Published December 24, 2010
If you’re looking for a way to manage you’re Cloud Computing this Christmas, here’s a pretty comprehensive list of all the apps from generic monitoring to providers own. You can find them all in the iTunes App Store (I didn’t take the time to link all of them, search by name in the app store and you’ll get it).
I’d like to ask, what features do you want in your mobile Cloud Management apps? We’re working on one in Digital Mines and would love to hear user feature requests.
- iAWS Manager
- S3 Cloud
- Mobile Scale
- Rove Virtual Machine Manager
- Cloud Status
- Host Monitor
- Server Density
- Network Utility Pro
- Net Status (Remote Server Monitoring)
- AWS Watch
- Server Remote
- Rackspace Cloud Pro
- Rackspace Cloud
- Linode Manager
- Softlayer Mobile Client
- Savvis Station Portal
- Cloud Server Management (1&1)
- DreamAdmin (DreamHost)
- AppEngine Manager
- Server Admin (Plesk)
- SliceHost Pro
- iSSH VNC
- Server Control
Published December 23, 2010
We spend a lot of time thinking about where this industry is going – there’s so much hype, so many new entrants, and the term has become so generic it’s hard to pin down what’s relevant and what’s just PR. Based on our experience, what we’ve learned from talking to customers, and being keen industry observers, we’ve put together the trends we think will influence Cloud Computing in 2011.
(For a primer, you might want to read our previous post – State of the Cloud 2010)
Adoption: Cloud Computing is mainstream now and there are many solutions and plenty of providers to implement them. While developers have been the early-adopters, in 2011 IT Managers and IT Services Providers will move to utilising Cloud Computing within their service catalogue. 2011 will be the year businesses begin to adopt Cloud Computing in a serious way.
EcoSystem: The ecosystem of applications on top of base-level infrastructure and platform providers will emerge as a force controlling a lot of Cloud deployments. This year saw the ecosystem begin to solidify, with a couple of acquisitions, but a lot of startup funding. This paves the way for 2011 to be a big year for ‘value added providers’ in the Cloud. We expect a lot of innovation and a few more ‘Heroku’ like big wins. (Heroku was acquired by Salesforce for over $200m).
Public/Private & Hybrid Cloud: Public Cloud Computing (IaaS – providers like Amazon) has dominated the spectrum so far, and industry professionals spent much of the first half of 2010 arguing over the technical definition of ‘Private Cloud’. To us, a Private Cloud is an infrastructure which is controlled BY or FOR the users’ organisation and meets the core tenets of Cloud Computing – which are: self-provisioning, elasticity (bi-directional) and utility-based billing or metering. Virtualising an internal IT infrastructure is a step in the right direction, but it is not a Private Cloud. A large percentage of companies have already implemented virtualisation, and we will see this progress to Private and Hybrid Cloud Computing in 2011 as these IT managers seek better measure and manage their IT resources, and to take advantage of the Public Cloud for portions of their workload. Hybrid Cloud Providers will emerge in 2011 and this will be a hype space for a while as use-cases need to be demonstrated.
Infrastructure as a Service Providers: Amazon currently lead the charge and will continue to dominate in 2011, although we expect to see strong challenges, from both existing entrants like Microsoft and potentially other large IT companies not yet active in the space – IBM/SunGard/EMC/Cisco. It makes sense for the large infrastructure suppliers to enter this space eventually – despite the fight they have put up against it thus far – as customer demand is strong. Lots of local Cloud providers started to emerge towards the end of 2010 and this trend will continue, although it is hard to see how they can effectively compete at the commoditised layer of Cloud Infrastructure with the big players.
Hosting Companies: As traditional IT Companies start to move into Cloud Computing, so too Hosting Providers will move to offer more traditional IT services such as applications, communication and collaboration, and managed services. The hosting industry is changing – with platforms like WordPress and Salesforce small businesses no longer need basic web or application hosting; and on the other side large businesses like Amazon and Microsoft are competing for the ‘bread and butter’ business. Hosting Providers will start to re-brand their existing services as ‘Cloud Services’ to try and stay relevant.
Data Centres: The growth in the need for Data Centre space will not diminish with the growth in Cloud Computing. Quite the contrary – Cloud Infrastructure needs to be located in Data Centres – the change may be the smaller customers go with an IT provider (that resells Public Cloud space, or provides their own Private or Managed Cloud Services) so Data Centres see a reduction in customer numbers and a shift of power to the IT provider. Some Data Centre enterprises may acquire into the Managed Service space and become a ‘New Age Systems Integrator’ and compete with traditional MSPs and IT Service Providers.
