State of Cloud 2017 – Part 1

In Cloud Computing technology, we have seen the emergence, convergence and divergence of various technical concepts and tools since its inception. The cycle for emergence, convergence and divergence has really shortened as the technology innovation is happening at a rapid speed due to Opensource and start-up culture. Technology may be ahead of the market sometimes but it faces the reality check and realizes its gap in the maturity during the adoption. The Cloud Computing Technology has matured in some areas and maturing in some areas. The adoption is on the rise more than ever. The next stage after maturity is standardization, interoperability, compatibility, optimization, governance and operational efficiency. The year 2017 for Cloud Computing will mostly focus on these lines. This blog outlines the current state of some the key areas in Cloud Computing.

Cloud Service Providers

Cloud Service Provider market has matured and settling down with four big names Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine and IBM Softlayer. There were too many Cloud Service providers and there was a huge competition for market penetration but some of them like HP Public Cloud, Cisco Public Cloud realized it is not their area and closed their Public Cloud offering. Rackspace moved to their strong hold of Managed Support rather than a competitor to AWS and it was acquired by Apollo Global Management.

As per the survey, the market share by the Cloud Service providers are AWS – 31%, Azure 9%, GCE-4%, IBM Softlayer – 4%, Others 52%

The biggest shake up was that AWS, the leading public cloud service provider announced partnership with leading Virtualization player VMware to offer VMWare in AWS platform.

The data center service providers changed their mind set and no longer see Public Cloud Service providers as their competition. They started reselling Cloud Infrastructure from these service providers along with their Colo or Managed Private Cloud or infrastructure by providing a value added interconnect between these infrastructures.

Cloud Platforms

There were lot of choices of Cloud platforms for powering Private or Public Clouds earlier. Lot of consolidation happened in this area like HP acquired Eucalyptus, Oracle acquired Nimbula, Citrix acquired Cloudstack and later Opensource it under Apache.

Openstack is standing tall and undoubtedly emerged as a leading Opensource platform for powering Private Cloud. However, the public clouds powered by Openstack have not made a bigger impact.

Gone are the days when the OpenStack eco-system was dominated by niche, small players. It is now largely dominated by big players such as Red Hat, IBM, Dell EMC etc. Small niche players like eNovance, Metacloud, Pistoncloud, Bluebox have all been acquired.

VMWare still has the largest market capture for Virtualization. Has tried multiple versions and flavours for their private cloud vCloud but none of them was as promising as their earlier solution so most of the customers are happy with their earlier products

Microsoft is trying to find its way in Private Cloud by trying various options. The Azure Stack is the latest one and we need to wait and see whether this one live up to its expectations.

Adoption to Enterprise Private Cloud and Managed Private Cloud are in the rise. The enterprise is not sticking to one private cloud platform anymore.

Cloud Ecosystem

The Cloud Ecosystem has been expanding and it is proved to be the biggest differentiator for the Cloud Service providers and platforms.

AWS offers more than 85+ Ecosystem services in their platform. Azure offers more than 90+ Ecosystem services in their platform. Openstack has more than 50+ incubated projects for Cloud Ecosystem.

In the run up, Cloud service providers have acquired some of the technologies to strengthen the ecosystem. Some of them are,

Amazon AWS acquired Security Start-up, Optimization start-up ClusterK, High performance Computing start-up NICE, Mobile Video company Elemental Technologies etc

Microsoft acquired Migration platform Inmage, e-discovery start-up Equivio, Access security provider Adallom, Security focussed company Security Islands etc

Google acquired hands on learning platform Qwiklabs, Mobile developer platform Fabric, Voice command Start-up, API Management platform ApiGee, Testdrive platform Orbitera etc.

Among the ecosystem, AI, Security, Data analytics, High performance computing and Orchestration are gaining more importance.

Cloud Marketplace

Cloud Marketplace providers offering Infrastructure from multiple cloud service providers have faded as the smaller IaaS Service providers were not able to keep pace with the evolution of the large Cloud service providers. The large Cloud Service providers are expanding their footprint to support distributors and resellers to have more market penetration. Distributors and resellers are leveraging Cloud Market place platform to offer Cloud services from multiple service providers. Most of the distributors and resellers are working their way to offer Cloud services through marketplace. SaaS Cloud Market place is another area which is picking up.

Appdirect, ComputeNext, Mirakl are some of the leading Cloud marketplace platform providers.

This year we will see more focus towards Orchestration or interconnection of the SaaS service for Consumer consumption

Cloud Management

The pure play Cloud management is no longer attractive to customers as the customer pain points for Cloud adoption is not entirely solved by Cloud Management solutions and the ecosystem tools are expanding too fast for Cloud Management Solution to catch up on all features. We see a paradigm shift in the approach for Cloud Management. Some of the Cloud management solutions are maturing to become a Cloud Governance Solutions.

Cloud Brokerage

The highly talked about Cloud Brokerage market in 2012 has settled down to be part of Multi Cloud Management or Governance Solutions. The list of companies who offered Pure play Cloud Brokerage platform or no longer promoting just the brokerage. Either they have transformed to provide services closer to that or got acquired or nowhere in the map. This change in the market for Cloud brokerage is largely due to the domination of giants in Cloud Service providers and their market penetration. The brokerage companies expected many Cloud service providers to emerge but it has not happened hence they faced the axe. Some pieces of the Brokerage are anyway part of the Cloud Management or Governance solutions which the customers are happy about.

Cloud Governance

Cloud Governance, Brokerage, Marketplace, Management all have some overlaps in terms of technical features though the business consumption varies. Governance is the latest among the four. Cloud Governance takes care of Cloud resource Management, Operations automation, Cost Management, Security and Compliance of Cloud consumption.

As per the survey, 82% of Enterprises and ISV use more than one cloud so it becomes essential for enterprises to use Cloud Governance solutions to have control over the Consumption, improve productivity and Security of the multi cloud consumption

Some of the leading players in Multi Cloud Governance are Rightscale, Jamcracker and Corestack.

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