Cloud has taken the world by storm. So much so that Gartner reports that by 2020, more than $1 trillion will be spent in shifting businesses from traditional systems to the cloud, effectively showcasing how far the global industry has progressed in cloud adoption.
The cloud system has exploded and now houses many different segments. There has been a massive shakedown in the industry, and as the dust settles, the main players have emerged. This article identifies these trailblazers in the different segments present in the cloud arena.
Cloud Governance manages Cloud Resource Management, Operations Automation, Cost Management, Security and Compliance of Cloud Consumption. A Cloud Security Alliance survey found that 34.8% of enterprises with more than 5,000 employees have a cloud governance committee charged with creating and enforcing cloud policies. This shows the growing clamor to have an able Cloud Governance Mechanism in place to have control over the consumption, productivity improvements and security of multi-cloud setups.
Some of the leading players are CoreStack, Rightscale and Jamcracker.
Cloud orchestration tools help in sequencing the different automation tasks and ensure that they are carried out in a consolidated process workflow. The cloud orchestration market is to grow from USD 4.95 billion in 2016 to USD 14.17 billion by 2021. This indicates a CAGR of 23.4% from 2016 to 2021, marking rapid growth in the cloud orchestration market. The reason for this growth can be attributed to the increasing need felt by Small and Medium Enterprises to optimize resources, and organizations inclination towards self-service provisioning.
Leading players in this segment are Cloudify, Terraform and Ansible. Its to be noted that this segment has seen a flurry of acquisitions.
Cloud Management tools help businesses plan, build and operate multiple clouds from a single pane, with their centralized management features. Many of the players in this segment have now however diverged into other areas such as Cloud Governance.
Some of the players are ParkMyCloud, BMCs Cloud Lifecycle Management, etc.
Cloud brokerage service providers are intermediaries who help businesses interact with cloud providers and provide customized integration and consulting services. However, this segment has lost traction as a pure-play service in the past few years. These days most Cloud Brokers also provide other services such as Cloud Management or Cloud Governance services.
Cloud Market Place
Cloud Marketplaces provide distributors and resellers ecommerce platforms for selling cloud-based services to organizations. The large Cloud Service providers are expanding their footprint to support distributors and resellers to have more market penetration. SaaS Cloud Market place is another area which is picking up.
The top Cloud Marketplaces are Appdirect, ComputeNext, Mirakl.
Cloud Eco System
The Cloud Ecosystem has undergone continuous expansion in the past few years. There were many small but promising players who were acquired by the whos who of the tech world, such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Today, AWS offers 85+ ecosystem services, while Azure offers 90+.
Also, open-source platform, Openstack has announced 50+ incubated projects to strengthen their Cloud Ecosystem.
Security is a key concern for organizations given the mounting cyberattacks. Recently CloudFlare made news for the wrong reasons, when sensitive data pertaining to top businesses such as Uber, Fitbit, Medium, Yelp, Zendesk, etc. was leaked. At this stage, organizations are exploring effective cloud security options to safeguard from business risks. Security is fast becoming an in-built consideration in any new product release, not an afterthought. The current trends are:
Cloud Service Providers such as AWS, Azure and Google Compute Engine are coming up with their own on-demand security services. This may be a threat for the SaaS based security service providers but their ability to provide security services across these multiple clouds augment well for them.
Migration is one area in Cloud that has many wrinkles to iron out. Migration can be in the form of Physical to Cloud, Virtual to Cloud and Cloud to Cloud, and can be carried out via virtual image or operating system. These migrations are usually carried out by Cloud SIs in partnership with the migration tool vendors, like, Appzero and Racemi (Operating System based), Zerto and Doubletake (Virtual Image based).
These Cloud Service providers/ Platforms too are adding migration tools to their arsenal. Case in point is AWS Migration Tools and Azures App Service Migration Assistant. While migration is not as seamless as it ought to be, there is light ahead in the tunnel, in the form of containers.
Cloud Service Provider
We all know the biggies in this field. If Cloud technology powers your business, then you most probably should thank one of these - Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine and IBM Softlayer.
At the very beginning, there were other big brands competing too, such as, HP Public Cloud, Cisco Public Cloud, etc. However, they later modified their strategies and closed their public cloud offering. Rackspace, another well-known name, was pitted against AWS, but later migrated to Managed Support Services. It was then acquired by Apollo Global Management.
Recently, Synergy Research released the market share information of the major players, where AWS emerged as the winner in the race for Public Cloud Leadership.
The clear winners in the Public Cloud domain are AWS and Azure. AWS raked in $3.5 billion in sales in Q4 2016, a 47% increase from Q4 2015. Azure is gaining mileage with a JP Morgan analyst estimating a cool $2.5 billion in revenue in Q4 2016. Microsoft has disclosed a 93% revenue rise up from Q4 2015 to Q4 2016.
In the Private Cloud domain, Openstack, the opensource platform is ruling roost. The many small-time players in the opensource ecosystem have been acquired by the big fshes, Redhat, IBM, Dell EMC, consolidating the segment. Microsoft is trying to make inroads in Private cloud with Azure Stack, but its impact remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, VMWare is still the number one provider in the virtualization segment.
Cloud Service Delivery Platform
Cloud Service Delivery Platform enables hosting service providers to offer unified Cloud Service delivery for their Cloud business. The need of the hour are service delivery platforms that provide self-service provisioning and run the show services business.
The market leaders are Atomia, Cloud Portal Business Manager (CPBM) and Talligent. ACQUIRER
However, it is to be noted that since large enterprises often build their own Cloud Service Delivery Platform, accelerated growth cant be expected in this segment.
