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VMware charges into public cloud IaaS fray as Dell exits

Dell will discontinue its OpenStack and VMware vCloud-based public cloud offerings as VMware delivers its vCloud IaaS.

Dell discontinued its OpenStack and VMware vCloud-based public cloud in favor of products from other partners just as VMware opened its public cloud offering this week. Dell said it would focus on multi-cloud management through its Enstratius acquisition.

Instead of investing in its own public cloud services, Dell Inc. now offers VMware public cloud, as well as other platforms, through its partner program. It also delivers private cloud and other cloud offerings built on VMware, the company said.

The concern here is really more about Dell and its ability to innovate and understand the cloud market.

James Staten, an analyst for Forrester Research, Inc.

Dell had struggled to compete in the public cloud market in recent years. Some thought that the company's move to go private recently could have helped it develop a more cohesive cloud strategy.

Despite the timing of the two announcements, James Staten, an analyst for Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research, Inc., said he doesn't see Dell as a cautionary tale for VMware and other companies looking to get in on the public cloud game -- nor will it strongly affect the OpenStack Foundation.

"The concern here is really more about Dell and its ability to innovate and understand the cloud market," Staten said.

VMware vCloud Hybrid Service

Meanwhile, VMware demonstrated its vCloud Hybrid Service, launched an early access program and said its new service will be generally available in the third quarter. 

The beta of the service became available in March, but it wasn't until this week that VMware divulged details and pricing. Now, VMware offers what it calls a "production-ready platform" for invitation-only early access. The vCloud Hybrid Service will be generally available in the third quarter.

Though vCloud customers are sure to evaluate the service, VMware is somewhat tardy to the public cloud party, and that may impact adoption.

"We use virtual private cloud services from other service providers anyway, but I'm not sure what the benefit is of getting it from VMware yet," said Kirk Bellmore, VMware systems engineer for a higher education institution in San Diego.

Users already in the beta said earlier bugs that caused failures and timeouts on uploads to and from the cloud environment and other issues have been largely resolved.

VMware public cloud versions, pricing

VMware's Hybrid Service will be offered in two versions: dedicated cloud and virtual private cloud at prices that are competitive with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

vCloud Hybrid Service dedicated cloud will offer physically isolated and reserved compute resources, and it will be sold on an annual term with prices starting at 13 cents per hour. The vCloud Hybrid Service virtual private cloud will be offered as a multitenant compute resource, with dedicated allocations for some customers, and sold on a monthly term with prices starting at 4.5 cents per hour.

These offerings are roughly analogous to AWS virtual private cloud and on-demand resources. By comparison, AWS charges a VPN connection fee of 5 cents per hour over regular Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) pricing for virtual private cloud, and EC2 prices start at 6 cents per hour.

The vCloud Hybrid Service will also include automated replication, monitoring and high availability for business-critical applications based on vSphere vMotion, High Availability (HA) and Distributed Resources Scheduler. There will be no additional charge for these services, load balancers or firewalls; users will be charged for compute, storage, bandwidth, public IP addressing and support.

Built-in HA is a differentiator in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market, which has typically offered ephemeral instances a la Amazon, according Staten.

"Platform as a Service offers HA by default, but most Infrastructure as a Service vendors don't," he said.

Though VMware has positioned vCloud Hybrid Service as a way to develop new applications, Staten said it's more likely to appeal to operations people already familiar with VMware than software developers.


Beth Pariseau is senior news writer for Write to her at [email protected] or follow @PariseauTT on Twitter.

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