Managed Cloud Providers: We see a new type of business emerging in 2011, that sits between Public and Private Cloud providers. A so-called ‘Managed Cloud Provider’ is one which delivers IT Infrastructure, from first customer meeting through to deployment, SLA implementation and technical support, on a mix of dedicated Private Cloud (on-site or co-located), Local Managed Cloud (infrastructure deployed and managed by the service provider for multiple clients) and Public Cloud resources. The industry will likely debate this heavily as the definition of Private and Public Cloud is barely agreed, but what matters is customer acceptance, and these IT companies that transform into Managed Cloud Providers already own a vast amount of the available customer base, and so they will win business regardless of industry experts acceptance of their offerings and marketing collateral.
Cloud Software: Already this area can be segmented into Cloud Enablers, Cloud Platforms and Cloud Management. Cloud Enablers are those companies whose application enables an organisation to offer it’s own Cloud Services. Enomaly, OnApp, Flexiant, Eucalyptus, Cloud.com, OpenStack, are just a few, and VMWare is entering the space with vCloud, which will test the mettle of the smaller independent software businesses. Cloud Platforms make up a lot of the EcoSystem mentioned above – companies such as Heroku and EngineYard, and we will see more in 2011. Finally, Cloud Management providers, like ourselves in Digital Mines, are businesses that build on top of commodity Cloud providers and virtualisation applications, and provide value-added services, such as monitoring, support, and managed services to enable Cloud Computing in organisations.
Disclaimer: This blog post is an opinion piece only and by no means exhaustive. We welcome discussion on any of the topics above, these opinions were formed based on our experiences in the industry, and we are more than happy to discuss them.
Published December 23, 2010
Cloud Computing was a headline leader again in 2010, but this year it was about new products, case studies, and emerging new technologies and ways to take advantage of them. We spend a lot of time in Digital Mines talking about and delivering services in this space, and as part of that we like to look back at the year that’s been, and analyse the activity. Cloud Computing is a hugely exciting space with daily developments, and it will continue to be for the foreseeable future. For anyone interested in the area, we hope the below summary information provides some guidance.
Definition: The term ‘Cloud Computing’ was a bandwagon in 2009 and everyone decided they were ‘Cloud Companies’, in 2010 the definition of Cloud Computing was generally accepted as being 3 layers - IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service). While we feel it adds less value being so generic (the term originally emerged for the IaaS space – hence the word ‘computing’), we welcome that the area now has a definition.
Mainsteam Acceptance: Cloud Computing is now generally known and accepted as a service within business IT departments. However, it is not well understood and adoption is still low.
Startups: A vast amount of money poured into a large number of startups, purely doing ‘Cloud Computing’. Infrastructure Providers, Management Applications, Storage Systems – a whole new breed of IT company is being created around this new ecosystem.
Microsoft: Microsoft are investing heavily with Azure, and are moving into the general IaaS area with their latest server offering, Azure has yet to gain any measurable traction though, and is still an early stage service, trailing in features and innovation from Amazon Web Services. Hyper-V and System Centre Operations Manager are MS’s Private Cloud products and they ares selling them hard. While small ground was made 2010, momentum seems to be shifting their way.
Salesforce: The Force.com platform is gaining momentum, although we do not see a lot of interest – it seems to be primarily an extension for existing Salesforce customers. The buy of Heroku, and launch of Database.com could extend Salesforce into the main Cloud Computing arena next year.
Amazon Web Services: AWS has had another huge year. By all accounts, AWS is the industry leader by some distance. They continue to increase the pace of innovation, with regular new product introductions and feature enhancements. AWS appeals mainly to developers, due to it’s complexity, and Rackspace is winning here as it’s offering is much lower-level, but is easier for hobbists and IT managers to work with.
The Other Big Co’s: IBM, HP, Dell, Oracle/Sun – a lot of announcements but nothing concrete from these players. The typical not-invented-here syndrome and protecting the existing ‘tin sales’ may be what’s holding them back. We felt Sun had great potential to become a competitor with their Cloud plans, but these were shelved with the acquisition by Oracle.
