|By John Cowan||
|May 2, 2012 07:30 AM EDT||
This is Part III in a series by 6fusion Co-founder and CEO John Cowan on the emerging trend of Cloud Brokerage and the impact it will have on the technology industry and markets. Be sure to check out Part I of the series here and Part II here.
The feedback and fallout from Part II of this post has been quite interesting. I thought for sure the bulk of the flack I would have to take would be from the cloud vendor incumbents I said would be relegated to the world of retail cloud business. But since I posted my perspective I’ve found myself digging in to the nature of the Total Addressable Market (TAM) for the Cloud Brokerage industry.
For those of you keeping score at home, I said the market for cloud brokerage is more that 10 times the market for cloud computing software and related services.
Yes, 10 times.
And it is because this market is so big that cloud brokerage will spawn the next generation of technology innovation.
But before I get to the underlying technologies that are on the horizon and necessary for the future that I, along with my collaborators, envision, let me first spend a few paragraphs to explain why I am not just pulling numbers out of my, um, ‘IaaS’.
On the 6fusion iNode Network the median server in production in the cloud is a quad core dual processor unit with an average of 4TBs of available storage. Using this standard configuration, partners and customers yield approximately $42,000 per year in net billable proceeds. I would classify that number, give or take on either side of it, to be a reasonable annual revenue estimation.
IDC recently reported that the 2011 server shipments topped out at 8.3 million units. At a $42K clip, that is a market growing by a healthy $350 billion each year.
But of course, as we all know, server shelf life is not exactly the same as what you’d expect from a box of Krusty-O’s from the Kwik-E-Mart.
A quick trip down the hall to Gary Morris’s office at 6fusion is always an educational adventure. “Depreciation,” Gary explains, “is a systematic and rational process of distributing the cost of tangible assets over the life of those assets. US GAAP calls for depreciation of servers using the server’s cost, estimated useful life and residual value. Typically, computers, software and equipment are depreciated over a period of 1 to 5 years, with the average useful life being 3 years.”
If we take Gary’s use of the GAAP average as a multiplier, it means there is estimated to be over $1trillion in billable utility computing presently in use around the world.
The point here is that cloud brokerage is underpinned by the availability of both private and public compute, network and storage resources. And it is this massive untapped market that will drive the next wave of innovation.
If the origins of the cloud business belonged to the innovation of companies like Amazon, Rackspace and VMware, then the future of the cloud brokerage belongs to a new cadre of agnostic intermediaries that will enable a true utility computing marketplace to flourish.
The unification of the market is what I refer to as the point in time at which cloud computing technologies in production today can be used to interface to the commodity market. In order for that to happen, cloud brokerage as an industry must form and deliver the underlying technologies necessary to make a true market.
Just what are these technologies? Let’s take a look at three areas of innovation that will underpin the future of the utility computing.
Cloud brokerage technologies are best considered in the context of supply, demand and delivery.
Universal Resource Metering: Quantification of Demand and Supply
I delivered a presentation in Asia a few weeks ago and I opened with a slide that had two simple definitions: Utility and Commodity.
A Utility, I paraphrased, “is a service provided by organizations that are consumed by a public audience.”
A Commodity, according to common definition, “is a class of goods or services that is supplied without qualitative differentiation.”
Theoretically, you can have a utility without it necessarily being commodity. But it rarely ever works that way because in order to have a utility in the way we think about the utilities we consume every day, you must have scale. And in order to achieve scale, the utility must be pervasive and uniform. One should not require any special skills in order to use it. It must be simple and consistent to use. Think about your interaction with things like power or water services or subscribing to the Internet.
Utility is a word used quite often to describe the cloud. In a post a couple months ago Simon Wardley aptly explained the difference between the cloud and a computer utility. The difference, says Wardley, is really only that “cloud was simply a word used by people to explain something that really wasn’t well understood to people who were even more confused than they were.”
So is the cloud really a computer ‘utility’? Not yet.
You see, what the cloud is missing is the factor that truly negates qualitative differentiation – common measurement. You simply cannot claim something to be a true utility if every provider measures services differently. Common utilities all share the characteristic of universal measurement. Think about it. Power. Water. Energy. The Internet. Whatever.
A standardized unit of measurement for the computer utility will be one of the greatest innovations to come from the emerging market for cloud brokerage because it will establish basis from which a commodity market can emerge.
Cloud Infrastructure Federation: Tapping Global Supply
When you buy corn or wheat or soybeans by contract on a commodity exchange today, you don’t buy a brand. You buy a commodity. Cloud brokers of the future will move commodities, not brands. Today, cloud brokers form ‘partnerships’ with service providers. But for a true brokerage model to blossom, there can be no possibility for vendor discrimination. Anyone that brings product to market can and should trade it. The denial of interoperability cannot happen.
With this in mind true cloud brokers will overcome the interoperability hurdle through collaboration and cooperation. This doesn’t mean ascribing to one API framework or another, regardless of how high and mighty the leading retail cloud properties might become. It means absolving oneself from the politics of the API game completely.
The Underlying Transport System: Delivering the Commodity
It doesn’t always happen, but when a commodity contract comes due, something must be delivered. The party that holds the paper for a hundred thousand units of corn must be able to take possession of it. Modern commodity markets are supported by an elaborate network of supply chain delivery systems – from tankers to trains and transport trucks.
The equivalent underlying transport system must exist for the cloud infrastructure market.
Commodity brokers don’t own the transport system for the market. And for good reason. However, if you subscribe to the early analyst view of cloud brokerage, they do. The analysts see brokers facilitating the transaction and delivering the compute commodity itself. To me, they either don’t fully grasp the potential of the broker or they are describing something all together different.
Cloud interoperability is not a new concept. It has been bandied about the blogosphere for several years already. The problem to date is that such movements have been nothing more than thinly veiled product sales pitches. The cloud brokers of the future will drive the innovation to construct the underlying transport system to “connect the clouds.”
In the final part of this series I will explore the future state of cloud computing; a world where the immovable IT asset becomes movable in a commodity exchange.
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment process from development to production scenarios using Docker containers.
Nov. 30, 2015 01:12 PM EST
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Nov. 30, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 536
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Nov. 30, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 342
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them to design hosted applications.
Nov. 30, 2015 11:45 AM EST
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Nov. 30, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 462
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Nov. 30, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 353
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Nov. 30, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 290
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Nov. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 506
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Nov. 30, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 565
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Nov. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 382
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Nov. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 468
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Nov. 30, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 388
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Nov. 30, 2015 05:30 AM EST Reads: 494
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
Nov. 30, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 608
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Nov. 30, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 350
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Nov. 30, 2015 03:45 AM EST Reads: 440
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
Nov. 30, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 449
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Nov. 30, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 451
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
Nov. 30, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 453
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Nov. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 489