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Future of Cloud: Part Two

overcast with Sunny Spells and Storm Clouds to Follow

Following yesterdays blog seeking to form a couple of pointed predictions, I assumed I might add some thoughts on what impact this may all have for the longer term with a brief, medium, and future outlook for personal cloud and OpenStack:

Short term: people will struggle to form take advantage of Openstack

With Liberty (the 12th release) OpenStack is beginning to become enterprise-ready, but it's still behind AWS on the maturity curve, needs a couple of more fixes and therefore the skills are lagging the technology – meaning that until the talents catch up and the skills gap closes touch firms will struggle to form take advantage of OpenStack.

Admittedly there are a couple of pioneering client engagements (many of which we heard about at the OpenStack Summit in Tokyo), but most players are still performing on a variety of PoCs (Proof of Concepts) and are yet to actually industrialize their offerings and really reap the rewards.

Medium-term: there might be a fortune to be made moving clients to the cloud

oppose gold rush is nearly upon us and lots of firms could strike it rich (at least for a brief while). it's all about the applications. These were mostly written to run on Oracle or NoSQL databases. Once a couple of innovators find out the way to engineer a move from Oracle or NoSQL databases to containers, the flood gates will open and tons of cash are going to be made within the ensuing migration phase. Amazon AWS already had Oracle clearly in its crosshairs with its recent launch at re Invent of tools to simplify data and database migration to AWS. Others will improve on this and enable migration onto containers – which may then run on any cloud platform.

This gold rush will eventually come to an end however – these applications can only be migrated once. it's a touch like VMware that made a fortune helping firms virtualize. it's something that you simply only do once. At the time VMware could charge a true premium for it and make a fortune, but eventually, other cheaper options emerged (like KVM) and therefore the market became saturated. VMware then struggled to feature further value (and Michael Dell may find it hard to use VMware to assist pay off the debts he incurred buying EMC).

Interestingly mainframe applications could also be among those last to shift, meaning that, in an ultimate irony, this legacy particular platform may outlast the Unix/RDBMS rivals that attempted to exchange it.

There is an excellent deal of IT budget that has been consistently drained within the sort of Oracle license renewals which will then become free for reinvestment during a wave of possible innovation as firms leverage their freedom from the constraints of many of their legacy data stores and seek to capitalize on the potential benefits of containerized environments.

During this gold rush phase proximity is going to be important, and firms will want to locate their computing power near their big data stores. this may be a true opportunity for personal cloud implementations – a quick period during which the previously mentioned private cloud/OpenStack premium could rather be justified. Sometimes the increase of containers is portrayed as competitive with OpenStack, but within the medium term, a minimum of OpenStack and containers will co-exist.

Long term: OpenStack risks becoming a backwater

The whole argument for personal clouds is that regardless of how compelling the general public cloud services are, there'll always be the subsequent compelling drivers for the personal cloud:

Financial advantages (in certain circumstances) – although the private cloud/OpenStack premium will become increasingly hard to sustain

The need for technical control over one’s compute environment – although increasing usability and adaptability also as innovations like containers are making this less relevant.

Reasons for proximity (for instance, as mentioned above, putting the compute power near big data stores) – although once the gold rush is over and applications are all containerized, proximity will not be the maximum amount of a problem.

Reasons for protection, risk aversion, compliance, and regulation – although further innovations in security and another area by public cloud vendors and their ecosystem partners are addressing these concerns.

The majority of compute cycles already run on the public instead of private clouds (across SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS). The share of compute cycles on the public cloud will increase meaning that the share of compute cycles on the private clouds will consequently decrease. increase this the unavoidable private cloud/OpenStack premium and therefore the increasing relative irrelevance of a minimum of a number of the main corporate sponsors behind OpenStack and it's not hard to ascertain private cloud and OpenStack becoming a relative backwater – possibly even before it reaches full maturity.

So where does that leave us all…

This leaves little within the way of a compelling proposition for personal cloud within the least in the future .information technology consulting there'll be a gold rush and a quick private cloud bonanza – because the industry activates the likes of Oracle, seeking to interrupt down the barriers of the info store enclosures and free the info – but it'll be short-lived.

There will be a gold rush and a quick private cloud bonanza

The challenge for enterprise tech vendors is going to be in remaining relevant. Will clients still pay HP, Cisco, Oracle, or indeed anyone else a personal cloud premium? Can they still provide an equivalent operational and economic flexibility as a public cloud, with the control and autonomy that comes with owning your own environment – while reducing the private cloud premium to a suitable minimum?

The challenge for the anticipated ‘handful of players [that] dominate public cloud with their own proprietary stacks’ are going to be one among continuing to innovate, and to require advantage of economies of scale and fast cycle times in deploying new functionality, and also of staying before what is often achieved even as easily in software.

In the future it won’t be all about public and personal clouds any longer, but about local and global ones. Local clouds are going to be as stipulated by national governments (such because the G-cloud within the UK) and global ones are going to be provided by the standard suspects: AWS, Google, Azure, and perhaps also IBM (which is keeping pace through its SoftLayer and BlueBox acquisitions), with maybe Alibaba’s Aliyun also.

The future is going to be all about software

The future also will be all about software, as everything is becoming software-defined.

