Executives from VMware, EMC and Cisco Systems have delivered a sharp rebuke against cloud computing pioneer Amazon.com, whose CTO last week passed off the 'private cloud' as little more than vendor marketing guff used to sell more hardware.
Speaking at EMC's Inform event in Sydney today, executives and analysts detailed why organisations needed to purchase virtualisation software and compute, storage and networking equipment to build on-premise versions of what the public cloud provides.
David Webster, president of EMC Australia said that the private cloud should be viewed as "an incremental approach to change" in which organisations "become more effective" in what infrastructure they choose to buy in terms of whether workloads can seamlessly be transferred between in-house systems and those of service providers.
An excitable Benjamin Woo, program vice president for storage systems at analyst group IDC told attendees it was "reasonable and feasible and viable" to move "any application" to the cloud.
"Cloud is not a technology or a product," he said. "It is a set of technologies, deployed as a set of services."
Woo said public clouds are "mostly" only useful for consumer applications, whilst private clouds gave "single organisation control", mixed with the choice of keeping apps on-premise or pushing them out to external service providers.
"Mark my words, this is a revolution we're going through," he said.
VMware's local chief Paul Harapin told iTnews that Amazon.com's on-demand pricing and elastic compute model also comes with "elastic availability characteristics."
"You could be out for 24 hours, and it happens regularly," he said. "If your business can handle that sort of outage and you're prepared to reengineer everything you do and you're prepared for a very long term Amazon relationship, fantastic.
"But for everybody else - particularly at an enterprise level - for anybody that has a business that they're running already, [that has] developed their applications, they have their infrastructure - to say 'well, Amazon's cheap, I'm gonna throw all of that away and its gonna turn up in the cloud' is hallucinatory."
Amazon.com has since denied it has ever experienced an outage of the length described by Mr Harapin.
VMware and Cisco Systems were asked to prove that the private cloud is indeed a reality, rather than just marketing.
Harapin claimed VMware has 10,000 customers in Australia, whilst Cisco Systems chief technology officer Kevin Bloch said the networking vendor has sold its unified computing solution (UCS - a hybrid of service and storage) into 1000 accounts and one million ports worth of the latest Nexus 2000 switch.
EMC didn't disclose any numbers.
Caption from left: VMware's local chief Paul Harapin; Cisco CTO Kevin Block; and David Webster EMC managing director.