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Snowden's HELPING public clouds says VMware hybrid head

First you were scared, now you are awed

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VMware's senior veep and general manager for Hybrid Cloud Service Bill Fathers has told the Gigaom Structure conference that Edward Snowden's revelations about NSA snoopery have turned out to be a good thing for the hybrid cloud.

In an interview visible here Fathers, at about the five minute mark, says the NSA's activities are “the single biggest issue we have seen for over two years.”

“The Snowden impact and the impact that has had on the conversations we are having with clients has been fascinating,” he said.

Initial reactions, he says, were strongly negative as customers felt “this is the death knell of public cloud.” Today, Fathers says, “there is now universal acceptance that public clouds will outstrip data centers in terms of performance, security and economics.”

Indeed, he says customers' behaviour has VMware convinced that “the concerns around data privacy will massively accelerate public cloud,” because cloud-scale operators have more resources with which to get things right and colossal incentive to do so.

On other words, you started out scared by the NSA but now you are awed by the power of web-scale operators.

VMware's bet with its hybrid service is that lots of companies know this, but aren't ready to go straight to public cloud. Along the way they'll want a cloud that looks just like their data centres, at least in terms of how their key software and management tools, making VMware's hybrid cloud strategy attractive.

Fathers also acknowledged that enterprises are paying more attention to OpenStack, and doing so more quickly, than VMware anticipated. Few businesses other than the very largest worry about OpenStack fragmenting, he said. Most assume everything will be okay.

The veep also said VMware feels it can compete with the likes of AWS, Google and Microsoft on price even though its ecosystem is more complex (VMware owns a couple of data centres, is a tenant in others and and will let its partners roll-their-own hybrid clouds using the IP developed to run its own services). Virtzilla will be able to do so, he said, because its software-define data centre delivers.

With the big three cloud operators dropping their prices almost weekly and AWS and Microsoft both offering routes from VMware into their clouds, Virtzilla's kit will need to do what it says on the can. ®

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