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May 22 2008   1:57PM GMT

VMware jumps onto cloud bandwagon

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Bad news for people who hate buzzwords: Another big-time IT vendor is getting into “cloud computing.”

This time it’s VMware, whose president and CEO Diane Greene talked up cloud computing during a speech yesterday in Boston. My colleague at SearchServerVirtualization.com, Bridget Botelho, was there, and she reports that VMware will use the “cloud” to differentiate itself among increasing competition in the virtualization market.

“The dream of cloud computing is fast becoming reality,” Greene said during her keynote at the JP Morgan Technology Conference.

VMware becomes the latest traditional IT vendor, inspired by — or jealous of — the success of Google and Salesforce.com, to get into cloud computing.

“Cloud computing” is less annoyingly known as “Software as a Service,” although that term opens up a whole new can of buzzword worms. I’ve heard people refer to “Platform as a Service,” “Hardware as a Service,” and someone I recently talked to actually used the term “Service as a Service.” Um, excuse me?

Anyway, back to the VMware news. I’m not even sure how “virtualization in the cloud” or “Virtualization as a Service” or whatever you want to call it would work. Virtualization stores information and applications in a data center and recreates an image of that data on a server, endpoint or other appliance. So in that regard it’s similar to cloud computing, which stores information and applications in a data center for users to access through a Web browser on a PC or mobile device.

Other recent examples of vendors getting into SaaS include Microsoft, which is now pushing its Dynamics CRM Online, and Symantec, which released its Online Backup Service. It remains to be seen if the model will work for these vendors who are giants in the on-premise software world — or even what the model is, in VMware’s case. But for now, the buzzwords work, and apparently that’s all that matters.

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