VMware to Partners: Focus on PaaS to Reduce Cloud Complexity
So, who’s leading the cloud computing revolution: CIOs? Vendors? Neither. In reality, line of business managers and corporate end-users are driving the cloud bandwagon, according to VMware Chief Operating Officer Tod Nielsen (pictured), speaking today at VMware Partner Exchange in Orlando. Much like PCs in the 1980s, line of business managers are pulling SaaS and cloud applications into their organization — creating new complexities for CIOs and their channel partners. Nielsen points to platform as a service (PaaS) as a potential solution to today’s cloud headaches. Here’s why.
Basically, the cloud is particularly complex because of four trends, Nielsen asserts:
1. SaaS Comes In the Back Door: Within its own business, VMware runs at least 15 different SaaS applications — everything from SuccessFactors to Salesforce.com. Coordinating all of those SaaS applications and integrating them isn’t easy for CIOs and channel partners.
2. New Structured and Unstructured Data: Businesses have pushed beyond traditional relational databases. They now need to manage data from email, texts, videos, audio recordings and so on.
3. New Devices: It’s no longer enough to support Windows desktops. Partners also need to support iPads, smart phones and beyond.
4. Social Media: Oh, and by the way… you’ll need to coordinate your cloud efforts with social media platforms like FaceBook and Twitter.
PaaS to the Rescue?
The solution is Platform as a Service (PaaS), Nielsen asserts. PaaS is similar to buying a home theater system that’s all pre-integrated — rather than buying individual sound and video components on your own and then trying to stitch them all together. Ideally, PaaS should offer a curated and integrated software stack, it should be easily managed and updated, and it must be engineered for scalability and developer productivity.
Hardly surprising, VMware is positioning its own tools for PaaS success. In particular, Nielsen points to Spring frameworks and tools and VMware fabric services as two solutions that can assist with PaaS. “Where there’s mystery there’s margin,” said Nielsen. “And there’s plenty of margin here for partners.”
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