Tuesday, April 13, 2010

vmforce: Is Salesforce getting into IaaS?

VMware and SalesForce.com have scheduled a joint webcast on April 27th. Rumors are circulating that Salesforce is planning to offer IaaS based on VMware virtualization platform. 
If true, this would be a good move for Salesforce for the following reasons:
  • Currently with Force.com, you can build and deploy only a limited set of applications (i.e. CRM centric, business process-based/case-management types of apps).   With IaaS, it will possible to deploy all sorts of applications on their platform. 
  • Building on top of VMware virtualization stack (i.e. vSphere), Salesforce should be able to facilitate integration and management of hybrid computing environments for those enterprises that have already invested in VMware.   This would be a huge advantage over competitors such as Amazon & Azure.
  • Azure already offers hosting (Windows).  In some cases, an IaaS from Salesforce may be viable alternative to MSFT.
  • Obviously, an IaaS Cloud Service offering enables Salesforce to engage enterprise customers on multiple levels thereby increasing marketshare.
So, what about VMware?   How would this help them?
VMware wants to be the technology backbone for all IaaS providers.  This is evident in their vCloud initiatives, and investments in vCloud Express and Terremark.   Salesforce.com is a key player in Cloud computing.  Enabling Salesforce deliver an IaaS on top of their virtualization stack is a major deal for them.  If the model proves successful, it can become a big headache for Amazon, Azure, and GAE
VMware also sees itself as a platform for hybrid Cloud Computing:
At this point, this is all speculation.  We should find out more on April 27th. 
What are your thoughts about vmforce?  Do you think VMware would be able to strike a similar deal with Google, eBay or Yahoo to offer an IaaS?

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