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VMware: Amazon, Google and Azure aren't real clouds

VMware is going to be a cloud company. A real cloud company.

That was the message at Thursday’s New England VMware User Group summer meeting in Brunswick, Maine. Mike DiPetrillo, VMware’s global cloud architect, described the one thing that will set VMware apart from Amazon, Google, Microsoft and other cloud providers: interoperability.

“These guys are completely proprietary,” DiPetrillo said, referring to Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft Azure.

He went on to say that they aren’t really clouds, because they use different programming languages — resulting in applications that don’t work with each other, which goes against the entire point of cloud computing.

VMware’s vCloud initiative instead uses partnerships with compatible cloud providers — DiPetrillo cited AT&T, Verizon and Terremark as three examples — to offer more flexibility to customers. Scott Davis, VMware’s chief data center architect, said during his keynote that it’s VMware’s goal to avoid the problem of “proprietary lock-in.”

“We aim to enable hundreds of competitors to Google, Amazon, etc.,” he said.

Despite all the talk about cloud computing’s benefits, DiPetrillo acknowledged there’s a lot of work to be done to spread the word. When CEO Paul Maritz started talking about the cloud, DiPetrillo said the internal reaction was, “What the hell is cloud, and why are we doing this? It makes sense to probably two of us in the company.”

He also poked fun at all the hype around cloud computing, saying, “Apparently cloud is the savior that’s going to come and save us all.”

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