Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Gathering Storm: As VMware “Monsters” Up, Citrix Buys Cloud.com

At a live event in San Francisco today, virtualization giant VMware unveiled what it called a “monster” of a cloud infrastructure suite, upgrading its flagship VMware vSphere, even as rival Citrix forked over more than $200 million for Silicon Valley’s Cloud.com to better compete in the cloud computing arena.

The Citrix purchase of Cloud.com gives it CloudStack, its best known product, which is a way to build open private and public cloud computing systems. It put the Florida-based company in increased competition with VMware, as well as Amazon and Microsoft.

In related news, at its partners conference in Los Angeles today, Microsoft also stressed its private and public cloud computing solutions, unveiling a wide range of updates and features to its Windows Azure and other cloud offerings.

The competition in the space is certainly heating up as several rivals compete to become the key provider of technology and management in the cloud, as companies increasingly move their business operations there.

VMware’s strategy is to go bigger and stronger, with what it is billing as the most complete cloud package for users, touting more power, performance and scale in its vSphere 5 product.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said it has simplified its offering, which is the first big update to its cloud operating system since mid-2009.

All of it is about making companies more comfortable with moving completely to the cloud, which is still the biggest obstacle for a range of issues, including worries about security and, well, simple confusion.

VMware said vSphere 5 and its updated cloud infrastructure suite is expected to be available in the third quarter.

“The market has fully embraced virtualization as a key transformative technology at the heart of the next era of computing,” said VMware CEO Paul Maritz, in a statement. “With vSphere 5 and our cloud infrastructure suite, VMware is helping customers accelerate towards more efficient and automated cloud infrastructure, redefining how resources are managed and secured, and ultimately, driving a more productive relationship between IT and the businesses they serve.”

At a Q&A later, Maritz acknowledged the increasing competition, specifically pointing to Microsoft, where he once worked.

“They have been predicting our death for five years now,” he said, noting that has not come to pass. “That said, they still haven’t given up either.”

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