Public cloud computing has been a part of the IT landscape now for over 10 years. But in terms of transforming how enterprise IT is managed the changes wrought by the rise of cloud computing has been relatively mild. The split between public clouds being used directly by development teams and the rise of DevOps almost distinct from the IT side of the house likely has resulted in limited activity in the way of integration between applications running in public clouds and those running on premises, at least until recently. Because of that issue the status quo in the IT world has allowed VMware to remain the dominant on premises IT environment, while Amazon Web Services (AWS) has emerged as leading public cloud service provider. The ongoing rise of Linux containers, OpenStack and KVM within the enterprise, and competition from other public clouds threaten to change this status quo.
In addition to the continued rise of containers as a better way of developing and deployment new applications, eschewing virtual machine (VM) technology, within the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) space, changes are afoot. Recent indicators of that change came in two forms. First Microsoft announced it intended to make available a version of the Azure operating environment on servers from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Dell EMC. Microsoft just began delivering on that promise, but it was a clear signal that Microsoft intended to leverage its strength in the enterprise to compete more aggressively with AWS. Not too long after AWS and VMware put aside their rivalry. The two companies announced that instances of the entire VMware stack would be made available on AWS. At the recent Dell World 2017 conference VMware publicly demonstrated those instances of software for the first time. It’s also worth noting that VMware has similar relationships in place with IBM and Verizon, and that after signing the alliance with AWS sold off its own public cloud platform. Dell EMC, however, continues to operate a Virtustream public cloud optimized for enterprise-class applications.