It is hard to believe we are only days away from the end of 2013. As I reflect on the last twelve months, a few things come to mind that I thought I’d share.
OpenStack is widely recognized in the developer community and has support from a number of infrastructure vendors as well as other large technology companies. But it is still a work in progress. OpenStack is developing quickly, but is immature in some areas and not yet ready for commercial deployment in a service provider environment.
While development continues, OpenStack currently fails to deliver the level of orchestration, functionality and service differentiation that cloud service providers need to offer customers to capture a share of the cloud services market and assure future revenue streams.
Any service provider looking to develop its cloud services business wants a service that can be brought to market quickly and cost effectively. It needs to provide differentiation, and to be able to scale as the service grows. It also needs to be stable and professionally supported. But while it answers some of these requirements, service providers developing in OpenStack experience a log jam, as it doesn’t yet have the business logic and advanced functionality needed for a commercial cloud service. Read more on this topic.
2. AWS Demonstrates Massive Demand for Flexible Cloud Service
AWS has had another strong year; one analyst is now projecting the value of the AWS business to top $50 billion by 2015, driven by success in its Marketplace. Its continued innovation and growth shows the massive demand for genuine flexible cloud services. So how does a service provider compete? My view is that this is through differentiating in the marketplace. Being able to differentiate on what makes you truly different can still allow plenty of growth in a multi-cloud scenario. Read some of my thoughts from a discussion piece including responses to AWS bashing, price, federation vs. multi-cloud and an analogy used during the presentation and why I believe it is inappropriate.
3. Move from ‘Just Infrastructure’ to ‘Infrastructure + Platform + Apps’
It is no good just being a box shifter anymore. Service providers, in relation to the above AWS point, need to offer more than just the infrastructure. They need to offer services on top – the platform, the apps, and if they cannot do this, they will miss significant market opportunity. We believe service providers need the ability to add value through cloud blueprints and also easily integrate with third party technology to offer additional services.
As you enjoy the festive holiday season, we have, alongside some of our select partners, put together a selection of complementary resources to get you ready for 2014. Topics range from why you shouldn’t bet on vCloud Director to the state of the hosting industry.
Recently there has been an uptake in news articles debating the inevitable death of private cloud. One article that I found particularly insightful was ‘The End of Private Cloud – 5 Stages of Loss and Grief.’ John Treadway, SVP at Cloud Technology Partners writes:
“It’s not today, or tomorrow, but sometime in the not too distant future the bulk of the on-premise private cloud market is going to shrivel into a little raisin and die. A very small number of very large companies will operate private clouds that will be, by an large, poor substitutes for the services available in public clouds. However, they will be good enough for these companies for some percentage of their workloads.”
In the article, John looked at the five stages of loss and grief for private clouds. It’s a great read so I highly suggest having a look. For the purposes of this blog, I’m skipping to the fifth stage, acceptance:
“Not everyone will get here. Many have already, coming to the early conclusion that the future is and will be in the public clouds. Those that do get here before everybody else will have more opportunity, more reward, more fulfillment. The late arrivals may have to find other careers – like today’s laid-off mainframe programmer looking for a job at Facebook, it ain’t gonna happen dude. Many a former techie has found fulfillment and happiness in other fields – I even know one who went back to medical school and is a practicing oncologist. Pretty cool, eh? Even Julia Child didn’t start cooking until she was 50 – so your second career is nothing to fear!
In any event, once you understand that the public cloud is the future – and when you are over the denial, anger, bargaining and depression – you can start to make plans.”
As 2013 draws to a close, it concludes a transformational year for Flexiant. We were named Gartner Cool Vendor in cloud management in the first half of the year. In the latter half called the ‘magic unicorn of cloud’ by 451 Research.
We launched the fourth version of Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator aimed squarely at helping service providers’ increase profit, revenue and growth from cloud services. We have now opened our platform to make it easier for service providers to develop and create new services right for their business.
We also announced our product roadmap which includes our future support for OpenStack. We believe OpenStack has maturing technology to offer the market, but unfortunately does not meet business requirements. We plan to solve the business challenges associated with the open source cloud management solution.
As we head into 2014, we will continue to see the emergence of new entrants operating at scale through resellers and enterprises preparing for mass migration to cloud service providers.
Smart service providers are already gaining reach through other organizations’ existing relationships and resources by maximizing resellers’ vertical and industry-specific expertise and geographic coverage without requiring heavy investment in sales and marketing. Cloud service providers should consider expanding services through the reseller model. This model offers huge possibilities in terms of revenue growth without significant investment to build your own resources and presence.
We asked the question can reselling propel you into the cloud and beyond in our latest infographic. The answer is yes, see why…