There was plenty of cloud news last week, as the Amazon Web Services Summit got underway in San Francisco and added more fuel to public cloud providers' ongoing competition over features and pricing. With the cost of infrastructure plummeting (both AWS, Google and Microsoft recently announced major price cuts), industry executives and observers have debated whether the public cloud can eventually become inexpensive enough for organizations to run most workloads on it.
The aftermath of the AWS Summit is good opportunity to consider how the evolution of the public cloud as well as changing IT requirements are affecting the feasibility of private and hybrid deployments. With that in mind, here's a quick roundup of last week's cloud and Eucalyptus news.
Egnyte CEO on $0 Cloud Storage and the Future of Cloud Services
Writing for VentureBeat, Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain predicted that the continual price cuts of AWS and GCE would culminate in $0 storage within the next 12 to 18 months. He cited the $1.99 monthly price tag for 100GB of Google Drive as a harbinger of increasingly commoditized infrastructure and file sharing/synchronization services.
Still, Jain doesn't expect rock-bottom prices to convert all organizations to IaaS. Although his argument is mostly about storage, its thrust applies to the cloud as a whole. Companies have particular requirements for security, compliance and control, and those needs will necessitate flexible solutions that take both on-premises and remotely hosted resources into account.
Forrester Analyst Positions Public Cloud as Road to the Hybrid Cloud
Picking up on similar points, Forrester Research's Dave Bartoletti told TechTarget that for many organizations, the public cloud is usable only via hybrid deployments. One-third of respondents to TechTarget's IT Priorities 2014 Survey stated that they planned to hire a hybrid cloud integration provider this year, underscoring strong demand for solutions that can connect internal systems and public cloud platforms.
Bartoletti summarized some of the best reasons for building a hybrid cloud, such as increased programmer productivity, shorter time to market, better utilization of existing resources and superior cost savings compared to entirely public setups. He stated that a hybrid cloud is a good option for any company that wants to invest more in an application.
GigaOM on public cloud providers realizing the importance of private deployments
Amazon senior vice president Andy Jassy acknowledged that some workloads are probably better run on internal systems or in data centers. He cited Digital Alpha as a legacy technology that may be still applicable under certain circumstances.
More broadly, public cloud providers from Amazon to Google have modified their services to target enterprises in addition to startups and developers. AWS getting a contract with the CIA and Google permitting interaction between BigQuery and on-premises databases shows that these companies are increasingly mindful of how public cloud isn't necessarily a panacea, addressing the full range of workloads.
AWS Summit in San Francisco Wrap-up by Holger Mueller
Enterprise Software Musings has a great recap of the recent AWS Summit in San Francisco. AWS emphasized its breadth and depth this year, focusing not only on pricing but on versatile services and interaction with private clouds.
Holger Mueller stated that AWS has largely been focusing on innovation rather than trying to consciously one-up the competition, although its price cuts show awareness of the ongoing race to the bottom in public cloud pricing. Mueller highlighted Infor's usage of AWS for enterprise processes rather than dev/test or trialing as an indication of how AWS was evolving and staying ahead of its public cloud rivals.
Eucalyptus CEO Mårten Mickos on Controlling Your IT Destiny with a Test Cloud
Cloud Borat recently made the case for ditching private cloud and going 100 percent public, citing the increasing affordability and flexibility of public cloud platforms. Eucalyptus CEO Mårten Mickos responded to this argument at length in a comment to the post.
Mårten dispelled some of the misconceptions around private cloud in particular and controlling one's IT destiny in general. Private clouds can provide quick provisioning of resources, lowered costs over the long run (since the model is capex rather than opex), control over data and computation and high levels of security. Public cloud API compatibility via Eucalyptus also makes it easy to have a hybrid cloud right out of the box.