2016 Predictions: Cloud Computing

Posted Friday, January 8, 2016 in Online, Mobile & IT by Pat Kerpan

AWS Continues to Lead; Azure Catching Up

In a mental model of an upper right quadrant, AWS is way upper right, Azure is closing on them from the middle of the quadrant, and the pack is at the "origin" of the quadrant.  The news here to me is that the "everybody else" is consolidating capabilities, is building out value-added reseller channels and partner channels, and moving back towards business as usual. 

The loser is anyone who wants to build proprietary corporate data centers less than 500,000 square feet.  It probably can't be justified. 

The interesting questions to me are "what % of Amazon's work loads are Windows vs. Linux" and "what % of Azure workloads are Linux vs. Windows".  And for both "what % (albeit hard to calculate) runs in platform services like AWS Lambda or Azure App Service?."

Companies Using AWS Take Two Different Approaches

In 2016, the AWS user base more clearly begins to bifurcate with:

  1. "All In and Locked In" users who build their applications from the now many AWS platform services, with little concern of the "someday need to re-platform"
  2.  "Over the Top" customers who build their applications on more standardized ("traditional?") components like App Servers, DB Servers, Web Servers and Message Queues that they control, but leverage the flexible compute, storage and bulk transport of the AWS infrastructure.

Network Direct vs. "Over the Top" Connections to the Cloud

Direct Connect (network direct connects) from folks like Equinix Cloud Exchange, or from Cloud Service Provider programs will become "part of the solution", and a growing part, but will not become "the solution."  There’s a temptation to believe that centralized carrier infrastructure will become the way businesses access the clouds.  I disagree.  There’s a whole world of federated, peered, and invisible (to carrier, to cloud service providers) "over the top" networks in the Public Cloud today, and I see the trend increasing, not decreasing.  Even if people use more of these services vs. "plain old Internet" and VPNs of various sorts, customers will still run their own virtualized network services 'over the top'.

Network carrier space is user opaque, and broadly speaking, should be considered insecure with respect to governments, and criminal gangs, and perhaps even lone hackers.  Virtualized networks will be the "semantic," meaningful part of cloud networks, while carrier type networks will be bulk transport networks.

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