I've been in the industry long enough to know better than to get sucked into the hype vortex of vendor marketing run-a-muck, complete with declarations of major paradigm shifts, self-healing architectures, and newfangled delivery and deployment models of computing. After all, I've been on the front lines selling client-network computing, client/server computing, Internet computing, grid computing, etc. over the years. And I'm painfully aware of the wide gap between when customers write checks to actually adopt new technology, and when vendors promoting the technology predict they'll to be adopted.
Yesterday, a colleague and I went to a full-day VMware vSphere 4 SolutionTrack technical sales training. Apart from VMware Marketing having a bad habit of changing the names of its products every few months and confusing partners and customers alike, the hype the company is spewing about the Cloud, and its vSphere 4 platform being the first Cloud OS, has become deafening. Frankly, I believe it will ultimately do more harm than good in enhancing the company's credibility in its future combat with Microsoft, Oracle and IBM.
I do admire VMware in many ways. They employ a lot of scary smart people, and have a bold vision around "IT as a service" that I find compelling. And their vision gets far more coverage than that from Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM... at least up to now. But, I keep lamenting why VMware doesn't refrain from so much hype, and simply present its vision in the context of the next generation data center that builds on numerous computing models that came before it, providing transformational benefits to IT over the long term.
At the end of yesterday's session, I gave the trainer my suggestion that he and his counterparts would be much better served by articulating VMware's cloud vision around words and key positioning statements like:
* Comprising many phases that will take years to fully realize all the benefits
* Virtualization is a key underpinning for building cloud infrastructures
* It's relevant to you "Mr. Customer" whether your long term objective is to build a private cloud, public cloud, or a hybrid cloud to best align with your changing business needs
I seriously doubt the VMware trainer gave any credence to my suggestions. I think he's been sucked into the hype vortex. But based on what I learned yesterday, I'm more convinced than ever that we're a long way from seeing any vendor take its vision and be able to put all the essential components on a cloud. Until an industry ecosystem achieves openness, interoperability, self-provisioning, elasticity, programmability, trust, control, etc., I won't be contributing to the hype around cloud computing.
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