Virtualisation software vendor VMware has hired Andy Tait, the former deputy director of the UK government’s cloud computing initiative, as its new head of public sector strategy.
Tait previously worked at the Cabinet Office as deputy director for G-Cloud, data centre consolidation and the application store programme.
Hiring Tait is likely to give VMware an advantage over Microsoft and Citrix when selling into the G-Cloud initiative, and it is perhaps a knockback for those who argue that the government should use open source software in its cloud infrastructure.
VMware is making a concerted push to win cloud business in the UK public sector. It recently commissioned polling company ComRes to survey public sector finance officers on their attitudes towards IT and the recent government budget cuts. ComRes found that despite the depth of the cuts imposed by the current government, only 55% are planning to reduce their IT budget.
One of the first government cloud computing initiatives was unveiled last week, when the Ministry of Justice announced that its various departments will share business applications hosted on pay-as-you-go cloud infrastructure from hosting provider Savvis.
According to a Savvis spokesperson, the company’s Goverment Wide Services platform, on which the Minisitry of Justice’s shared applications will be hosted, is not based on VMware’s virtualisation software. Instead, it uses a "mixture of open standard and proprietary software such as Microsoft, Sun and Red Hat."