Future of Cloud: Part One

Crystal Balls and Great Expectations 

Back in May, following the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, I said that: “… many of the most players in OpenStack only really play within the private cloud space – HP, for instance, let slip that it wasn’t really a player publicly cloud, before rapidly withdrawing the comment and claiming that it had been, when actually it isn’t. So it's getting increasingly easy to picture a future during which a couple of players dominate public cloud with their own proprietary stacks, while OpenStack becomes the de facto standard for the personal cloud.” 

Rackspace decided that it might offer managed public cloud services rather than commodity IaaS cloud. IBM scrapped its SmartCloud Enterprise public cloud product when it bought public cloud player SoftLayer. Dell got out of the market a while ago, although it now has an ‘arms-length’ presence again via VMware – which it inherited from its $67 billion EMC purchase. and eventually, HP announced last week that it wasn’t serious about the public cloud in any case.

break up

HP quits Public Cloud; Dell buys EMC; What’s happening?

As predicted that leaves us with a couple of players dominating the public cloud with their own proprietary stacks – although SoftLayer is essentially OpenStack compatible and Google is keen to figure more closely with OpenStack. It also means OpenStack has effectively become the de facto standard for the personal cloud (VMware being expensive and having its on-going independence and thus survival questioned).

Buoyed up with a false sense of infallibility, I assumed I’d stick my neck out and make a couple of further predictions:

Open standards, security, and great tech won’t provide a competitive advantage for OpenStack

OpenStack groupies often claim that open standards, security, and great tech make the open cloud OS the natural choice over its proprietary, public cloud rivals. they're kidding themselves. Claiming that being open brings a competitive advantage is futile. If this were true then Linux would have decimated Windows. the very fact is that AWS could also be proprietary, but the lock-in issues are often overcome by using good application architecture, also by using new technologies like containers. Besides, there are enough companies in the AWS marketplace with competing services in any area that clients have enough choice within the AWS ecosystem without looking elsewhere. On the safety front, AWS continues to feature security innovations and enhancements – and it beat IBM within the bid to run cloud services for the CIA. OpenStack has its own security challenges in any case. As for nice tech and therefore the ability to create complex systems for complex needs, more and more of the simplest tech is being built for multiple platforms (such as container technology), as companies find OpenStack skills briefly supply, as more developers specialize in AWS and as tech firms seek to spread their bets between AWS, OpenStack, et al...

Private cloud/OpenStack won’t be a secure haven

It’s competitive enough within the public cloud between just three main players, but the private cloud/OpenStack world is going to be one that's much more fragmented, and can be one during which it's exceedingly hard for players to differentiate themselves or to take care of margins. At an equivalent time Amazon isn't scared of taking the fight to the opposition, just ask Walmart, Etsy, or any of the tech vendors. information technology education AWS already features a major private cloud client within the CIA. Don’t assume that it won’t decide at some point either to supply close API integration with OpenStack and drain business from its private cloud rivals or to require them head-on with a personal cloud offering of its own. albeit this doesn’t happen and containers simple begin – they’re an entire lot cheaper to run immediately on AWS.

The private cloud/OpenStack premium will hinder the growth

The OpenStack skills shortage and poor usability are two sides of an equivalent coin. If you'll reduce complexity then the talents issue would be less of a drag and the other way around. Until this is often cracked the value of skills and complexity combined will still be a serious overhead for OpenStack. At an equivalent time, OpenStack is simply a part of the entire private cloud market that's worth $8.9bn and is growing at 35% (IDC), whereas AWS alone isn't only already bigger than the whole private cloud market but it's growing at 78%. AWS, therefore, features a scale advantage that's increasing rapidly. additionally, all of AWS’s profits are reinvested in infrastructure and innovation for AWS, whereas OpenStack profits are spread across a fragmented community and reinvested in often duplicated or competing for development initiatives.

All of this puts private cloud and OpenStack at a serious cost disadvantage meaning that there'll always be a price premium for personal cloud – even before you begin to tailor an answer for the requirements of a specific client. While the private cloud is growing, it's actually falling as a share of the general cloud market (as public cloud outpaces it) and it's also failing to match the loss of traditional tech revenues that are being eroded from the normal tech players. it's not hard to ascertain private cloud revenues beginning to shrink once the cloud sector matures and therefore the private cloud/OpenStack premium becoming less sustainable (you’ll be ready to read more about my opinions thereon in my future forecast tomorrow).

Old tech giants: From Dominance to Relevance

In this environment the tech giants that until recently were tussling for dominance within the market, now find themselves struggling for relevance. Take HP for example it's a corporation with an excellent history, some talented staff, and a few fantastic technologies, but even with all its skills and resources, it couldn't get a competitive OpenStack public cloud off the bottom. As I’ve mentioned before, publicly cloud AWS is taking advantage of a true first-mover advantage. Firstly the capital costs and barriers to entry publicly cloud are significant. AWS had to spend about $1 billion each quarter building out its cloud platform.

Secondly, differentiation is tough to realize in the cloud, meaning that fast followers are struggling to beat AWS’s scale advantage by offering obviously improved offerings – usually the approach that fast followers make. HP et al. haven't dropped out of public cloud because they wanted to, it's because they were forced to.cloud technology What they are doing now and the way they maintain their relevance within a little and potentially shrinking private cloud market will define their future, but the industry’s future is going to be defined by others.

So let's see how things unfold over time. Please be happy to return back and challenge us on these predictions. We love nothing quite an honest debate!