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VMware hits back at Amazon cloud Trojan Horse with ... a blog post

'Please let the pen be mightier than the code,' mutter execs at virtualization firm

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VMware has responded to a Trojan Horse bit of tech from Amazon with a blog post disparaging the rival's approach.

Last Friday, Bezos & Co. announced the "AWS Connector for vCenter" plug-in, which lets admins buy, manage, and migrate Amazon Web Services cloud VMs from within the familiar vCenter admin environment.

This free bit of software is meant to make it easier for admins to shuffle VMs up into the cloud operated by Amazon, and also has the side effect of putting AWS up against VMware's rival service vCHS.

VMware seems to be a bit miffed about the tech, and expressed its displeasure in some counter-marketing masquerading as a blog post that was published on Monday. "Don't be fooled by Import Tools disguised as Hybrid Cloud Management," thundered the company's chief technology officer for the Americas, Chris Wolf.

"Hybrid cloud architects want as few variables in the architecture as possible because the greater the variation the more costly automation becomes at scale, and that extends to management products," he wrote. "When you get past the marketing and really examine technical architectures, converting the virtual machine, migrating the app and the data is the easy part. Rebuilding the management infrastructure is anything but 'easy.' Management dependencies are massive and are like a game of Jenga. Take one away and the whole service stack can come tumbling down."

For readers not familiar with the veiled language that MBA-filled companies use to fight one another, this translates to: What Amazon is doing is trivial and adopting it might cause huge problems!

"If you want to move those workloads or simply run additional instances in a region with no AWS presence, an outsourcer, another cloud provider, or your own data center, you may find that the cost and complexity associated with migration or a new deployment is too much," Wolf points out. "The service stack would likely be bound to proprietary APIs, and all or most of the third party management and operational software will have to be replaced. You will be burdened with new QA challenges and likely will need to reengage with the procurement teams."

He then goes on to list some of the perceived main drawbacks of AWS's vCenter plug-in. "There is no easy way to move workloads back to one of your data centers, or to another cloud provider ... you cannot use your existing software licenses ... you cannot automate and orchestrate across private and public clouds ... you cannot enforce policy governance across multi-clouds ... you lose all of the seamless third party integrations deployed through the VMware Solution Exchange," Wolf writes.

"Anyone who has been in IT long enough knows how easy it is for a tactical Band-Aid to unexpectedly become a permanent solution. In the cloud era more than ever, you must think strategically about management. To date, proprietary service provider tools have created management silos that drive up total cost of ownership while increasing provider lock-in. There is a better way," he explains.

That better way is, inevitably, VMware.

It was only a few years ago that VMware was in the position Amazon is now as it rumbled into enterprise data centers causing people to wring their hands about the dangers of locking themselves into its ESX hypervisor. People adapted the software en masse while other companies like Google (KVM) and Amazon (Xen) and Microsoft (Hyper-V) developed or adopted their own hypervisors as a hedge against VMware's dominance.

Now those virtual chickens have come home to roost on VMware's bottom line. Amazon has the makings of a scrappy new company, and as before it's likely that companies will trade a little bit of lock-in for a significant amount of utility from the upstart.

Then, as Gartner recently pointed out, Amazon will itself be assaulted from rivals such as Google or Microsoft – or even VMware with its own vCHS cloud.

One thing is for certain: at this stage it's Amazon that is piling into the territory of other incumbent companies with new tech, and not the other way around. ®

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