This year’s GigaOm Structure 2014 event focused on three main themes. The first, the relationship between the enterprise and the cloud; the second the effect the Internet of Things will have on infrastructure; and the third OpenStack.
The conference took place in San Francisco and managed once again to gather industry leaders and visionaries in the computing infrastructure space. While I’m not going to give you a summary of all what has been discussed (you can find the complete coverage on GigaOm), there are some important takeaways to share.
Despite Amazon Web Services CTO, Werner Vogels’ claims that enterprises are already on AWS – he specifically named some of them such as Netflix, Dropbox and Newscorp – we all understood how far those examples are from traditional enterprises with legacy workload. In fact, HP remarked how its daily talks with CIOs revealed how the percentage of enterprise applications running in the cloud is still on a single digit.
Earlier this week the cloud federation model came under fire again as CDNify publically denounced a federated model saying “it’s really tough to differentiate from the other virtual CDN operators doing the same thing.”
An advocate of federation commented on the wider differentiation in the GigaOm article saying:
“The reality is, if you go to any CDN provider out there on the market I would say it’s quite difficult to differentiate between the offerings of most of them, to be frank. The bundles they create are very much the same – they offer similar coverage, similar add-ons – so it’s difficult to differentiate if you’re playing the same game as everybody else.
This is an argument we’ve made for more than a year now. If you federate, it’s difficult to differentiate. CDNify said it “encountered another, rather bizarre problem: a “couple of times”… [it found] that other OnApp resellers were copying images and copy from its website. After all, if everyone’s selling the same thing, it’s an easy shortcut to take. “One incident was literally cutting and pasting,” Cunsolo added.”
In a clear contrast of opinion, last week I watched a debate at Structure:Europe between GigaOM’s David Meyer, OnApp’s Ditlev Bredahl and our own Tony Lucas on how to compete with Amazon. I left the room asking myself if service providers want to just survive or thrive?
On one hand, a panelist spoke about a federated model where service providers unite to share resources. It was said that service providers will look back at this decade and realize the focus for hosters and service providers was on tactics to survive against Amazon. An analogy was offered on how this relates to the logistics federation. It was said that similar to parcel delivery where x number of companies share in the shipment of said parcel so too should service providers share in the delivery of cloud services.
Like many other attendees, I’ve spent my flight back home reflecting on my two days at GigaOm Structure:Europe and considering the cloud infrastructure market, where we are now and where we are headed.
The big ones
All the big vendors including HP, VMware, EMC, Dell, Google and Microsoft were quite aligned in terms of strategy, even if their answers sounded a bit too prepared. The exception was Google, who always seems to be 5-10 years ahead in terms of technology.
Margaret Dawson (@seattledawson), VP of Product Marketing & Cloud Evangelist at HP Cloud Services, highlighted the current “hybrid washing” phenomenon which I mostly agree with. Indeed, at Flexiant we believe public clouds are the only possible final scenario; hybrid cloud is just an intermediate step, serving as a way to get to public cloud and not the goal itself. It offers a way to ease the migration to public infrastructure instead of using it as a way to get the best of both worlds.
Earlier at #structureeurope is Nnamdi Orakwue, VP, Cloud, Dell and Barb Darrow to discuss the Dell cloud strategy. Nnamdi talked about the fatigue from vendor lock in and that with tricky pricing and complexity from the cloud era, companies are struggling to find cloud vendors to support their business. Barb summarized this as the same people that fear vendor lock in in IT, now fear it in the cloud.
Nnamdi then talked about Dell’s need to take a different approach to cloud and one that included a partner approach. See our news on this here. His point was that Dell wants to work with experts so for example, they work with a French partner that knows the ins and outs of the country and can support customers with that level of detail combined with Dell solutions.
Lastly, the discussion turned to OpenStack. Nnamdi said “Dell loves OpenStack; it’s fantastic and graining great market traction.” He explained that Dell has banks, for example, coming to the business already doing ‘things’ with OpenStack and that Dell is in the fortunate position to sit on top of all of this. The overall goal is that ‘the customer should win.’