Can Pivotal do Better than Microsoft Azure at Taking Market Share from Amazon Web Services (AWS)?

As Quentin Hardy wrote in the New York Times Bits column on Monday, April 1, 2012, EMC’s Amazon Challenger Comes Out, EMC is formally introducing “Pivotal”, a new “initiative” in the competitive market for elastic (flexible) computing services and platforms. Pivotal, Mr. Hardy notes, will be an entirely separate company and fully operational by a target date of April 29, 2013.

But is “Pivotal” a company, or an “initiative”? Check the following blog post, authored by James Watters who is affiliated with a business called “Cloud Foundry” which is purported to be an “instance” of the “Pivotal initiative” Cloud Foundry is Open and Pivotal. Are you as confused as we are?

The CEO of Pivotal, Paul Moritz, gave up the same position at VMware to run this effort. We don’t think that this is VMware’s first effort to find a competitive niche on Amazon Web Services (AWS) territory. As we Googled “Pivotal”, we came on another “instance” along the same lines as Cloud Foundry — Opus Interactive.

Does Pivotal stand much of a chance to do better? For that matter, does Pivotal have a chance to do better at competing with AWS than Microsoft has managed to do with Azure? From Mr. Hardy’s article, we are not optimistic. Mr Hardy describes the business case for Pivotal as not much more than a defensive reaction to a substantial erosion in market share suffered by EMC and VMware — Pivotal’s parent corps.

The Marketing communications summary of key features for Pivotal, summed up in a quote attributed to Mr. Moritz, neither communicates anything particularly new about Pivotal vs. AWS or Azure, nor anything specific: “to enable customers to build a new class of applications, leveraging big and fast data, and do all of this with the power of cloud independence.” (quoted from Quentin Hardy’s article, a link to which has been provided above). Without anything truly new to say, we can’t see how this attempt will do much better than previous attempts along the same lines.

We have first hand experience with both AWS and Azure. We found the technical jargon with AWS to be too thick for our comprehension. We tried shutting off the service 3 times before we could fully succeed. With regard to Azure, without a Virtual Machine for SharePoint Server 2013, we couldn’t get much immediate benefit out of the 90 day trial offer. We decided not to use it.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved

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