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'Hey! You Got Public Cloud on My Premises!'

Mitch Wagner

There used to be a popular series of TV commercials for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups: Two people are walking along, one happily eating peanut butter out of a jar, and the other munching on a chocolate bar. They bump into each other.

"Hey, you got chocolate in my peanut butter!" exclaims one. "You got peanut butter on my chocolate!" says the other. They try out the contaminated snacks -- which turn out to be delicious.

I've been thinking about that commercial lately, as enterprise and cloud vendors are mixing up their technologies. Public cloud providers are extending their technologies on-premises, while enterprise vendors are pushing into the public cloud with technology developed for on-premises infrastructure. A lot of this action has been happening this week.

Prominent examples:

Cisco this week announced plans to extend its enterprise architecture for software defined networking, which Cisco calls the Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. Enterprises will be able to manage their virtual cloud networks with the same hardware and tools they use to manage their on-premises hardware networks. (See Cisco Takes Networking Fight to Amazon, Microsoft & Google.)

A year ago, VMware announced plans it called Cross Cloud Architecture, to integrate with IBM Cloud and plans to extend to Google, Microsoft Azure and AWS. Cross Cloud Architecture lets enterprises provide management, uniform policies and secure applications across public, private and hybrid clouds. (See VMware Seeks Cloud Dominance by Building Bridges.)

VMware followed up in October with a hybrid cloud partnership to extend VMware clouds into the AWS public cloud. (See Enemies No More: Amazon & VMware Partner on Cloud).

Expect to hear more about public cloud and on-premises integration at VMware's VMworld conference next week. I'll be there.

Microsoft is developing Azure Stack, an appliance that lets enterprises run their own Azure instances on-premises, with the same APIs, DevOps model, and open source tools. That'll be available... real soon now. It was reportedly going to ship last year; Microsoft started taking orders in July. (See Microsoft's Azure Stack Creeps Closer to Release and Microsoft's Azure Stack Is Useful but Not for Everyone.)

Startup ZeroStack provides an appliance that runs a private cloud with OpenStack APIs on premises, managed from a cloud application. (See ZeroStack Propels 'Self-Driving Cloud'.)

The benefits here are obvious: If it's the same technology on the public cloud and on-premises, enterprises enjoy benefits from operational savings and using the same tools in both places.

Mixing the public cloud and private cloud extends to the desktop. Google this week announced a suite of cloud services for managing Chromebooks for the enterprise. (See Google Polishes Chromebooks for Enterprise.)

And Apple is in a deal with Cisco to optimize enterprise networks for iPhones and iPads. (See Apple Hugs Cisco in Big Enterprise Push.)

All of those devices -- Chromebooks, iPhones and iPads -- are optimized for accessing cloud applications.

Two questions:

Will this trend continue? AWS says enterprises are on their way to go all-in on public cloud, with relatively few or no enterprises continuing to maintain on-premises infrastructure. Are they right? (See AWS CEO: Enterprise Data Center Is Doomed.)

The other question: Who the heck walks down the street eating peanut butter from a jar?

I discussed the merger of on-prem and public cloud, along with other enterprise predictions, with my colleagues Scott Ferguson and Curtis Franklin on a webinar this week. Grab some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and catch the replay here:

Enterprise Cloud: What Lies Ahead

— Mitch Wagner Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn profile Visit my blog Friend me on Facebook Editor, Enterprise Cloud News

Make sure your company and services are listed free of charge at Virtuapedia, the comprehensive set of searchable databases covering the companies, products, industry organizations and people that are directly involved in defining and shaping the virtualization industry.

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