Tip

Making a fair VMware vs. AWS cloud computing cost comparison

This series on VMware cloud computing considers application agility and automation, as well as VMware hosting vs. heterogeneous software stacks. Part 3, our final installment, examines whether VMware knows what cloud computing should cost.

It's no secret that VMware has clashed with its virtualization customers over pricing, including the so-called vRAM tax. Although VMware repealed that vRAM pricing structure, some experts speculate that VMware's pricing decisions with vSphere 5.0 so damaged customer confidence that organizations will remain wary of VMware as a vendor that maximizes profits no matter what. With respect to cloud computing, VMware's current pricing structure might not align with cloud computing economics and potential users' wallets.

    Requires Free Membership to View

Some industry watchers dismiss Amazon Web Services' (AWS) cloud pricing structure as based on a commodity offering that is incapable of meeting enterprise IT requirements. The fact remains that AWS sets the market expectation in any cloud computing cost comparison, and is heavily courting the enterprise IT customer. Amazon prices AWS services on a per-use basis. Typical users will pay a base charge for machine image hosting, purchasing basic hosting or additional features. Cloud storage capacity and data transferred to storage add cost, sometimes more than machine hosting. Amazon's cloud offering, while it has drawbacks, offers highly flexible OS-independent proprietary APIs and downward-trending prices. Today, anyone charging more for cloud hosting services than AWS has to justify how they deliver more value.

VMware's history with cloud computing

How VMware acquired a cloud strategy

The VMware cloud language

Automation: vCenter Orchestrator

Management: vCloud Automation Center

Apps: vFabric App Director

Will CSPs open their wallets?

VMware's corporate customers appear to have made their peace with the company's current pricing, and are able to manage it within their existing budgets. The real challenge for VMware's cloud ambitions lies with public cloud providers, where the question of whether or not they can accommodate VMware hosting costs within their overall infrastructure budget is much less settled. VMware-based cloud service providers (CSPs) incur a significant cost to incorporate the technology; the jury is out on whether they will be successful with this infrastructure. And many VMware-based CSPs are now implementing a second offering based on the open-source cloud projects OpenStack and CloudStack. This indicates that CSPs are hedging their bets for users specifying a cloud computing purchase based on cost comparisons.

Cloud computing has unstoppable momentum as a technology platform. Much of what made VMware virtualization successful could hamper the company's cloud hosting products. In 2013, VMware's cloud suite pricing structure faces a market sustainability test. Expect ongoing discussions between VMware and its CSP customers about the company's prices.

This was first published in March 2013

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.