Cloud

How Leading Cloud Services Providers Market Share Evolved in 2014

by Luc Van Haver

How did Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and IBM Softlayer relate to each other in terms of marketshare in 2014?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) had 25 percent revenue growth from the third quarter to the fourth quarter, giving it a 30 percent global market share in the last quarter of 2014, according to a report from Synergy Research Group. AWS’s year-over-year revenue growth was 51 percent.

Amazon was able to grab that marketshare despite a strong third-quarter push from cloud rival Microsoft , which showed the highest year-over-year revenue growth — 96 percent — last quarter. Microsoft is in second place in the market with about 11 percent share.

With strong 81 percent year-over-year revenue growth, Google advanced but was unable to grab the third-place spot from IBM which has about 7 percent of the market, compared to Google’s 5 percent, noted Synergy Research.

“Many actual or perceived barriers to cloud adoption have now been removed and the worldwide market is on a strong growth trajectory,” said John Dinsdale, Synergy’s chief analyst and research director, in a statement. “The momentum that has been built up at AWS and Microsoft is particularly impressive. They have an ever-broadening portfolio of services and they are also benefitting from a slowdown in the super-aggressive price competition that was a feature of the first half of 2014.”

Synergy estimates that overall quarterly cloud infrastructure service revenues are nearing the $5 billion mark. Worldwide revenue for all of 2014, which grew 48 percent year over year, exceeded $16 billion.

based upon anarticle by Sharon Gaudin for Computerworld. Read the whole article here.

Google Cloud Workshop by Translucid

by Luc Van Haver

Translucid, a Cronos Group Company, organizes a Cloud Workshop on Tuesday, February 10th from 14:00h – 16:00h. Location will be the meeting room “Lucky Luke” at Cronos building, Veldkant 33b, 2550 Kontich:

 

“With this Google cloud workshop we want to show you how simple it is to setup your developer environment on “Google Cloud Platform”. We aim to give this workshop to developers / architects / devops

14:00 – 14:15 intro cloud platform presentation

14:15 – 15:00 case 1: App Engine

15:00 – 15:45 case 2: Compute Engine

15:45 – 16:00 Q & A

In less than 2 hours we’ll get you up to speed on how to move to the cloud!

What You Need to Know about Cloud

by Luc Van Haver

 

I would like to share with you some thoughts on the subject, written by Wendy White (@Wendywhite)

What are the Top 3 Things I need to Know about the Cloud today?

1)     The cloud is ready for duty at big companies. The technology has evolved and become a lot more sophisticated than it was even a year ago. There’s been a general acceleration of capacity: more sophisticated software and computing power; more storage; faster bandwidth. Usage is becoming more common, with Gartner predicting that half of enterprises will have a “hybrid cloud”- a public cloud/private cloud combo – by 2017 (https://www.gartner.com/doc/2637515/forecast-it-services–q).

2)     Yes, it’s hyped, but a lot of the hype is true, or at least rooted in corporate reality. A lot of companies really are doing highly advanced IT work a lot more quickly than they used to, and at lower cost.

3)     It’s more than just technology. The cloud represents a different approach to IT on many levels. Yes, the cloud is technically about using someone else’s computers in a remote location and paying for use, not hardware. But, it’s also about rethinking the whole way that IT can serve the needs of the business. The technology enables a change in traditional IT and business roles in figuring out how to be most innovative and competitive.

Give me two good reasons to do it.

1)     IT projects can be rolled out more quickly – The cloud can help us launch operational initiatives and M&A projects faster than can be done with existing IT. We save the time it usually takes to acquire servers, build data centers, and set up software. A lot of that can be done automatically and more or less instantly with the cloud.

2)     CapX gets cut – The cloud helps us reduce capital expenditures on IT infrastructure and data centers. The equipment and network we use are on someone else’s balance sheet. The cloud is a “pay as you go” not “pay up front.” When you need more capacity, like on “Cyber Monday,” you increase your cloud service. On Tuesday, you can turn it off. We can conserve cash for other uses.

Give me two things to be worried about.

