We did a passel of videos at our recent HCTS conference. Here’s one I did with Scott Ottaway about opportunities for service providers in cloud and developer. See the others as they’re posted in YouTube.
As newsletter subscribers may recall, we’ve been talking internally at 451 about how service providers could use Docker, or not. The piece on that topic is now up, and free for all to view to boot. Here’s the 451 Take:
Given the gulf between the actual needs of application stacks and the ability of modern hardware to pool physical resources, there is an opportunity for providers to move IaaS forward for developers. However, it requires commercial container vendors (Parallels) to tune their products toward delivering open-ended environments for users to bring their own applications, or it requires providers to blend IaaS with containerization to varying levels of sophistication on their own. Cloud computing succeeds because it is better at getting the consumer access to computing power than the alternative. In this case, developers are the consumer, and developers do not want to deal with every part of an operating system or systems concerns outside of their application. Developers happily pay low-cost providers $5 or $10 a month for a VM. If providers can give them superior service in the form of VM-less, stateful and container-ready environments they control for 1/10th the cost of production, this could shake up the cloud business, just as cloud shook up hosting before it. No more virtual machines, only apps.
Carl Brooks did most of the heavy lifting here as he knows service providers (and existing containers-ish competitors like Parallels better than me.
Obviously, since “developers” are my hammer, it’s nice that yet again Docker is a handy nail. Part of the reason I wrote that “big ass report” on developer relations was to help education service and cloud providers about the importance of developers and how to reach them. It’s nails all the way down!
Cloud, obviously a big opportunity if you know how to target
In our surveys, we see a sudden shift to private, public, and the infamous “hybrid cloud,” as the chart above shows (from this 451 report). Folks are looking for technologies and places to run their apps, which is exciting and will create opportunity for lots of cloud and service providers if they know what and who to target. There’s some recent 451 survey work that’s study the toolchain needed and buyer’s plans for putting them in place which is nice and detailed here as well.
Last week I was in an online panel with Flexiant and ThinkGrid talking doling out advice for service providers who want to go cloud. Rather than the usual vendor/analyst dynamic, we managed to get an end-user, as it were, on as well, Rob Lovell, CEO of ThinkGrid.
The result was a fun discussion: we focused a tremendous amount of getting not only the proper, differentiation and asset-advantaging strategy in place, but also starting small and working iteratively to learn what will work, you know, Lean Startup style.
As summarized at the end: “in 2014 it’s not about the mission to Mars, it’s about the mission to next door.” Check out the recording here.
Much of the cloud platform talk I flit around in has to do with “enterprises” building out private clouds. It’s fun, then, to see what the service provider’s situation is: those hosters, MSPs, and service runners who want to build their own public clouds to compete with AWS, Rackspace, Verizon, IBM SoftLayer, and that lot. Battling gorillas like that is not easy. For awhile, I did strategy for Dell’s public cloud business (until we shut it down and went with a partnering approach) and the hardest thing was coming up with differentiation…other than price. Flexiant has developed a cloud platform over several years, and it looking to provide just that with it’s new release. We’ll see how it pans out.
For 451 clients, there’s a report William “wif” Fellows and I wrote. Here’s an excerpt:
This release from Flexiant shows its strategic focus on service providers instead of the enterprise market. Service providers are hungry to stand up clouds quickly to meet expectations around rising demand, but the providers also need ways to differentiate their service offerings. Flexiant is directly addressing this strategic need by opening its platform, allowing service providers to customize how cloud services are delivered beyond a simple cookie-cutter approach. On paper, this portfolio makes Flexiant look attractive to service providers that would like that magic unicorn of cloud: quickly standing up a differentiated portfolio of cloud offerings for as little money as possible… that actually works. Flexiant is reporting a steady rate of new customers, which casts a positive light on their attempts in this tough space.
And you can check out the blog/PR announcement as well.
Bailey also sees growth in sales of disaster recovery services. In fact, customers are now more interested in premium services. The average number of services customers are buying is nine – and the overall expectations are higher. But there’s no clear playbook yet. The theme this year is building that digital playbook.
SaaS applications are changing as well. “What’s coming is cloud native applications built specifically for cloud, built for scale,” said Bailey. “With that everything changes. There will be definitive SLAs around these applications.”