Rick Vanover ran a very interesting post on TechRepublic regarding the key differences between Amazon EC2 and VMware’s vCloud Express, which BlueLock, a VMware hosting provider, is participating in.  vCloud Express was publicly launched at VMworld 2009 in San Francisco.  BlueLock and four other cloud computing providers where chosen as launch partners to provide the new cloud computing platform.

Amazon EC2 is based on Citrix XenServer technology and VMware’s cloud offering is targeted directly at Amazon.  vCloud Express is obviously based on VMware virtualization technology as well as their vCloud API.

Snapshot of the differences between pricing and offerings:

  • Pricing is very similar although they do not align directly
    • EC2 instances start at $.10 per hour, but they offer 1 or 3 year subscriptions that can bring that price down to $.03 per hour for Linux instances
    • vCloud Express instances start at $.036 per hour and they offer subscriptions for Windows licensing as well
    • vCloud Express charges $.01 per hour for public IP addresses and $.01 per hour for external internet access for the workload including load balancing (which isn’t available on EC2)
  • vCloud Express has more instant provisioning options in regards to cores, processors and quantities of RAM
  • Operating Systems
    • vCloud Express has a broad offering including Windows 2008 server instances which aren’t yet available on EC2
    • AWS has a comparatively limited OS

I’m a little confused why he closes his post by saying that AWS is currently the winner.  Based on what he’s stated above about the offerings, I would say it seems as though VMware’s vCloud Express is the winner.  Ah, because its beta and there are still a few limitations here and there.  Watch out Amazon, vCloud Express could give you a run for your money when it graduates from beta status.

To learn more about vCloud Express, click here.

To read Vanover’s full post, click here.

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