Welcome!

@BigDataExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, William Schmarzo, Kevin Benedict

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.


@BigDataExpo Stories
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
IT organizations are moving to the cloud in hopes to approve efficiency, increase agility and save money. Migrating workloads might seem like a simple task, but what many businesses don’t realize is that application migration criteria differs across organizations, making it difficult for architects to arrive at an accurate TCO number. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Joe Kinsella, CTO of CloudHealth Technologies, will offer a systematic approach to understanding the TCO of a cloud application...
Connecting to major cloud service providers is becoming central to doing business. But your cloud provider’s performance is only as good as your connectivity solution. Massive Networks will place you in the driver's seat by exposing how you can extend your LAN from any location to include any cloud platform through an advanced high-performance connection that is secure and dedicated to your business-critical data. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Paul Mako, CEO & CIO of Massive Networks, wil...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels, a cybersecurity firm, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Channels, Inc. offers several products and solutions to its many clients, helping them protect critical data from being compromised and access to computer networks from the unauthorized. The company develops comprehensive data encryption security strategie...
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...
Cloud adoption is often driven by a desire to increase efficiency, boost agility and save money. All too often, however, the reality involves unpredictable cost spikes and lack of oversight due to resource limitations. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Joe Kinsella, CTO and Founder of CloudHealth Technologies, tackled the question: “How do you build a fully optimized cloud?” He will examine: Why TCO is critical to achieving cloud success – and why attendees should be thinking holistically ab...
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, presented an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He then expounded on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that App2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. App2Cloud is an online Platform, specializing in migrating legacy applications to any Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud).
Cloud resources, although available in abundance, are inherently volatile. For transactional computing, like ERP and most enterprise software, this is a challenge as transactional integrity and data fidelity is paramount – making it a challenge to create cloud native applications while relying on RDBMS. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Claus Jepsen, Chief Architect and Head of Innovation Labs at Unit4, will explore that in order to create distributed and scalable solutions ensuring high availa...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including en...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...