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VMware: Amazon's cloud calculator a load of flatulant FUD

Battle of the marketing bods as Virtzilla chucks some virtual sanity at Bezos & Co

Anchorman street fight

VMware says Amazon's new total cost of ownership calculator uses "biased and inaccurate assumptions" when comparing the cost of VMware's software with Amazon's.

The virtualization company, which competes with Amazon's AWS cloud via its own recently-launched vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) tech, released a blog post on Friday chiding Amazon for how it portrayed VMware's pricing.

Amazon refreshed its cloud TCO calculator to take account of VMware environments in May, and followed that up with an AWS plugin for VMware vCenter that made it easy for admins to sling workloads up into Bezos's cloud. [VMware also responded to that release with a blog post.—Ed.].

VMware does not seem thrilled at the interest Amazon is displaying in its customers and is now fighting what it sees as a wave of Amazon-generated fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD), with ... some of its own FUD.

"Amazon claims their calculator provides an 'apples-to-apples' comparison, but in reality, it doesn't come close to doing so. Their calculator contains biased assumptions regarding VMware's TCO, which inflate the costs of an on-premises cloud and underestimate the true costs of using a public cloud solution," Vmware wrote.

Amazon's calculator makes some strange assumptions, such as reckoning that a customer has no existing on-premises investment, chooses rather high server prices, and assumes that all IT shops are refreshing their hardware every three years, VMware says in its blog post.

It also compares VMware's feature-packed "VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus" software against its infrastructure, which VMware feels is unfair as the tech has some features that Amazon lacks, so the cost comparison is not accurate.

Naturally, VMware has tried to right these apparent wrongs and has performed its own cost calculation.


'Think Amazon is cheap? NU-UH!' — VMware

"In a separate VMware TCO comparison calculation for a 100 VM environment, VMware TCO is $394K compared to AWS's $487K over a three-year period (we chose a 3-year time period so you can compare against AWS's results, which use a three-year time period). This represents a 21 per cent cost savings when choosing VMware," the company explained.

Its comparison uses a mixture of "light reserved" and "heavy reserved" AWS instances, so factors in the discounts you can expect to get from heavy cloud usage. As for software, the company uses its "vSphere with Operations Management" software package, which "allows customers to proactively monitor and maintain performance and improve availability while optimizing the virtual environment through integrated capacity planning".

At the time of writing, Amazon had not responded to a request by El Reg for a response to VMware's blog post. ®

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