The massive expansion of the major cloud providers is hampering their ability to innovate. But that stagnation will allow creativity to blossom elsewhere, says Lori MacVittie.
Looking at how popular hybrid cloud computing has become as a topic and the slowing rate of change in mega-providers such as Amazon and Google, it looks as though the public cloud become a teenage wasteland. It will be like that part of your life when you're caught between maturity and childhood, fitting neither fully and just treading water.
Cloud is already beginning to stagnate because of the sheer size of the largest providers that have been leading with new services. As the volume of transactions flowing through a provider grows, and the customer base broadens, it becomes increasingly difficult to innovate.
Standardisation will begin to take hold instead, which leaves enterprises wanting more. As a result they will innovate or turn to smaller providers that are more willing to take chances and introduce new features, which will help them grow in what is really a very limited market.
New cloud coalitions
So now is the prime time for network and infrastructure vendors to join forces with those smaller cloud providers and help them find ways of developing services that the mega-providers aren't willing or able to offer.
We have already seen the impact of the sheer size and growth of mega-providers. The result has been stagnation in the introduction of new services in the public cloud. First, providers offered a server infrastructure, then came auto-scaling and load-balancing services, but since then very little has appeared on the scene.
That stagnation is logical, as the more users of an infrastructure you have, the more disruptive it can be to introduce new services. Each iteration becomes longer because of the integration and regression testing necessary to ensure a new service does not harm existing services and disrupt thousands of live applications.
The growing calls for standardisation are also having an impact. As organisations continue to explore public cloud computing as an option for reducing costs and deployment cycles, firms necessarily become concerned with lock-in and rightly or wrongly see standardisation as the way to redress the issue.
Increasing pressure for efficiency
The pressure from business stakeholders to move faster and more efficiently is increasing on IT organisations. So using a public cloud computing provider may be seen as a waste of time, effort and money simply because these large environments cannot meet the demands of organisations in a timely fashion. Organisations want services that can not only be rapidly provisioned but integrated with existing infrastructure systems.
That stagnation coupled with an increasing focus on IT as a service is driving organisations towards...