Atos, EMC, VMware create Canopy cloud venture

Atos has announced a new company aimed at making cloud computing more accessible, blaming too much complexity as one of the barriers to greater uptake.

The company, Canopy, will be formed out of the cloud services provided by Atos, EMC, and VMWare to make a “one stop shop” for cloud computing, Atos CEO Thierry Breton said today.

Breton and EMC chairman Joe Tucci were keen to highlight the massive impact cloud computing is set to have.  As with most cloud announcements the hyperbole came think and fast with Tucci claiming that cloud computing represents a “Tsunami rather than a sea change” in IT, with “massive disruption” leading to “massive opportunities”.

With Apple CEO Tim Cook claiming that tablets are likely to be more widely used than PCs, Tucci reiterated that “we are definitely in the post-PC world”, and this is a world of multiple devices that the cloud will thrive in, he said.

With such opportunities in mind, the heads of the two firms were both keen to encourage the “acceleration” towards the full introduction of the cloud.  The cloud market is worth roughly $59 billion in 2012 but this should grow to $267 billion by the end of the decade, and all three companies are intent on getting a portion of that, even if they have to buddy up to do so.

Among the camaraderie, there are certainly roadblocks in the way of reaching such large figures, even if it is a question of when rather than if that growth occurs.

Other than questions of security and openness, the complexity of cloud offerings have been named a turn off for enterprise customers.

According to Breton, “Most of our cutomers are requesting a one stop shop” – and he hopes that Canopy will manage that by using the technologies from each firm.

Canopy will be run by Atos with smaller investments from the other two.  Atos intends to draw on the storage and virtualisation experience of its partners in various aspects of cloud computing.

The business, headquartered in Europe, will focus on combinations of public, private and hybrid enterprise cloud, and will look towards open standards.

The services will include features such as an enterprise application store as part of a software as a service model, powered by technologies from EMC and VMware.  An enterprise platform as a service will also be on offer, as will consulting services.

Shareholders agreement should be reached in the second quarter of this year, and Atos will decide on who will lead the cloud project as CEO.