This is the second in the three part series about some of the winners and losers in the year 2009. In the first post, I talked about a winner, Amazon Web Services. In this post, I will talk about some of the vendors whom I consider as losers, either they have lost the game or facing big troubles right now. Once again, I want to emphasize that these are my perceptions about their market positions and not analysis based on any scientific methods. Having made my disclaimer clear, I want to talk about the three companies that hasn’t lived up to the initial expectations.
Sun Microsystems: Of all the “giants” trying to position themselves as Cloud players, Sun Microsystems can be considered as the biggest loser. They started off the year on a very promising note with soundbites about their plans to offer a public cloud similar to Amazon Web Services but much more “open” than Amazon Web Services. Their briefings excited many of the pundits in the cloud blogosphere. Then, Oracle announced their plans to acquire Sun Microsystems and everything went quiet on their side. But, as late as April, they assured that everything is on track with their cloud strategy. However, by June, we started hearing about how they have put their plans on hold in order to reprioritize their strategy. Since then, we haven’t heard anything significant from them except some really good whitepapers on cloud security, usecases, etc.. Even though it is too early to write them off, I think they have lost it. The Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems doesn’t appear to bode well for their cloud computing plans even though some people I spoke to after the announcement of the merger are confident about Sun’s cloudy future.
GoGrid: Even though some of the pundits were not so sure of GoGrid’s ability to crack the IaaS market, I was pretty excited about them because they made some right moves early on. They offered free load balancing even before some in the AWS team heard about the term. If my memory is correct, they are the first ones to offer what we now call as Virtual Data Centers. More importantly, thanks to the then CTO Randy Bias, they offered their API specifications under creative commons license, thereby, empowering their clients and ecosystem players. In spite of all these right moves, their market position is still very weak and I am not seeing anything to suggest that it can be turn around quickly. I also feel that Rackspace’s entry in the field has affected their position as an Amazon alternative.
Bungee Connect: This PaaS provider started off with very high expectations from the pundits and, at that time, it appeared that they are going to revolutionalize the way we develop and integrate applications on the enterprise side. In fact, they can be called as one of the early PaaS pioneers. Ever since the early buzz, I haven’t come across any news/information that really excited me. Even though I am making a guess here, I think Bungee Connect can be tagged as a “loser”.
These are some of the vendors whom I thought were going to stir up the marketplace but lost steam on the way and, possibly, going towards a big thud. All three of them can still turn around and make big but their journey is going to be really difficult. Even though the emotional side of my brain wants them to win, the rational side tells me that they have lost the opportunity. I will be watching these companies and I hope they prove me wrong. In the third and final post in the series, I will talk about some of the vendors who are neither winners nor losers.