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The Cloud vs. Colocation: Who will win?

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The Cloud vs. Colocation: Who will win?

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A very powerful chart came out today thanks to Gartner, comparing the sheer spending (cumulative cloud investment) on cloud infrastructure by cloud leaders.  You can view the chart courtesy of The Register here.

I’ll summarize it for you: Google, Microsoft and Amazon are outspending everyone else by a wide margin.  Rackspace spending is in a distant fourth place, spending less than 10% of Google’s cumulative cloud spend, or about $1.4 billion according to Gartner.

After you take a look at the chart, take a close look at the diverse and fragmented retail colocation market, which has been growing at a robust clip.  Rackspace may be one of a handful of survivors, due to aggressive cloud investments, yet it may all come down to how many choices enterprises want--once they acquire the ability to seamlessly extend workloads into and between the clouds, as VMware and Microsoft are promising.

What happens then to the dozens of niche colocation players as hybrid cloud integration goes from manual to automated?  Those who preserve their traditional stovepipe model go the way of the small, local railroads and the Pony Express after the telegraph crossed from coast to coast. That may be the news behind last week’s hybrid cloud declaration of victory by Rackspace.  They see the cloud vision and it does include them.

Those with the most robust APIs and services win. As Randy Bias said, lining up APIs with dominant AWS may be a good idea whose time has come. Those with the most manual processes and risks and integration expenses lose.  Those who are integrated with the cloud leaders have a better chance of winning.

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