Microsoft has just taken a swipe at VMware's young cloud business.
VMware markets that effort, vCloud Air, as the perfect cloud for VMware users, because it just looks like an extension of vSphere. Spinning up servers in the cloud, or shunting workloads around between servers, works just like doing those chores in your own bit barn.
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Virtzilla also offers a disaster recovery (DR) service in vCloud Air, because DR is such a blindingly obvious application of the cloud but also because the end-to-end vSphere story works well there too: if you're going to fail over you might as well fail over into the same environment you already operate.
Microsoft makes pretty much the same arguments when chatting to Windows users about its Azure Site Recovery (ASR) service, which shunts on-premises VMs into Azure, keeps them in sync and allows failover to cloudy operations if your bit barn borks.
But now it's making the same pitch to VMware users by making it possible for Virtzilla-styled VMs to sync to, and run inside, Azure.
Azure like it
Redmond has been talking this one up for a while but flicked the switch on Thursday.
That's almost certainly a significant irritant to VMware, which talks of welcome momentum for vCloud Air but is yet to trumpet it as a success or reveal revenue.
The company has said that all its cloudy efforts – vCloud Air and its various SaaS plays – delivered about five per cent of revenue in Q4 2014, and are growing fast.
Microsoft may just have thrown out some obstacles to that acceleration. The Reg's virtualisation desk expects Redmond to make more manoeuvres soon, by outlining a cogent position for how it expects Windows Server users should operate their hybrid clouds.
At present, Microsoft offers System Centre, Azure Stack and Operations Management Suite, all of which overlap to varying degrees.
Once Microsoft can explain just what fits where, and when and why, it will be able to match the vCloud Air story and offer a DR alternative to vSphere users who aren't keen to put all their eggs in one basket. ®