Just hours after Amazon grabbed some significant Cloud marketing pie through its headlines over unveiling Cloud-based VDI, Microsoft's Brad Anderson took to his blog to help us understand the differences between an Amazon solution and a Microsoft one. And, truly, this is something I also believe.
Over the past few months, and as I've written in the past few days, the majority of companies are not interested in a Public Cloud solution for a number of reasons. Those reasons, as I've stated already, include lack of security, stability, privacy, redundancy, availability, and a fear of the NSA. The Public Cloud offers value today through its ability to provide automated, offsite backups for disaster recovery. That's about it. At least, that's how the majority of businesses see it right now.
In Brad's post he states that Amazon's approach to the Cloud is pretty much all-or-nothing. You either sign your business data, processes, and services over to Amazon, or you look elsewhere. Since the majority of businesses are focused on Private Clouds, the Amazon solution may sound good, but I don’t see it catching any major waves. I could be wrong. Amazon is the only company I know of that tends to get the majority of what it attempts to do right.
As Brad states, Microsoft's differentiating factor is that their focus is the Hybrid Cloud, meaning they don't care where you decide to host your data, apps, and services, they just want to provide a solution that gives you the option to make your own determination. As I've talked about in recent webinars, the Cloud is more than just a virtual environment hosted in a datacenter somewhere. The Cloud is actually a unique set of automated processes that ensure the local datacenter can be run as efficiently as a public datacenter. Obviously, the Public Cloud technologies are progressing and improving, but to me, that only serves to enhance the Private Cloud. For once, it appears that the vendor is the guinea pig here instead of the customer (can I get a big "Woo-hoo"?). Let the vendor screw-up a few times to help us learn how to better secure and stabilize our own datacenters.
Not to leave any competitive stone unturned, Brad also goes on to differentiate what Microsoft provides in a Hybrid Cloud solution with what VMware offers. VMware also sees the great need to meet the customer head-on where they actually exist. VMware also provides Hybrid Cloud services, but Brad's point is that VMware lacks experience to handle massive Cloud implementations. These days, it seems, VMware is an easy target and they catch quite a few jabs here and there from the Microsoft camp. I'm just not sure who is David and who is Goliath in this scenario.
The beauty of this is that it's anybody's game right now and the future should provide some interesting drama as all of these Cloud vendors vie for our attention and our budget. But, truthfully, if Amazon is expecting businesses to just relinquish control over their hard-earned data, they're simply not doing the research and are distancing themselves from the actual needs of the customer.
Brad has some good things to say, so read through his entire post: Success with Hybrid Cloud: Why Hybrid?