Even if partners wish to enlist in that cause, many of the public cloud suppliers understand the difference between the legacy applications that VMware is virtualizing in the typical enterprise data center and the scale-out, automated application services to come with the public cloud. Modern applications are being built in a more modular fashion than predecessors Cobol, Fortran and even Java applications were built. In some cases, they consist of services built in different languages and running in different location, which makes the nature of a self-contained workload as a set of virtual files somewhat quaint.
CloudScaling's Randy Bias, Forrester Research's James Staten and others criticized the comments as hostile to the nature of the public cloud, and positioned VMware as an obstacle to it, rather than a partner and ally.
For partners like Bluelock, heavily invested in the VMware view of the universe and successfully hosting early VMware-based cloud users, the brouhaha must carry an unpleasant aftertaste. It expanded to three geographically distributed vCloud data centers with the confidence that VMware was leading the charge.
Infrastructure-as-a-service is one of the fastest growing areas of computing and is expected to grow 18.5% in 2013, to a total of $131 billion. What if VMware's finesse in consolidating and managing legacy applications doesn't translate into future public cloud success? The tension in Gelsinger's remarks seemed to indicate fissures of doubt were appearing inside the ranks of the virtualization market leader.
Bluelock and other public cloud partners will be watching and waiting for VMware's next signal on how it views them and the public cloud market. They've noted VMware's move to join the OpenStack Project, as much a coalition of vendors allied against VMware-dominance of cloud computing as it is a true open source project. VMware could back off building its own public cloud network and let nature -- and OpenStack -- take its course and occupy many future sites for public cloud computing.