CORPORATE COMPUTING is supposed to solve problems, but often creates new ones, which have to be mended with more IT. These fixes create yet more problems and so on. The newest layer of IT geology is the “multi-cloud”. On March 10th VMware became the latest big software-maker to unveil its contribution.
The computing cloud is old hat. Most companies use at least one business service provided over the internet, be it raw number-crunching or web-based applications. In all, businesses spent nearly $230bn globally in 2019 on the cloud, according to Gartner, a research firm, and could splurge as much as $355bn in 2022. The lion’s share goes to three market leaders: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
Yet individual firms tend to use more than one cloud provider. Plenty employ dozens of them. They fear shackling themselves to just one—or, in the words of Pat Gelsinger, VMware’s chief executive, “they don’t just want to have a new IBM mainframe called AWS”. And they have diverse needs, related to specific digital tasks, necessary redundancy or compliance with data-localisation requirements. All this means that—in keeping with another eternal IT constant—their technological infrastructure is fragmented.
Enter the multi-cloud. The basic idea is to create an overarching, unified platform—a cloud of...
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