Google and VMware

What’s Behind the Collaboration?

Jessica Thornsby
What-s-Behind-the-Collaboration

As Google and VMware celebrate their new-found friendship, the community ponders why these two companies have buddied-up.

Following the
announcement
that VMware and Google will collaborate on a
portfolio of solutions aimed at accelerating the adoption of cloud
computing in the enterprise, there has been some buzz in the
blogosphere as to what exactly Google are getting out of this
partnership. According to some, it could be as simple as the fact
that VMware just have more experience with the product’s target
market.

The author of VMware VI and vSphere SDK, Steve Jin is of this opinion, writing that
Google’s motivation for hooking up with VMware, lies in the target
market for this range of new cloud-based solutions. The new
services are targeting enterprises (if the ‘Google App Engine for
Business’ title didn’t give the game away,) an area where Google
have limited experience, whereas VMware’s SpringSource division has
an established presence in the Enterprise Java market. Stacey Higginbotham also takes this stance on
the collaboration, claiming that delivering an enterprise-friendly
platform, is Google’s weak spot.

Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond throws Google’s success
outside of the enterprise, and their weak presence inside the
enterprise, in a stark light, claiming that “while Google is the
darling of developers outside the firewall, they still struggle
inside the firewall.”

It is true that Google has a shaky stance in the world of
enterprise Java, as Savio Rodrigues points out. Applications for
its Android platform are written in Java, but do not compile to
Java bytecode, flying in the face of Java’s “write once, run
anywhere” slogan. With GAE/J, Google are also guilty of picking and
choosing which Java EE specifications to support. Meanwhile,
SpringSource/VMware’s Spring Framework has “become a de facto
standard which competes against the open standards-based Java EE
platform.” Could Google be chasing after some
benefits-by-association?

But, what is VMware getting out of the partnership? Rob Barry sees this move as the company
aligning themselves against Microsoft by getting Spring onto a
number of competing products, while Colin Steele suggests that VMware are
systematically collecting major cloud players, in order to
capitalise on this new market. “Cloud computing is obviously
important for VMware’s continued success (or any vendor’s, for that
matter),” he says. VMware’s recent partnership with Salesforce.com
seems to support the argument that VMware have an aggressive cloud
computing policy.

Is Google hoping that the VMware association and experience will
help bring them in from the cold, and help them get a more secure
foothold in the enterprise? And are VMware gearing up to be a major
player in the world of cloud computing? One thing is for sure: this
isn’t going to be the first collaboration of its kind. Cloud
computing is rapidly becoming a scramble for the best strategic
position, but whether Google and VMware now have the edge, remains
to be seen.

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