I sometimes find myself in conversations where people are confused by the relationship between what they believe about cloud and what is real. People believe what they want to believe (or, in all too many cases, what the company paycheck they believe apparently pays them to say is real). It usually turns out that most of the people who seem to me most confused have never used cloud… yet they have strong “cloud use” opinions. Those conversations I try to keep short.
Jason really lays it out here. A few weeks ago I listened to Adrain Cockcroft say Amazon is the only real deal and then saw the stats myself: Amazon is larger in this than all of the other vendors combined. All. And it’s by a lot (some 70%+, if I recall correctly).
So this excerpt started with talking about a vendor-neutral architecture, because that’s a big open source trend. But is it real? A lot of vendors and people are committed to saying yes… And now here are some really helpful insights from Jason. Once again, if you’re looking for sweet, sugar-coated answers, don’t ask Jason Bloomberg any questions.
Jason Bloomberg: A cloud vendor neutral architecture. Well, at this point, the market really hasn’t figured out an answer to that question. Cloud computing is still too new. It’s still too much of an emerging market to really have a clear understanding of what it would mean to be cloud vendor neutral, because there isn’t enough understanding or enough agreement on how everybody should be providing cloud capabilities.
So we have in the cloud computing marketplace today, especially in the IaaS, infrastructure-as-a-service marketplace in particular, we have an interesting – I guess, an interesting way that the market is developing. And it’s characterized by the fact that Amazon, with their Amazon Web services IaaS offering, essentially defined what IaaS was supposed to be and got it to work as they brought it to market, which is different from the way traditional vendors do things.
A traditional vendor will throw together some crap, integrate it at the PowerPoint level, try to sell it, and if customers buy it, then by version 3.0 or 4.0, they’ll finally get it to work, hopefully.
So you sort of fill in the blanks, and eventually the product matures. Amazon doesn’t think of itself as a software vendor. It thinks of itself as the Wal-Mart of the markets they’re in, so they’re the Wal-Mart of the cloud. They’re the low-priced leader. They are rolling out these capabilities, defining what IaaS means, and continually lowering their prices as they achieve greater economies of scale, which – what does it mean to everybody else? Well, they’re all scrambling to put together something that works at least partly like Amazon, in a way that will make them at least a little bit of money, but they are struggling to achieve economies of scale and actually get their stuff to work, which, by and large, they’re not.
So this is the deep, dark secret of the cloud computing marketplace. With the exception of Amazon, virtually nobody else is getting this stuff to work. They’re getting bits and pieces to work, but they’re not getting the whole thing to work, the automated, dynamic provisioning, the seamless virtualization, the automated – the measurement, all of the – only Amazon – they’re miles ahead of everybody else…
Everybody else is scrambling. [… Amazon] started pretty early, because they figured out how to do this stuff. They figured, well, there’s money to be made here, and they were right.
So what we have is, is we have all these other players who are all just practicing different levels of cloud washing. They have something that isn’t really cloud or is partly cloud or is kind of cloud, and they’re doing some sort of hand-waving to convince customers they really should buy it. But there’s a lot of hand-waving going on, a lot of that cloud washing going on.
So it’s happening for the service providers. It’s happening for the open source world. It’s happening for the commercial vendors. There’s all different levels of cloud watching. So you can go to an open stack – go to OpenStack, Rackspace and those guys, well, that’s only half-baked. A lot of pieces are missing.
So […] does OpenStack compete with Amazon? Well, kind of … eventually, but not really, because it’s only half-baked. And if you look at what Oracle is doing, well, Oracle is basically trying to convince their customers what they’re doing is cloud, but it’s managed hosting. There’s no cloud. Oracle has no cloud of any kind, but you talk to Oracle [and they’ll say] “it’s all cloud”, but it’s cloud washing.
You talk to SAP, same story. You talk to IBM, well, IBM is piecing things together, but it’s [got] a lot of stuff missing. And the story goes on and on and on. All of these vendors, as well as the service providers, are trying to figure out how to do something that is really cloud, and they’re piecing it together, and there’s a lot of pieces missing.