execs announced new products and strategies, even describing cloud services as the "take-away restaurant" of the virtual world. The problem is that many folks don't seem hungry for VMware's cooking, at least when it comes to the company's private cloud recipe.

One of the biggest cloud-related announcements was the expansion of the VMware Go program. It seems that small and medium businesses (SMBs) are showing a distinct lack of interest in private cloud, and that's something that strikes fear into VMware's heart. If SMBs go straight to public cloud, they'd be skipping internal virtualization, VMware's bread and butter, to look at Amazon Web Services or other cloud providers.

That trend would not jibe with VMware's revenue projections, so new VMware Go Pro enhancements were designed to entice those lost SMB souls. VMware Go Pro is a set of cloud services delivered as a Web service that allows applications and data to stay on the company's servers; users log into a Web portal to manage them. The success of this endeavor remains to be seen. As George Reese, creator of cloud management tool enStratus, remarked, "I don't see where it would end up going."

Enterprises aren't onboard with VMware's cloud plans
But VMware could have more on its hands than a group of uninterested small businesses. At VMworld Europe, several IT managers of European businesses said they aren't buying what VMware's selling when it comes to cloud services.

Like their American counterparts at VMworld 2010 in the U.S., enterprises in Europe remain wary of adopting VMware's vCloud Director. Voicing traditional concerns about data security and reluctance to work with external service providers, these companies are foregoing potential benefits to wait and see how this whole cloud business shakes out.

In fact, several European companies insinuated that cloud is completely off their radar at this point. They're choosing instead to focus on virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and other technologies to get them through the recession that's still crippling many countries. This wouldn't bode well for any cloud provider, but at VMworld Europe the focus was obviously on how it would impact VMware.

It seems that no matter where the virtualization leader turns, people are questioning its approach to cloud computing. How that will impact its standing in the market remains to be seen; users and managers can talk tough all they want, but the VMware name is never one to ignore in the IT world.

Steve Cimino is the Associate Editor of Contact him at

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