A couple of recent blogs by two prominent industry analysts spotlight the growing trend, and increasing criticality, of a multi-cloud/multi-provider technology approach in the enterprise and web enterprise. One take suggests that basic cloud economics will lead to multi-cloud adoption; the other cites brand survivability as the core drive for this trend.
On her CloudPundit.com blog, Gartner’s top cloud analyst, Lydia Leong, discussed Amazon’s posting of weaker Q2 2014 results for AWS revenue, and speculation of the demise of the cloud industry. She quickly dispels this idea, citing price cuts and increased competition as cause for the AWS cash-machine slowdown. Here she cites a brutal price-cutting competitive environment among top IaaS providers such as AWS, Microsoft, and Google.
So cloud is commoditizing, she admits, but uptake is still huge. And this is opening opportunity for more cloud providers to be competitive and to gain customers. Additionally, she writes, value is still for the taking at the services and advanced features layer of the cloud market.
The probable scenario for cloud’s future will be more IaaS providers and lower prices. This will lower both the barriers to cloud adoption, and cloud migration among providers. As storage/compute gets ever-cheaper, customers will simply look for the lowest-cost resource on the Internet and direct their traffic and workloads there. Commoditized cloud means multi-cloud, multi-provider almost by definition.
Dan Rayburn, a top CDN analyst at streamingmedia.com and Frost & Sullivan, writes on the growing necessity of multi-cloud, with availability and uptime as the core issue, rather than cost and economics. Rayburn’s blog focuses on a major outage at a large content delivery network provider, resulting in multiple hours of downtime for some very large customers. He uses the event as a cautionary tale, warning that large web properties put revenue at risk when they’re at the mercy of a single infrastructure provider.
However, Rayburn adds that equally important as a multi-CDN/cloud strategy is the use of monitoring and alerting tools. Having the backup system is one thing; knowing when and how to implement it is just as key. In this context, Rayburn cites capabilities such as Internet performance monitoring and traffic management capabilities.
From these two thought-leaders’ blogs, we see a couple of key takeaway: the future of cloud will not be tied to one, or a few, dominant providers or brands in the market; instead, expect an environment where commoditized, low-cost fungible computing resources can be added quickly to any network. In this scenario, one of the most valuable layers in the cloud ecosystem will include technologies that monitor cloud traffic and performance, and take action to sustain critical web traffic flows to a company’s dispersed cloud resources.