State of the Cloud 2017 (Part 1)

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State of the Cloud 2017 (Part 1)

The cloud has seen a lot of consolidation in the past year, and as it continues to mature, look for a shift toward standardization and interoperability.

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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 open-source and start-up culture. Technology may be ahead of the market sometimes, but it faces the reality check and realizes its gap in maturity during adoption. Cloud computing technology has matured in some areas and is still maturing in others. 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

The cloud service provider market has matured and is 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 huge competition for market penetration. Some of them, like HP Public Cloud and Cisco Public Cloud, realized it is not their area of expertise and closed their public cloud offerings. Rackspace moved to their stronghold of managed support rather than remain 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%), and the rest (52%).

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

Datacenter service providers changed their mindset 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 clouds or infrastructure by providing a value-added interconnect between these infrastructures.

Cloud Platforms

There were a lot of choices of cloud platforms for powering private or public clouds in recent memory. A lot of consolidation happened in this area, like HP acquiring Eucalyptus, Oracle acquiring Nimbula, Citrix acquiring Cloudstack and later open sourcing it under Apache.

OpenStack is standing tall and undoubtedly emerged as a leading open-source platform for powering private clouds. However, the public clouds powered by OpenStack have not made a bigger impact.

Gone are the days when the OpenStack ecosystem 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. They've tried multiple versions and flavors 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 to the private cloud by trying various options. The Azure Stack is the latest one, and we need to wait and see whether this one lives up to expectations.

Adoption of enterprise private clouds and managed private clouds are on the rise. The enterprise is not sticking to one private cloud platform anymore.

Cloud Ecosystem

The cloud ecosystem has been expanding and has proven to be the biggest differentiator for 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 the cloud ecosystem.

In the recent 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 Harvest.io, 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-focused company Security Islands, etc.

  • Google acquired hands-on learning platform Qwiklabs, mobile developer platform Fabric, voice command start-up Api.ai, API management platform ApiGee, test drive platform Orbitera, etc.

  • Within 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 marketplace platforms to offer cloud services from multiple service providers. Most of the distributors and resellers are working their way to offer cloud services through the marketplace. The SaaS cloud marketplace is another area that is picking up.

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

This year, we will see more focus toward orchestration or interconnection of SaaS services for consumer consumption

Cloud Management

Pure-play cloud management is no longer attractive to customers, as customer pain points for cloud adoption are not entirely solved by cloud management solutions, and ecosystem tools are expanding too fast for cloud management solutions to catch up on all features. We're seeing a paradigm shift in the approach to cloud management. Some cloud management solutions are maturing to become 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. Companies who offered pure play cloud brokerage platforms are no longer promoting just brokerage. Either they have transformed to provide services closer to that or got acquired or are nowhere on the map. This change in the market for cloud brokerage is largely due to the domination of giants in the cloud service provider realm and their market penetration. Brokerage companies expected many cloud service providers to emerge, but it has not happened, hence they faced the axe. In any case, some pieces of brokerage are part of the cloud management or governance solutions, which customers are happy about.

Cloud Governance

Cloud governance, brokerage, marketplace, and management all have some overlap 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's becoming essential for enterprises to use cloud governance solutions to have control over consumption and improve productivity and security of the multi-cloud.

Some of the leading players in multi-cloud governance are Rightscale, Jamcracker, and Corestack.

We'll come up with State of the Cloud 2017 (Part 2) in a short while.

cloud, cloud ecosystem, cloud platforms, cloud service providers

Published at DZone with permission of Rathinasabapathy Arumugam , DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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