VMware's Tod Nielsen, co-president of application platforms, heard Salesforce.com talk about how public clouds would rule the enterprise in 10 years and gave a rebuttal at an investor conference.
Speaking at the Citi Technology Conference, Nielsen said anyone that has talked to any CIO knows that the private cloud will stick around as will data centers that are run by enterprises.
The one area that's a key difference between us and Salesforce is we listen to the enterprise and believe that at the end of this decade there's still going to be a tremendous number of workloads in the private cloud.
Salesforce folks believe that there are forklifts that are going to show up at data centers, and people won't have data centers and everything will be in the cloud. I have never met an enterprise CIO who says in three years we won't have any data centers because everything is in the cloud. And so our offering is much more compatible with their vision because they can have internal applications that they run themselves, we provide them the public capabilities with all of our partners as well as our own service and enable them the choice for what's right for them.
The VMware rebuttal comes a week after a user conference that ran at the same time as Salesforce.com's Dreamforce. VMware talked private cloud, knocked Microsoft and pitched its vSphere cloud operating system. Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff spoke of social enterprises and the day where no company has a server. Benioff also knocked Oracle for its "false cloud."
In the end, both companies are probably right. Data centers will continue to be built and software-, platform- and infrastructure-as-a-service will have plenty of room for growth.
The VMware view:
And the Salesforce.com side: