Today, we must demand of our software vendors that they support true, multi-platform hybrid clouds. And conversely, we must question why an ISV like VMware would claim all you need is “one cloud“…

Why? Citrix believes customers and partners want to support any application, available on any device, delivered from any cloud or even any infrastructure. After all, the ability to support multiple cloud  fulfills on the promise of hybrid cloud and multicloud computing. And at Citrix, this degree of choice and flexibility is core to our philosophy.

As Natalie Lambert recently pointed out, there are a variety of good reasons that customers demand the flexibility of using multiple clouds – to provide them with choices based on performance, compliance, security, avoidance of lock-in, and of course economics. But let’s also look at the data behind that, and see what the market really demands.

First: Enterprises want multi-cloud

In a recent State of the Cloud Report, RightScale looked at 1000+ employee enterprises and their cloud preferences. Their chart says to me that larger enterprises – for whatever reasons – prefer not to put all of their eggs in one cloud basket. They prefer “many” in contrast to “one.”

The public cloud market is big – so take advantage of choice

That’s my next conclusion – there are many large public clouds like Amazon, Microsoft Azure and IBM SoftLayer, each specializing in geographies, economics, performance and more. Why not have access to them?

In their Business Technographics Infrastructure Survey, 2014, Forrester Research Inc, asked: “Which vendor products does your firm [currently use/plan to use] as their provider for their public cloud platform?” The responses showed that there is no clear leader in the cloud market. No single Cloud dominates. In fact, there were at least 5 clouds effectively neck-and-neck. This tells me there is choice to be had in the market – and that limitations should probably be avoided.

The world will be a mix of on-premises and cloud – for a long time

Finally, maybe there is an argument that public cloud is (or will be) the ultimate answer.  Again, Forrester Research Business Technographics Global Infrastructure Survey, 2014 showed that “Most enterprises leverage multiple types of environments”.  This clearly shows that enterprises want a mix of owned, public, hosted… and presumably more.

For me, this shows that not only is it important to support Any cloud, but it’s important to have the capability to bridge between cloud and any owned/co-located infrastructure too. So, “Any” has to include “none,” as well!

How Citrix enables “Any Cloud” for customers and partners

At Citrix, our strategy is to be Cloud-First. That means thinking with a new mentality, and where customers expect our value to be cloud centric where they desire. With our newly announced Citrix Workspace Cloud, we’ve achieved that degree of choice.

Citrix Workspace Cloud is our cloud-based management platform that simplifies how customers and partners can deploy and manage their virtual workloads onto any cloud or any infrastructure, centrally managed yet globally available.

That means this is the first cloud-based platform of its type that’s purpose-built to support workloads on multiple clouds and infrastructures so that customers have the choice and flexibility they need to meet their performance, compliance, security, lock-in avoidance and economic goals.

Finally – Don’t fall into this trap

Let me clarify: As defined by VMware, a “unified hybrid cloud” is not multi-cloud nor is it “any” cloud. Sure, there is a convenience of multiple-cloud providers offering their platforms  based on a single vendor technology.  But VMware’s notion of one unified hybrid cloud is a trap that inherently limits choice.

The minute you place your bets on their notion of one cloud, you’re missing out on the opportunities afforded by the rest of the market.   And in the case of the VMware One Cloud slogan, you might just be missing out on 90% of the other choices you’ll wish you had.

Explore Citrix Workspace Cloud  

If you’re running Citrix, or if you’re using another vendor’s End User Computing (EUC) solution, you need to take a look at the new Citrix Workspace Cloud.  There are lots of ways to try it: You can experiment with a simple pre-defined “Test Drive”, or you can really give the platform a spin with a full Trial….  where, incidentally, you’ll get to choose any cloud or infrastructure as you evaluate the platform.

That’s the power of choice.