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Cloud Wars: Is 2017 the Year of the Cloud Land Grab? | @CloudExpo #AWS #Azure #Cloud
Each of the public cloud ‘territories’ are vying for business ‘homesteaders’ to settle in, grow, and cultivate in their clouds
By: Ed Featherston
May. 3, 2017 10:00 AM
Next month will mark the 155th anniversary of a piece of legislation that President John F. Kennedy once described as "the single greatest stimulus to national development ever enacted." It was the Homestead Act of 1862. By 1862 the United States had grown from approximately 500 million acres of land to almost 2 billion (with a B) acres, a majority of which was in the public domain. Under the act, over 1 billion acres were made available to settlers. An individual could obtain 160 acres of land. If they lived on, cultivated, and improved that land over a 5-year period, the land was theirs. This led to the explosive growth of the west in the United States. Many of the western territories worked hard to entice the settlers to their public lands. Increased population, cultivated land, resources, all increased the territories influence with the U.S. government and provided the path toward eventual statehood.
In many ways, I see a parallel in today's public cloud environments. Each of the public cloud ‘territories' are vying for business ‘homesteaders' to settle in, grow, and cultivate in their clouds. Three months into the year, 2017 is shaping up to be the year of the great cloud land grab. Let's look at how some of these cloud territories are seeking to expand and attract the homesteaders.
The Amazon AWS Territory, the cloud land baron to beat
Amazon does not rest on its laurels. Amazon releases new features, services, and capabilities at a breakneck pace targeting all levels of an organization. At their most recent AWS Summit, they released a laundry list of new capabilities ranging from new billing models for the business to new continuous integration as a service capabilities to attract the developers. Additionally, Amazon has a variety of incentive and discount programs to encourage mass migrations to their platform. The goal is clear. They are aggressively going after the business ‘homesteaders,' a land grab to continue the dominance and size of their cloud territory.
The Microsoft Azure Territory, embrace our cloud damn you
A recent article, ‘Embrace our cloud, damn you: Microsoft dangles 40% discount on Azure instances,' outlined some of those efforts. In additional to large discounts, Microsoft is offering a variety of tools and services to help analyze what your migration costs and savings might look like. These kinds of analysis tools from the vendors should always be taken with a grain of salt. In a recent podcast hosted by cloud visionary and author David Linthicum, we talked about the fact that tools like these only have a certain amount of value. Amazon has a similar tool. These tools will obviously have a bias toward the platforms they are focused on, and do not take the complexities of a true migration into account. That being said, they are useful to the vendors in trying to attract those cloud homesteaders to their territory.
The Google Territory, a land of vision
While having great vision and technology is helpful, Google has struggled with selling to the enterprise, a necessary skill to complete against the Amazons and Microsofts of the world to grow their cloud territory. Google has recognized this and is striving very hard to change that. At their recent Google Next Conference in San Francisco, Google put front and center new enterprise-focused leadership, messaging, products and sweeping channel program changes.'
IBM, Oracle, and others, the struggling territories
Oracle, on the other hand, thinks it can beat Amazon and Microsoft without doing a land grab. In a recent interview with Fortune Magazine, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said they will be able to be competitive because "Our core advantage is what we've said all along, which is that it's about the intellectual property and the software, not about who's got the most real estate." It's an interesting argument. Not many people outside of Oracle seem to buy that argument. For a great perspective on that, I recommend a blog by James Hamilton, ‘How Many Data Centers Needed Worldwide'
2017 is the year of the cloud land grab
For those following the cloud technology space, there is no doubt we are living in interesting times. The land grab is in high gear as the cloud territories try to attract and hold the cloud homesteaders on their land. For the cloud homesteaders, this is a net positive. The features, services, and incentives provide lots of options, and ultimately benefit the businesses looking to leverage the cloud to achieve their objectives. One thing is for sure, this journey will not be boring.
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