Image via CrunchBase
As we are winding down towards the end of 2009, I thought I will take a brief look at what some of the cloud computing vendors have done so far. These analysis may not be based on any new releases or new features offered this year and may as well be about their repositioning or evolution in the marketplace. I will try to use this space in the next few days to talk about what I feel about these vendors. I also want to point out that these conclusions are not based on any scientific methodology and it may include my personal bias. These conclusions are more about how I feel about certain vendors and their offerings than about their market positions.
The biggest winner is Amazon Web Services. Well, they may not have cracked the enterprise markets just yet. They may not have adopted open standards or even be part of any serious standards process right now. But, they have consistently innovated in this space taking baby steps towards the market domination. No, I am not saying they are the clear market leader. I still feel the market is in the early stages and the winner will not be decided anytime soon. But they have positioned themselves in such a way that they currently lead the pack in the marketplace, by forcing everyone else, including the giants like IBM, Microsoft, etc., to do the catching up. When everyone was whining about their prices, they moved in with the reserved instance pricing to make them competitive with the traditional hosting providers. When it appeared that Microsoft might indulge in a pricing war with them, they not only cut their prices to make them more attractive, they also opened up an entirely new marketplace called Spot Instances (right now monopolized by Amazon itself) which could potentially reshape the cloud economics in the future. In spite of the fact that Amazon is an old horse from the dot com generation, they are moving fast like a startup. This agility is keeping them well ahead of other players in this category and, even, forcing some vendors towards a possible “loser” tag.
In spite of all the momentum on the side of Amazon, they still couldn’t crack the enterprise marketplace. Their attempt to attract enterprises with Virtual Private Cloud offering didn’t manage to break the traditional enterprise inertia and the uneasiness towards the security of cloud computing. Even though some pundits expect 2010 to be the year when Amazon will crack the enterprise space, I am not optimistic about it. It will be 2011 or 2012 before they could get some traction on the enterprise side. Let us not forget that for enterprises, economics is just one of the many factors.
Since I consider Amazon Web Services to be the biggest winner in the Cloud infrastructure space, I will let them enjoy the “limelight” alone here :-). Tomorrow, I will talk about other vendors in this space and how they are coming out at the end of the year.