Salesforce.com CEO: Sorry, virtualization isn't cloud computing

While much of the networking industry last week was focused on VMworld in Las Vegas, Marc Benioff was at his own company's cloud computing event in San Francisco, where the Salesforce.com chief executive answered questions from attendees of Dreamforce 2011.

And Benioff took the opportunity to draw some sharp distinctions between virtualization, the topic of the Vegas conference run by VMware, and cloud computing.

FAQ: What to expect at Salesforce.com's Dreamforce

As reported by CloudPro, a U.K.-based cloud news and analysis website, Benioff, while freely acknowledging that Salesforce.com uses VMware products in its corporate data centers, said what VMware does isn't cloud computing.

"I watched the VMware keynote this week [and] they talked about how they now have 50 percent of the total market of servers," Benioff is quoted by CloudPro. "They have loaded their software onto 50 percent of all servers and they are now much more efficient. Then they said those [servers] are now all clouds."

But Benioff said there's a good way for network managers to determine whether a vendor is offering true cloud computing services or virtualization.

"Some of those companies are software companies," he said, according to CloudPro. "They have versions with numbers after it. That is when you know you are dealing with software; if you hear about versions, you know you are not in the cloud."

Benioff also dismissed the notion that virtualization is necessary as a migration tool to the cloud, telling attendees at a Q&A session, "I obviously don't believe that and I don't believe we need more software."

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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