The relatively long-time giant VMware continues to control a great deal of market share in cloud services. As the competition diversifies and OpenStack soars in interest, VMware has maintained its popularity through a variety of offerings—and by retaining users in an environment that tends to demand commitment to VMware applications and services.
VMware still popular in private, public cloud
According to the State of the Cloud Survey by RightScale, which surveyed a sampling of various IT professionals about adoption and use of cloud services, VMware ranks higher than many industry watchers might have estimated. In the private cloud, vSphere reigns as the most popular choice for both enterprise and SMBs. VMware (vCloud Hybrid Service plus other VMware offerings) ranks second as a public cloud choice among enterprises and fourth for smaller organizations.
In the public cloud sector, Amazon Web Services stands clearly ahead of the competition, but the fact that VMware has held its own against competition from Google, Rackspace, and others shows the strength of VMware’s wide-ranging products. It also illustrates that organizations are willing to adopt and commit to the company’s proprietary and often costly solutions.
OpenStack may soon overtake VMware’s vSphere and vCenter in the private cloud, but questions loom about how many technology professionals have the time and willingness to learn and implement OpenStack in the near future. Almost a third of RightScale’s survey respondents currently run VMware private cloud applications, but surveys also indicate that OpenStack is receiving substantially more interest in terms of experimentation. Some may soon plan to switch.
Diverse offerings help VMware
VMware’s many services can make it difficult for surveys to pinpoint which service organizations actually use. RightScale has called it a “vSoup” of survey responses, where clients may be unsure whether they are using the vCHS or something else.
The fact that VMware offers many different services and applications likely contributes to its persistent popularity in an evolving market. On one hand, the proprietary nature of VMware urges IT teams to use new and additional services from VMware when the need arises. On the other hand, VMware tends to lock in its customers by incentivizing clients to pair VMware products together.
The surging interest in OpenStack shows the depth of interest in the open-source environment as well as hesitation over committing to VMware products in the long-term. OpenStack’s learning curve and other entry barriers are causing many users to slowly experiment with and implement OpenStack, but many of these clients are also fearful of locking in costly VMware services and later feeling trapped.
The big boys: Google & Microsoft
While actual usage numbers lag, Microsoft and Google are getting plenty of buzz in their PaaS (platform as a service) and IaaS (infrastructure as a service) offerings. Specifically, RightScale’s survey shows that SMBs look toward Google Cloud Platform for their next move, while enterprises are showing interest in adopting Microsoft Azure.
Meanwhile, AT&T and Verizon are struggling to generate interest and usage despite large investments in their cloud offerings. Users seem to think of these companies as possibilities for cloud management but little else, so a bold move or new service may be necessary for them to become real players in the field.