3 Takeaways from 451 Research’s Business of Cloud, Datacentre & Hosting Summit

 In Accelerite Blog

It’s fitting that it was cloudy in London when 451 Research’s Cloud, Datacentre and Hosting Executive Summit recently took place, yet the executive panels, such as the “Transitioning to the Cloud” that I participated in, gave everyone attending a clear view of trends and an accurate forecast for the future of cloud deployments. In my opinion, there were three important takeaways I’d like to share.

Are Cloud Service Providers on the right track?

451 created an interesting scenario by asking CSPs to respond to two potential RFPs. The first was a “Simple Basket.” Customers said, “I want some compute, I want some storage, I need basic networking, circa 2007 Amazon capability.”The second was the “Complex Basket.” These customers said, “I need more: object stores, complex networking, scripting capability, Database as a Service, Platform as a Service, and other capabilities as my service needs grow.”

Interestingly, while many responded to RFP #1, very few CSPs, especially in Europe, were able to respond to the RFP for the complex basket. This makes us ask, are the CSPs on the right track?

Today, enterprises are running standard workloads in a virtualized IT environment. Developers within enterprises are looking for platforms to develop and deploy applications and for many, the only places where their needs are being met are through Amazon, Azure, and maybe Google cloud. Does your average vendor for cloud service have a database of cloud services? 451’s research indicates that the percentage of CSPs who are covering the wide gamut of services is low.

The IT world has to move up the stack

If you’re a developer, you will take your app directly to Amazon because they will meet your needs easily. And once you develop and deploy it there, you’ll have no scope of moving it anywhere, as only Amazon can meet your requirements.

Enterprise IT departments, as well as regional CSPs, must offer a credible alternative to the Amazons and Azures of the world. It’s not enough to keep doing what they’re doing today, which is bare minimum compute, storage and basic networking. They have to start looking at a much higher level of networking functionality, such as PaaS, DBaaS, Hadoop as a Service. Without that, they will not be able to offer a credible alternative to the developers’ current choice. They have to move up the stack!

The gap between what an enterprise IT private cloud can offer and the need for more sophisticated services

Another important takeaway was that among the people 451 interviewed, 41% said that either now or in the near future, they will have PaaS requirements. We are seeing an elevated need for more sophisticated services, but there is a large gap between those deployments and what enterprise IT can offer as a private cloud service.

Are CSPs able to do that without jumping through hoops? Do the enterprise IT departments see the difference between virtualization and sophisticated private cloud offerings?

To summarize, enterprises and cloud service providers have to offer a credible alternative to the likes of Amazon and Azure. The only way to do that is by elevating their game and offering a far more complete feature set than what is offered today. CSPs are also being asked to offer enterprises a fully managed cloud functionality, but there is a knowledge gap in terms of what it takes to move enterprises from virtualization into a private cloud.

At Accelerite, we were already thinking along these lines and what we learned at the 451 conference confirmed our thoughts. Can you get a complex cloud up and running, with all of these high level services, within hours or days instead of six months? When we acquired CloudPlatform from Citrix Systems in March, our focus was simplifying deployments of complex clouds. Within a month, we announced the availability of CloudPlatform 4.7 at the 451 summit to help start acknowledging and meeting these needs. Along with other technologies we’re working on, we forecast a much easier path to complex cloud deployments!

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