@CloudExpo Authors: William Schmarzo, Hollis Tibbetts, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Who Will Win the Enterprise Cloud Race in 2014?

As each vendor makes a move to build a top-tier enterprise cloud, others will counter

And the race is on. The cloud industry is abuzz with recent M&A and product news pointing towards what appears to be the Holy Grail for helping large companies move to the cloud with confidence. Both private and public cloud vendors are vying for a spot in the relatively new and rapidly growing market segment of enterprise cloud. CenturyLink swooped up Tier 3 in an attempt to establish a stronger enterprise offering; Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced its enterprise play at re:Invent; IBM acquired SoftLayer; and even the Google Compute Engine has been quick to follow in the footsteps of its competitors.

As each vendor makes a move to build a top-tier enterprise cloud, others will counter. With so much product and M&A activity going on, all that's left to ask is: What's next?

Enterprise Cloud Market Dynamics
Now that the basic self-service public cloud has been fine-tuned and heavily utilized (and with very little empty space given AWS' significant presence), cloud vendors are pivoting to take advantage of new market segments surrounding the enterprise.

Enterprise IT is rightly risk averse. They have high expectations of uninterrupted performance and need to meet the highest standards for security and compliance. Enterprises traditionally run a complex IT operation supporting many different applications, and require high levels of performance and security.

Moving these production and mission-critical applications to the cloud is by no means an easy feat. Most applications pre-date the cloud and were not written to adapt to its dynamic, on-demand and shared resources. Cloud vendors cannot simply rebrand a (dedicated) hosting offer as cloud for enterprises and expect adoption; the proper tools and capabilities must be in place.

Security and performance mean everything to enterprises. They need to meet stringent business and audit requirements. Cloud providers are working feverishly to adhere to these criteria, hence the recent push throughout the cloud industry for enhanced cloud security compliance standards and performance assured SLAs.

To stay ahead of the curve and address enterprise needs, companies like CenturyLink, and IBM earlier this year, pinpointed valuable technologies and acquired them. They are now integrating the solutions of these acquisitions, Tier 3 and SoftLayer respectively, to better optimize compute memory, network and storage. We've also seen new capabilities added to enhance existing software solutions (with announcements by VMware, various open stack vendors, Joyent and my company, Virtustream). Through acquisitions and new product releases, providers are working toward comprehensive cloud stacks that support multiple market segments (SMBs and enterprises, test/dev and production environments).

As a measure of success in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS market), the Gartner Magic Quadrant ranks the top 15 providers. In the course of six months, two of the top 15 have been acquired (Tier 3, SoftLayer), two have made major acquisitions to improve their positions (IBM, CenturyLink), two have announced major strategic shifts (Verizon, HP) and there are only three private companies left on the list (Virtustream, Joyent, GoGrid). The chess board is very active.

Enterprise Cloud Is Anyone's Race
The cloud stack wars are intense with large groups like VMware enhancing private virtualization, and open source movements like OpenStack and Apache CloudStack enhancing capabilities and strengthening public multi-tenant clouds. AWS has built a compelling business with their self-service, best-efforts public cloud. OpenStack has begun to build the foundation of an open source alternative, although it is still far off from being a full-function cloud stack. We're also seeing cloud specialists like Virtustream, Tier3, Joyent and smaller start-ups enhancing cloud security, usability, performance and compliance, helping to extend the cloud use cases to mission-critical applications.

AWS's success in the DevOps, SaaS, backup/DR space is impressive, but its impact on the enterprise market has been limited to date. Given that the vast majority of enterprise apps that are ‘traditional' applications (like ERP, CRM, DB and custom applications) are only now beginning to move to the cloud, we have only seen the tip of the iceberg that will rip through the enterprise IT market.

Looking ahead, the only safe prediction to make is that there is a lot more growth in enterprise cloud still to come. We'll see continued enhancements to ‘basic' cloud capabilities, new use cases like ‘classic enterprise applications' and considerable further innovation as more valuable IP and solutions are developed. It remains an open question whether it will be the larger software companies, the public cloud giants or the new innovators who will be the first to develop and deliver well-rounded, full-function cloud stacks.

This year, expect the battle for the enterprise cloud market to heat up even further. As a $3.8 trillion dollar enterprise IT market continues to move to the cloud in 2014, the key players are going to be in flux for some time to come. Right now it's anyone's race but those vendors that can demonstrate enterprise class performance, security and hybrid capabilities will emerge as the winners.

More Stories By Simon Aspinall

Simon Aspinall is the Chief of Vertical Markets, Strategy and Marketing for Virtustream. In this global role, he leads Virtustream's strategic priorities, operates vertical market/sectors (service provider, emerging, industry verticals) and is the company's Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). In the strategy role Simon works with the CEO(s) to set and execute Virtustream's strategic priorities. As CMO Simon is responsible for developing and executing Virtustream's marketing strategy with virtual, interactive viral and traditional marketing for customers, field, social, analyst, press and financial audiences - driving Virtustream's expansion of its xStream software business, Cloud managed services and the launch of a trusted cloud exchange for enterprise-class cloud federation. As Virtustream enters new market sectors and geographies Simon's Vertical Markets role is to rapidly develop these new sectors and grow Virtustream's business through the company's salesteam and partners.

Simon holds a master's degree in engineering and computer science from Oxford University and a master's degree in business administration from INSEAD. He is also a frequent speaker at industry events and a commentator on the IT, telecom, and networking sectors.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@CloudExpo Stories
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
Governments around the world are adopting Safe Harbor privacy provisions to protect customer data from leaving sovereign territories. Increasingly, global companies are required to create new instances of their server clusters in multiple countries to keep abreast of these new Safe Harbor laws. Is it worth it? In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Adam Rogers, Managing Director of Anexia, Inc., will discuss how to keep your data legal and still stay in business.
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Successful transition from traditional IT to cloud computing requires three key ingredients: an IT architecture that allows companies to extend their internal best practices to the cloud, a cost point that allows economies of scale, and automated processes that manage risk exposure and maintain regulatory compliance with industry regulations (FFIEC, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, FISMA). The unique combination of VMware, the IBM Cloud, and Cloud Raxak, a 2016 Gartner Cool Vendor in IT Automation, provides a co...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Niagara Networks will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
SYS-CON Events announced today that StarNet Communications will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. StarNet Communications’ FastX is the industry first cloud-based remote X Windows emulator. Using standard Web browsers (FireFox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) users from around the world gain highly secure access to applications and data hosted on Linux-based servers in a central data center. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cemware will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Use MATLAB functions by just visiting website mathfreeon.com. MATLAB compatible, freely usable, online platform services. As of October 2016, 80,000 users from 180 countries are enjoying our platform service.
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, the leading provider of modern development tools and best practices for Continuous Integration on OpenVMS, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware products and development tools that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Effectively SMBs and government programs must address compounded regulatory compliance requirements. The most recent are Controlled Unclassified Information and the EU’s GDPR have Board Level implications. Managing sensitive data protection will likely result in acquisition criteria, demonstration requests and new requirements. Developers, as part of the pre-planning process and the associated supply chain, could benefit from updating their code libraries and design by incorporating changes.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...