NEWSWEEEK: What is VMware ' s vision of cloud computing?
Paul Maritz: You can divide the cloud today into two categories. One is the enterprise cloud, and there is one, for want of a better phrase, that I call the new-age cloud. The enterprise cloud is really about providing the opportunity for existing IT customers to take their existing workloads and have somebody else supply the underlying infrastructure … The other type of cloud is what I call the new-age cloud. This is about supporting fundamentally new applications. It's not about the current applications that are being used in the IT space. Ultimately the two will come together.
What are the biggest reasons for cloud computing to happen?
Businesses are going to want the flexibility to outsource the provisioning of infrastructure to people who can be presumably more efficient at it than they can be. The motivation is going to come really from having other people provide the "plumbing"—power, the day-to-day management, the reliability, uptime and so forth. Businesses will want to have the option of moving their application loads into, and equally importantly back out of, this outsourced infrastructure as they see fit.
From the consumer point of view, ultimately the user wants his information to belong to him and not to any particular device. Increasingly, individuals are characterized by a body of digital information. And that information needs to live on over a period of decades—the rest of our lives—beyond the lifetime of any device you might have. So everybody is going to need somebody to be the custodian of their information. Just like we don't put our money under the mattress anymore, we put it in the bank. So most of us will become customers of an "information bank" and in so doing become dependent on the cloud. You can see this trend already starting with hosted e-mail services like Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, etc.