Everyone has received the cloud memo – it's a mainstream talking point in the industry. But what is the reality behind all the noise? Who is actually using cloud delivery models, and for which workloads? Who will be the winners and losers in delivering service, and where are the next innovations to be found that can provide competitive advantage?
At next week's Cloud Expo Europe conference and exhibition in London, 451 Research analysts Dr. Katy Ring, Matt Aslett, Rory Duncan and William Fellows will examine the take-up of cloud through the lens of 451 Research's early-adopter and mainstream IT buyer research, and our work with service providers and suppliers to understand the impact and opportunity for end users, market participants, new entrants and investors. Cloud Expo has become a 'go to' venue for all constituencies in the cloud computing market, which gather under one roof at Olympia with an exhibition and program designed for all interested parties (http://www.cloudexpoeurope.com).
Cloud adoption: moving workloads from playground to production
Although use of public cloud computing is the key disruptive influence on the delivery of enterprise IT, the main investment continues to be in-house, with on-premises infrastructure. So in this context, what type of impact is cloud computing really having on IT budgets? Is there any evidence that organizations are moving from experimentation to heavy-duty use of cloud computing?
In the session Cloud Adoption: Moving Workloads From Playground to Production (2:25 pm on January 30), Dr. Katy Ring will examine to what extent enterprises are adopting cloud delivery and which workloads are moving to cloud platforms. Using data gathered from our 451 IT buyer research, the session will consider cloud adoption rates and assess how significant the cloud is for workload deployment today – and what is likely to happen over the next few years. As the cloud hosting and service provider community gear up for the challenges of a new year, it's important to look at not only what the trends and developments in the industry are, but also where the business opportunities exist.
Cloud services: business trends and opportunities
In his session at 1:15pm in the Cloud Service Providers & Ecosystem (Business) track on January 30, 451 analyst Rory Duncan will examine the trends that are driving the cloud services business in Europe. Specifically, Rory will assess the opportunities for service providers alongside the arc of end-user adoption, and highlight the innovations we think will be successful sales devices, as well as anticipated developments in sales and partnering channels.
This not a zero-sum game, and as the market for cloud services diversifies and an increasing number of vendors and partners compete for share, Rory will provide the economic context in terms of what the market is worth and where it is going, in addition to sharing some specific recommendations for service providers.
'Big data' and the cloud: a perfect storm?
Cloud computing and 'big data' are two of the biggest trends to hit the IT industry in years, so it is no surprise to see Cloud Expo Europe adding a track to examine the potential implications of their confluence. Cloud computing is all about enabling frictionless adoption of low-cost, flexible compute and storage resources, while big-data technologies such as Apache Hadoop enable low-cost, flexible data storage and processing. Thus, many believe that cloud computing and big data have the potential to create a perfect storm of disruption.
However, 451 Research has been tracking the adoption of data management technologies on the cloud – or rather, the lack of it – since relational databases became available on AWS in 2008, and the effect of this confluence would perhaps better be described as dead calm, rather than a perfect storm. Other than development and test environments, adoption has indeed been limited.
In Matt Aslett's presentation, Big Data and the Cloud: A Perfect Storm? (1:50 pm on January 29), he will take a look at the factors that have restricted adoption of databases in the cloud to date, explain why he sees the potential for cloud database growth in the coming years, and examine how the strategies of emerging Hadoop- and database-as-a-service providers are evolving to ensure that big data and the cloud combine to fulfill their potential to disrupt the IT landscape as we know it.
The 'private vs. public' cloud debate
Cloud adoption and use is growing fast, and cloud computing continues to 'punch above its weight' in the IT market. It's having a profound and disruptive effect on the way IT is procured and used. Amazon's EC2 – where all of this effectively started – will be seven years old in 2013. But in absolute economic terms, the market remains relatively small today, even if it's growing rapidly – managed hosting, for example, is roughly eight times bigger than cloud in revenue terms. Cloud computing is benefitting from a rudely outsize market perception and generous M&A valuations – and boasts a tremendous number of new market entrants.
Despite the maturity and availability of cloud services, the main investment in terms of IT spending continues to be in-house with on-premises infrastructure. So what's going on here? 451 Research VP William Fellows will be discussing these issues on a keynote panel at Cloud Expo entitled The Ultimate Private vs. Public Cloud Debate, which begins at 2:25pm on January 29. The panelists – Alex Bligh, CTO & COO, Flexiant; Jim Foley, SVP, Flexiant; Joe Weinman, SVP, Telx; Richard Hall, CEO, CloudOrigin; and William – will discuss the merits of the main arguments for using public cloud services and share thoughts on which enterprises will move from privately managed clouds to a greater reliance on externally managed cloud services.