PaaS Service Providers
PaaS provides you computing platform services which typically includes hosted development kits, database tools, and application management capabilities. Companies use these services as scalable environments for new or expanding applications to larger audiences. While Azure and Google started with PaaS and moved to IaaS, AWS started with IaaS and added PaaS as part of their ecosystem of services.
Leading PaaS Service Providers are Salesforce, Google App Engine, Redhat Openshift, IBM Bluemix, Engine Yard and Heroku, which was later acquired by Salesforce.
Upcoming PaaS Services are AWS Beanstalk, and Azure App Services.
Though touted as the future of the cloud, Cloud PaaS platform couldnt live up to the market expectations due to evolution issues. PaaS platforms didnt provide fresh approaches for application migration. Nor did they provide the control and flexibility required to manage complex environments. Also, evolution of Cloud Orchestration and Containers side-lined the focus and growth of PaaS platforms as they provided most of the features offered by PaaS platforms with lesser constraints.
The major players are Cloud Foundry and OpenShift. These two adopted Docker to provide Container Image Mobility features. Cloud Foundry also announced multiple siblings such as Stackato, Appfog and Iron-foundry, which were subsequently acquired.
Object Storage Service Providers
Object Storage Services are used by almost every organization adopting cloud, as they are used in managing configuring files, backup, logs, files, etc. The current trend in object storage is to have a hybrid object storage that helps in bursting to cloud from the enterprise object storage based on certain policies.
AWS S3 is considered unanimously as the market leader in cloud object storage. For accelerated hybrid cloud storage, AWS subscribers have to use the Amazon Storage Gateway services. A much more economical version by AWS for cloud object storage is AWS Glacier.
Major players are Azure Blob Storage, Swistack, Rackspace, Internap, Google Cloud Storage, Tiscali and Scality.
Object Storage Platform
While it has been around for quite some time, Cloud Object Storage Platform is slowly picking up speed as a viable competitor for block and file storage. These platforms help organizations enjoy content storage thats simple, flexible and most importantly, scalable. Also, they enable easy retrieval of data from the storage for usage.
OpenStack Swift is the leading opensource platform in this segment. It is important to note that some of the largest storage clouds such as Rackspace, SwiftStack and Internap have been built using OpenStack Swift.
Hybrid object storage is supported via APIs provided by object storage platforms to integrate with the object storage service providers like AWS S3 or Azure Blob. Upcoming players in this segment are Redhat, Ceph, Cloudian, Scality and EMC ECS.
Cloud Storage as A Service Provider
As per a survey by IDGs 2016 Enterprise Cloud Computing Survey, 21% respondents are predicting data storage/data management apps are a high priority area for their organizations cloud migration plans in 2017. With the deluge of data, courtesy analytics and insight-driven strategies, cloud storage as a service provider are betting big on organizations demand for storage needs.
That said, the enterprise storage market is poised for major disruptions this year, as per Techtarget. while AWS and Azure offer storage services, they are nowhere enough to meet the requirements of large enterprises.
Hence, there have bloomed a few players like Zadara to tackle this niche.
Block Storage Platform
The leading Open source Block Storage platforms are Openstack Cinder and Ceph Block Storage. Openstack Cloud platform supports both Cinder and Ceph for block Storage. On the Container Side, Flocker is a leading open-source container data volume orchestrator for Dockerized application.
Cloud File Hosting Service Providers
File hosting is mostly driven by mobile and IoT devices. Also, it has been an eventful year for enterprises, as their fie servers have been now migrated to cloud hosting service providers. The challenge for the major players in this segment is how they tackle the myriad requirement of enterprises, which are Performance, Migration, Security and Availability.
File hosting service providers is a segment that has matured and consists of a quite a number of contenders. We have the biggies Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft, Onedrive, AWS CloudDrive, Apples iCloud on one side and other players such as Sugarsync and Mediare.
Enterprise File Sharing Platform
As per a report, the Enterprise File Sharing and Synchronization (EFSS) market size is expected to grow by 25.7%. by 2021. Composed EFSS trend, demand for cloud-based integration, and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) has led to widespread adoption of EFSS solutions. Companies are leveraging EFSS solutions to effectively share and manage voluminous day processed every day, while ensuring data security.
Leading players are Sharefile, Box, ownCloud, Egnyte, Sparkleshare, Seafle, Pydio, Syncplicity, and WatchDox. ownCloud, Seattle and Pydio are open source platforms in this segment. Some of the acquisitions in this segment are as above.
As per Bain & Companys research brief titled e Changing Faces of the Cloud, the global cloud IT market revenue is predicted to increase from $180B in 2015 to $390B in 2020, attaining a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17%. In the same period, SaaS-based apps are predicted to grow at an 18% CAGR, and IaaS/PaaS is predicted to increase at a 27% CAGR.
These numbers are indicative of the market sentiment towards cloud and give an idea of the rate at which the technology has been and will be adopted. Cloud has transformed businesses and helped establish new business models that were previously unthinkable. And in that, cloud has greatly advanced the state of business, internationally.
And the future seems promising. At the 2016 Google Next Conference, Eric Schmidt had made a great many predictions with respect to computing. He believes that NoOps will become mainstream, server less architecture will be the next wave of computing.
Another area that is deemed to revolutionize clouds future is containerization and container orchestration, with popular open source projects such as Docker, Kubernetes and Mesos providing benefits of efficiency for memory, CPU and storage.
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