I often get asked about where cloud tools and technologies are being sold/implemented today. Note that cloud tools is different from “clouds” in that you use the tools to build/automate your cloud. Things like infrastructure stack software, orchestration, configuration management, etc. fall into the category of cloud tools. There are three primary markets I am seeing today.
- Enterprise Private Clouds – This is that most people think of when sizing the market for cloud tools. Large corporate users taking their existing data center automation tools or a new cloud stack like Eucalyptus or CloudBurst (which is just the old tools in a new package), and standing up their own clouds. This market is still VERY early stages with a lot of poking and prodding, and some specific use cases such as development/test getting traction
- Provider Clouds – The big land rush today is to get your cloud service going. As I have previously written, there are going to be a lot of new entrants in the cloud service provider (CSP) market. Many will fail, and few will become huge, but that’s not stopping people from jumping in. These tend to be far more automated than their enterprise counterparts, and have different requirements in support of multi-tenant isolation and security.
- Government Community Clouds – A community cloud is like an invitation-only club. If you meet the criteria, you can join my cloud. In a government community cloud, this can be other agencies, other governments, etc. For example, the State of Michigan has talked about providing cloud services for municipalities and colleges inside the state. As a general rule government community clouds tend to combine the requirements of both enterprise and provider clouds. Enterprise because the government is actually using the cloud for their own workloads. Provider because they are “selling” cloud hosting to other entities.
Today, the market with the most active purchases/implementations is for cloud service providers. There’s a strong and realistic sense that the market is leaving them behind and catching up is critical for survival.