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VMware preps vCloud-based public cloud service

VMware is preparing to launch its own vCloud public cloud service, which some industry watchers consider a Hail Mary pass to compete with AWS.

VMware has invited customers to be part of an exclusive private beta for a forthcoming public cloud service, but some remain on the fence about whether they'd actually use such an offering.

The service, which is to be built on VMware's vCloud products, including vCloud Director, according to multiple industry sources, is still a ways away from general availability. In the meantime, VMware loyalists who use public cloud can find service providers with vCloud, so switching to a VMware public cloud wouldn't be necessary.

VMware's offering would have to be a very compelling story for me to want to switch [from BlueLock], though I would definitely listen to see what they had to say.

Bryan Bonds,
senior systems administrator, eMeter Corp.

"VMware's offering would have to be a very compelling story for me to want to switch [from BlueLock], though I would definitely listen to see what they had to say," said Bryan Bonds, senior systems administrator for eMeter Corp., which has been setting up a hybrid cloud with the vCloud partner.

A customer on the West Coast was invited to join the private beta last week and said that while he'll investigate the offering, his company is on the fence when it comes to public cloud.

Meanwhile, some industry watchers see this as a possible Hail Mary pass from the company as it competes with public cloud market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS). VMware must compete with AWS on price to prevent losing further market share, since Infrastructure as a Service has become somewhat of a commodity, one analyst said.

Others see it as a reflection on VMware's existing cloud partners.

"They haven't been doing as good a job of promoting the business as VMware wanted," said Bill Hill, infrastructure IT lead for a Portland-based logistics company. "It looks like VMware's now saying, 'You've had your opportunity.'"

Though Hill didn't have direct knowledge of VMware's plan to have a public cloud service, he said he wouldn't be surprised to see it emerge. "Ultimately, if you want to do something right, you've got to do it yourself sometimes," he said.

While VMware declined to comment on reports of its public cloud plans, CEO Pat Gelsinger reportedly engaged in some public saber-rattling against AWS at last week's VMware Partner Exchange, saying VMware wants to own corporate workloads and that if Amazon wins, "we all lose."

Changes afoot in vCloud Service Evaluation Beta

VMware also updated the terms and conditions for its vCloud Service Evaluation Beta on March 1. While the initial offering announced last August cost a minimum of four cents an hour per 1 GB RAM server, the terms now include a 90-day free trial.

There is no limit on the time a customer can use the vCloud Service Evaluation, but a Knowledge Base article linked in the beta interface still refers the service's users to vCloud partners for more permanent public cloud projects.

VMware officials also declined to comment on momentum and future plans for the vCloud Service Evaluation Beta.

Beth Pariseau is a senior news writer for and Write to her at or follow @PariseauTT on Twitter.

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Would you use the vCloud public cloud service from VMware?
Do not need public cloud
Integrates with the corporate environment
I'd try it because I know the product and is very good
It is one neck to choke from the pure leader in virtualization and cloud platforms. If they can't make their stuff run better than anyone else, Amazon does win.
vSphere is already a core part of how we run IT. A VMware cloud option would be a natural extension of that model.
I trust VMware's tech, so if they can put together an awesome offering, I'd prefer to connect my datacenter to that instead of AWS!
They've got the technology and market leadership in the enterprise space and those customers trust VMware the best to deliver it.
Would be nice to be able to host our Windows and Unix inhouse servers.
To be able to lift and drop virtualized workloads into a cloud environment is a great bonus. If you try that with AWS offerings your performance will suffer, you have to re-engineer the solution to get the performance!
They make software and are not a service provider. It's a whole different world when you have to support my run time environment.
I would use it for training and study purposes. Also woul i use it for developing software.
VMW becoming next Oracle. Not into spending money to be locked in to stuff we don't need.
We are already a clound provider we see great potential in using VMware solution as a Hybrid offering to ours.
Dell is a strong VMware partner and has been running a global public cloud using vCloud technology for more than a year. Learn more at
I would like to compare AWS.
I trust the product from VMware. The have a long track record and much experience with virtualization.