Enomaly CEO Reuven Cohen makes the case that Cicso, VMWare , Enomaly and many other vendors are rolling out solutions to allow traditional hosting providers to become cloud infrastructure players. It makes sense – the old model of racks filled with your own servers, fixed monthly bandwidth and power charges, and late night trips to replace faulty hardware is going the way of the buggy whip.
So, if this is true, what is the impact of hundreds of hosting providers joining the ranks of Amazon, Google and other “public cloud” providers? Initially, there will be massive disruption and confusion as all of these providers vie to compete in the cloud infrastructure market. Each of these clouds will be separate and distinct, with no portability or interoperability.
Even now, companies are springing up to stitch the clouds together. The first focus is on independence, with services like RightScale or CloudKick (recently previewed at Under the Radar) enabling portability between clouds. Over time this could migrate to services that automatically distribute applications, content and data across these clouds.
As a general rule, these services will be quite useful in a number of instances, but will add costs to the value proposition. Companies will have to purchase the unified service through these new vendors. The portability/interoperability value proposition won’t be enough for these vendors to have a long-term business, but they can add a lot of services around security, management and more.
Think of telecommunications, power and other utility networks. Most started off independently. Over time they achieved interoperability to greater or lesser degrees. Ultimately, most of the cloud infrastructures will be stitched together through standards and integration activities to create a single unified master cloud architecture. Some will choose not to join, but you can be sure that a huge portion of global computing infrastructures at some point in the future will be addressible as a single cloud.