  1. Keeping consistent with security – While the hype about the cloud being insecure has faded, it can still be a challenge to ensure a consistent security framework across bi-modal, or hybrid IT infrastructures. (The old stuff and the new stuff.) When talking to a cloud service provider, find out whether they can utilize a common security model across physical and virtual machines. A third party security tool, or a different could provider, might be needed.
  2. Execution and organizational challenges – There can be unexpected costs and delays if a cloud project is not well planned. Some cloud service providers expect us to do a lot more of the in-depth technical work than we’re expecting, even though it’s on their equipment. Expert guidance on cloud projects can help mitigate this risk. Not every company has people on staff who really know how to make the most of it.   For instance, the cloud tends to push software developers and IT operations managers into a single unit, which can cause organizational stress. The best approach is to combine a move to the cloud with an overall change management program.

What is the takeaway idea for me in all of this?

Cloud computing presents an opportunity to be more agile and operate more economically, especially with regard to CapX. At the same time, it represents an organizational shift to a new way of doing IT. It can bear fruit if it’s thought through as a complete IT/organizational change.”

You can find the original and complete post here.

Audacious Business Models powered by Cloud Computing

by Luc Van Haver

In 2014, everything had to be disruptive: technology, business models, innovation, my mother-in-law and even the barking of my dog. Disruptive sells, disruptive is cool. Disruptive was probably the word most commonly used by marketers in 2014. I was never a fan. I like audacious better.

Let’s first taste the word. Audacious. Almost delicious:

au·da·cious

ôˈdāSHəs/

adjective

 

  1. showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks.
  2. “a series of audacious takeovers”
  3. Bold, daring, fearless, intrepid, brave, courageous, valiant, heroic, plucky

 

That’s more like it. Audacious is simply put the mother of disruptive. No disruptive without audacious. Although it might have a connotation of lack of responsibility, putting too much money at stake not knowing what the outcome of the adventure will be, it is audacious that caused multiple revolutionary changes.

It is true that a lot of brave people ceased being audacious due to budgetary reasons in the past. The future will perhaps offer them new opportunities. “If you want to increase innovation, lower the cost of failure”, Joi Ito stated recently (Joichi “Joi” Ito, 伊藤 穰一 Itō Jōichi, born June 19, 1966, is a Japanese-American activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and Director of the MIT Media Lab. Ito has received recognition for his role as an entrepreneur focused on Internet and technology companies and has founded, among other companies, PSINet Japan, Digital Garage and Infoseek Japan.

That is exactly what cloud computing can offer. A lower cost of failure. Cloud computing can power your audacious idea to the extent that in case of failure, the cost of getting drunk the day you realize you failed will probably be higher than the amount you spent on IT infrastructure trying to succeed.

Audacious is going to be the 2015 buzzword. Be audacious!

Cloud Essentials in Human

by Luc Van Haver

When you ask around about the meaning of Cloud Computing, you may expect a wide variety of answers, from fluffy descriptions by self-declared experts covering a lack of knowledge to in depth technological explanations masking specific vendor solution sales.

Yet there is only one more or less world-wide accepted official description, published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Not an easy exercise, since the one below is the 16th and final version of their definition:

“Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.” (Source: NIST-USA 2011).

This means we can use the term Cloud Computing when it meets the five essential characteristics described in the definition:

 

Resource Pooling: a variety of consumers has access to the resources in a virtual way (multi-tenant) and they have no or limited control over the physical location of the resources. Resources typically would be virtual machines, storage, networking, databases, bandwidth, software,…

On-demand Self Service: the consumer activates the resources without human interaction from the provider. A self-service tool is installed to obtain the required resources.

Broad Network Access: the chosen resources (capabilities) are available over a network and accessible through certain standard tools like a workstation, a thin client, a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone.

Rapid Elasticity: the resources can be elastically provisioned, in some cases manually or sometimes even automatically, to meet the requirements of the customer. The outward and inward scaling can be realized rapidly.

Measured Service: the usage of the resources is measured and can be monitored and controlled to the benefit of both provider and consumer.

