Salesforce and Google have teamed up with VMware to promote cloud portability but like beauty that portability is only skin deep.

imageVMware has been moving of late to form strategic partnerships that enable greater portability of applications across cloud computing providers. The latest is an announcement that Google and VMware have joined forces to allow Java application “portability” with Google’s App Engine. 

It is important to note that the portability resulting from this latest partnership and VMware’s previous strategic alliance formed with Salesforce.com will be the ability to deploy Java-based applications within Google and Force.com’s “cloud” environments. It is not about mobility, but portability. The former implies the ability to migrate from one environment to another without modification while the latter allows for cross-platform (or in this case, cross-cloud) deployment. Mobility should require no recompilation, no retargeting of the application itself while portability may, in fact, require both. The announcements surrounding these partnerships is about PaaS portability and, even more limiting, targeting Java-based applications. In and of itself that’s a good thing as both afford developers a choice. But it is not mobility in the sense that Intercloud as a concept defines mobility and portability, and the choice afforded developers is only skin deep.