EcoSystem: The Cloud Computing ecosystem is only beginning to emerge, with AWS as the primary platform for these applications. Heroku was the big winner this year with a 200m+ buy out. EngineYard, Cloudkick (acquired by Rackspace), Rightscale (raised an additional 25m in funding this year to bring it to 45m total), Digital Mines (that’s us!) and a few more are defining a new type of IT Company, building atop of giant, commodity infrastructure suppliers, and delivering a host of value-added services.
VMWare: VMWare made some big acquisitions this year in the drive to get away from deriving most of their revenue from the hypervisor (which is basically an nonchargeable commoditised piece of software now). They now have application offerings in platform (Springsource) and collaboration (Zimbra) and with ex-Microsoft employee Paul Maritz at the helm, it seems their strategy playbook is very similar to Microsoft’s own – ‘extend and dominate’. vCloud Director, their product to enable a VMWare based network of Cloud Providers, was launched and well received, but as yet not a lot of use cases have been shown, and parts of the product need further development.
Citrix Xen: Xen became an enterprise player this year, with statistics that a large number of the Fortune 500 are now using it instead of VMWare. Citrix have created an application stack for Cloud Computing – with Xen Cloud, Xen Desktop and Xen App and this year moved from developer into mainstream IT. VMWare still control the enterprise, but Citrix are becoming an able challenger.
Local IT Providers: Predictably, a large tranche of IT Providers, VARs and ISV’s, launched ‘Cloud Offerings’ this year. Some are partnering with Microsoft on BPOS, or Salesforce, others are investing in their own infrastructure platforms, and yet others are re-branding their existing services as ‘Cloud Services’. There will always be a need for these companies – the local provider of IT services – but in 2010, following the trend in 2009, they were under pressure to find new revenue channels as businesses stopped spending capital on IT resources and drove to reduce IT service costs.
Storage: Storage has to be mentioned as an area with a lot of activity this year. Servers and Networks continued their usual pace of development, but storage companies were funded, bought & sold, and many new entrants emerged with ‘value-added’ services such a local gateways to Cloud Storage & better synchronisation and collaboration. The storage space was ‘hot’ in 2010, with a healthy amount of user adoption, not just product and press releases. Noteworthy were the HP acquisition of 3PAR (after a fight with Dell) and Dell of Compellent. The Cloud Storage battle has yet to be fought, and new alternatives, methodologies and providers are emerging all the time. We think a Cloud Storage ‘format war’ is brewing and no clear contender has emerged – hence the amount of money being spent in the area.
Disclaimer: This blog post is an opinion piece and not to be taken as facts. Many developments and companies were not included in this post – it is not intended to be exhaustive – but merely to provide a short, useful snapshot of Cloud Computing in 2010. We welcome discussion on any of the topics above, these opinions were formed based on our experiences in the industry, and we are more than happy to discuss them.
Published December 2, 2010
State of the Cloud for November shows Rackspace gaining on Amazon – which I have to admit is surprising given the power of AWS. Linode is now probably the leading VPS provider, but I would not call them an enterprise class IaaS provider like Rackspace or AWS. All the rest are ‘also rans’ for now.
It would be interesting to get localised (country) demographics and see how local IaaS guys are stacking up against the big public clouds.
Published November 2, 2010
What do you want from your Cloud Provider?:
At Digital Mines we are building management software for Cloud Computing. We utilise commodity infrastructure, like Amazon Web Services, and present it to our users in ways that solve their needs.
So … click the link above to go to our Quora page and tell us what your needs are. Tell us about your pain points. Tell us what the killer features for Cloud Computing are to you. And hey – we might just build it for you – that’s our business after all!
Thanks in advance!
Published October 29, 2010
Microsoft launch AWS clone – whats the user incentive? :
Microsoft have launched Compute services on their Azure platform. The specs, and even naming, is the same as Amazon Web Services EC2, and the price is the same or higher in some cases.
We’ll support Azure on Digital Mines when we see user demand – personally I don’t see this being the catalyst to do that. Microsoft had an opportunity to disrupt here I think – and go with a Compute Usage model, rather than the pure VM model (pay only for CPU cycles you consume rather than for a VM that you pay for no matter what the usage is).
Published October 27, 2010
FedCloud – US Government IaaS Service:
The US government is adopting Cloud Services, backed by Amazon Web Services. I’d love to see an EU-Cloud or IE-Cloud. I spoke to Enterprise Ireland about this almost a year ago – Ireland has a great opportunity to lead in this space and create a framework where public bodies can take advantage of Cloud Computing.