 

If the story you are being told matches the characteristics above, it’s a true cloud story. If not, it is probably fog…

Of course there are several Cloud Deployment Models, but that’s another story I’ve written here

Five tips to help companies elevate the success levels of their cloud transformations

by Luc Van Haver

In its recent cloud survey report, “Elevating Business in the Cloud”, KPMG concludes that cloud is no longer a technology focus of an IT department. It has become a top-level discussion that involves the entire management team and the board in order to make strategic decisions that drive transformation and enable innovation. It’s clear that organizations that embrace cloud as a management topic – beyond IT – will seize much greater potential from all that cloud has to offer.

KPMG suggests five tips to help companies elevate the success levels of their cloud transformations – and elevate above the competition.

1. Make cloud transformation a continuous process.

To realize true long-term business benefits from cloud, cloud adoption should not be viewed as another technology implementation project, but rather a transformative journey spanning from strategy through execution.

2. Drive cloud transformation from the top.

Decentralized organizations which lack a clear decision-making hierarchy may struggle with the changes triggered by cloud adoption, impeding the transformation. Rather, organizations should seek to manage cloud transformation projects centrally, with a senior-level team that oversees the transformation process and guides strategic decisions.

3. Focus on strong leadership and engagement.

Cultural alignment through all levels of the organization is essential to managing the change associated with cloud transformation. Executive management should work to establish an aligned corporate culture at the outset, focusing first on getting the buy-in and support of cross-functional business leaders.

4. Avoid silos.

Cloud transformations succeed when organizations are able to embed change into every aspect of the business. As such, silos hamper transformation. In contrast, collaboration powers it. For example, business and IT professionals should work side by side as cloud is adopted into the enterprise.

5. Measure success.

Organizations should develop realistic and measurable outcomes for their cloud transformation projects that tie back to key business objectives. A value- and metrics-driven approach to cloud transformation enables the organization to know when milestones are reached and stay focused on achieving strategic goals.

source: KPMG 2014 Cloud Survey Report: “Elevating Business in the Cloud”

Cloud Deployment Models in Human

by Luc Van Haver

In a recent news release Eurostat, statistics provider of the European Commission, concludes that lack of knowledge still is the enterprises’ main reason for not using cloud services.

There is still a Babylonian confusion when talking about on premise IT infrastructure and cloud deployment models. Therefore I think it is time for a translation in human. Let’s compare the need for IT with the need for transportation.

When your enterprise needs transportation (company cars) for its business you have a variety of options to fulfill this:

 

  1. You can buy the needed amount of cars (= On Premise IT). You would have to calculate the amount of cars you need upfront (including potential peaks in need), budget them, order them, make them ready to use, think of a way to prevent them of being stolen and maintain them (or not). This is all in all a time consuming process BUT you will own the cars and you can do pretty much whatever you want with them.
  2. You could purchase a whole car park at once or engage a company to do that for you and organize it in a way that departments in your company can rent a car when they need one and pay for it only when they are using it (= Private Cloud). The cars will never be used by someone outside your company, so they are reserved for you. You would still need to consider the total amount of cars to be bought or reserved upfront including potential peaks. You will pay for the cars you do not use and it will take a while to obtain extra cars.
  3. You could make a deal with one or more other companies to share the concept described under 2 (= Community Cloud). The cars can be used by all (and limited to only) the companies included in the deal. Benefits can be optimization of the resources and sharing the cost of unused capacity.
  4. You could choose not to make any upfront investments at all and work together with one or more vendors that rent cars (= Public Cloud). You would pick any available model from their catalogue at any time of the day or night and as many as you need. All models are instantly available (within minutes), you always get the latest model and you don’t need to bother about maintenance, insurance, fuel,… BUT the car you have used can also be rented to other people you don’t know whenever you are not using the car. Cars can be added automatically when the need increases suddenly and vice versa. Levels of exclusivity often can be discussed, but everything comes with a price.
  5. Any combination of the concepts described in 2. to 5. would be called hybrid concepts (= Hybrid Cloud)

 

I’m aware that purists would want to add remarks and suggest completions to my comparison, creating yet another Babylonian confusion. For a novice in the cloud landscape however it is probably a useful handhold.