The Red Ocean of Cloud Infrastructure Stacks (updated)

Update: am revising this still… Reposting now – but send me your comments via @CloudBzz on Twitter if you have them.

It seems like every day there’s a new company touting their infrastructure stack.   I’m sure I’m missing some, but I show more than 30 solutions for building clouds below, and I am sure that more are on their way.  The market certainly can’t support so many participants!  Not for very long anyway.  This is the definition of a “red ocean” situation — lots of noise, and lots of blood in the water.

This is the list of the stacks that I am aware of:

I. Dedicated Commercial Cloud Stacks

II.  Open Source Cloud Stacks

III.  IT Automation Tools with Cloud Functionality

IV.  Private Cloud Appliances

I hope you’ll pardon my dubious take, but I can’t possibly understand how most of these will survive.  Sure, some will because they are big and others because they are great leaps forward in technology (though I see only a bit of that now).  There are three primary markets for stacks:  enterprise private clouds, provider public clouds, and public sector clouds.  In five years there will probably be at most 5 or 6 companies that matter in the cloud IaaS stack space, and the rest will have gone away or taken different routes to survive and (hopefully) thrive.

If you’re one of the new stack providers – think long and hard about this situation before you make your splash.  Sometimes the best strategy is to pick another fight.  If you swim in this red ocean, you might end up as shark bait.

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Deep Data from InfiBase

Update: InfiBase has ceased operations, but the analyses they are providing may continue.  Stay tuned.

A stealth start-up called InfiBase has published some very interesting data on their blog recently. It makes me want to know more about them, so if you have the scoop let me know.

First, they have put out two posts on sites using Amazon EC2, with other cloud providers included in the last posting earlier this month. Here is their chart showing the top 500,000 sites by cloud providers.  Note how close Amazon EC2 and Rackspace CloudServers (based on Slicehost) are in this ranking.

cloud_providers5
Source: InfiBase

I was interested to see Joyent in third place, well ahead of both Google and GoGrid, and I wonder what this might look like a year from now.

In another post InfiBase performed a deep dive into the processing dynamic of various EC2 instances, including which processors are being used and how they stack up.  Here is just one of their great charts which shows that AMD processors are used at the low end of EC2 while Intel takes over at the very high end.

amd_intel_processor_by_instance1
Source: InfiBase

With the data they are previewing in their blog (see the full posts there), I am intrigued.