Cloud Services are already a significant market (estimated at $23B this year), and growing rapidly to $43B by 2012. We’ve seen several operators launch cloud computing services, e.g. AT&T, BT, Deutsche Telekom (Zimory exchange), KPN, NTT, Orange, Verizon (CaaS (Computing as a Service) where HP was its main technology partner), and Vodafone.
There is a lot of confusion about cloud computing. Particularly the distinction between cloud-based services (e.g. SaaS, Software as a Service) and computing infrastructure offered on-demand (IaaS, Infrastructure as a Service). The diagram below attempts to depict how the virtualization technologies and cloud computing services map.
A generally accepted definition of cloud computing is the provision and management of rapidly scalable, remote, virtual computing resources, charged according to usage, generally using the internet to connect the resources to the user. But in virtualizing resources a user no longer knows what is running where, or the proximity of processors to storage. This impacts security, bandwidth and control requirements – which is where telcos come in as they can help in solving these issues and offering a complete package on a simple metered basis.
Some example suppliers include:
- Virtualization, Infrastructure management and grid engine technologies: 3Tera, Cassatt, Citrix, Eucalyptus, Hadoop, IBM, Microsoft, Novel, Oracle (Sun), Parallels, Red Hat, Virtual Iron, VMWare
- Multi-tenant, deployment and cluster management technologies: 3Tera, Appistry, Elastra, Enomaly, Ecualyptus, Globus Alliance, Hadoop, Oracle (Sun), Platform Computing, Q-Layer, RightScale
- IaaS providers: Akamai, AT&T, Amazon, Citirx, ElasticHosts, Flexiscale, Globus Alliance, GoGrid, Joyent, Layered Technologies, Microsoft, Rackspace, Soasta, Verizon
However, as customers come to rely upon Cloud Services we’ve seen a number of failures:
- The recent Microsoft Danger outage: loosing contacts and messages for over 500k customers
- Google: Mail, search, news and apps have all had outages over the past 18 months
- Twitter and eBay PayPal: Both out in August up to half a day
- Rackspace: Down for one day
- Windows Azure: Down over a weekend in March
- Force.com: Down on Jan 6
- Amazon S3: Down last year
To gather opinions in this rapidly emerging space I’ve put together a short questionnaire. If you’re involved in this area, please complete the Virtualization Technology and Telcos Questionnaire and I’ll share the results.
On an earlier Hybrid TV questionnaire the results have been quite surprising, Satellite, Cable and IPTV providers are all moving to Hybrid TV. When I get a chance I’ll put an article together on the results; but its almost like a silent paradigm shift has happened in the PayTV industry without anyone noticing.