Earlier this year at Microsoft Management Summit 2012, attendees were given USB flash drives loaded with copies of System Center 2012 products and the myriad dependencies needed for a chance at a successful deployment. Brad Anderson was quick to praise this technological breakthrough, despite his apparent unfamiliarity with the nuances of a System Center 2012 private cloud deployment, and went on to give this idyllic description of the process in the keynote:
Let me tell you about this. This right here, literally, is a private cloud on a stick or a private cloud in your pocket. On this, you have everything that is needed to get the Microsoft private cloud up and running. You’ve got SQL instances, you’ve got every aspect of System Center, all ready to go and ready to be deployed. Literally, what you can do is take, insert this in, answer a handful of questions, go have dinner, come back, the entire Microsoft private cloud will be set up and running for you. OK? Private cloud in the pocket.
Anyone that has attempted to set up the disparate collection of System Center 2012 products and explore the black art of configuration required to even approach the NIST definition of private cloud may be somewhat puzzled by such a laissez-faire perspective.
The truth is, solely getting these products installed is just the beginning. The Unified Installer is an interesting attempt to help new users get started with the vast collection of System Center products and prerequisites. The installer itself is actually quite cumbersome to use, but the crucial piece of information for customers to know is that it is only intended for lab environments:
So much for private cloud in your pocket.
Let’s wrap up with this assessment from an experienced systems engineer writing for Ars Technica who also found a discrepancy between the keynote marketing and reality:
The error from the thumb drive was, in a way, a perfect microcosm of the state of IT and cloud computing—we’re promised simplicity, but we get “some assembly required.” Cloud computing and the consumerization of IT are incredibly powerful concepts with enormous potential to make our lives easier, and to save money—but getting from potential to reality isn’t always quite as simple as we would like to admit.
Forget the cloud on a stick, trust VMware for production-ready private, public, and hybrid cloud technologies — ready now.
Cloud in Your Pocket? Maybe Microsoft is just happy to see you.
From your own CTO:
“VMware Cloud Infrastructure Suite is really more of a marketing term. Those of you know our products deeply know that they don’t fit well together as they need to. Some of them have multiple databases, some don’t look the same, some install differently, and what I can’t stand that is Site Recovery Manager doesn’t currently work with vCloud Director. So, what we are basically able to say is that we created and acquired companies that led to a lot of individual products that don’t work well enough together yet.”
“…the way Microsoft changed that world was by making all the products fit together in a suite…that is what we are doing heading forward…”
Skip to 3:12 in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BeaXJ5L2-5Y#!
Ah, and then we see this in CRN today:
VMware kills vRAM and starts to move to selling management as a suite. I wonder how many customers are going to just say f’it and look somewhere else? I’d guess a lot. vSphere 4.0 to 4.1…let’s dump a SKU and force everyone to upgrade…eh, near mutiny…OK, we won’t do that but we’ll raise the price in the worse economy known to mankind…oh, and we’ll charge you full price for a .1 upgrade…
4.1 to 5.0…since 80%+ of our revenue comes from vSphere…let’s milk the cow and do this vRAM thing and dip the toe to see what customers thing…eh, near mutiny yet again…OK, we’re still going to do it…but we’ll cut the increase in half? Deal?
5.0 to 5.1…yeah, we’re not ‘reacting’ to Microsoft or anything…but let’s change the licensing again…screw the vRAM…oh, let’s talk management and bundle all that together because that’s how you wanted this right?