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Cloud computing disrupts the vendor landscape

Christine Burns | Dec. 5, 2011
If you think cloud computing is a disruptive force within the enterprise, just imagine what the cloud is doing to the vendor landscape.

Then there are cloud development environments where everything happens in the cloud. These PaaS offerings are browser based and developers build applications in a remote data center cloud. The players here are Appian, Cordys,, Inuit, Trackvia and WOLF Frameworks.

Some companies target business experts, not "coders". Caspio, Cordys, IS Tools, Mendix, Orange Scape, WorkXpress and Zoho provide tools for creating applications without coding in order to speed up app delivery times.

The last category allows developers to use whatever tool they want to build their cloud applications and the platform tackles the deployment, scaling and management of these apps in the cloud data center. The players here are Amazon, Appistry, Apprenda, CloudBees, Cloudsot, Engine Yard, Gigaspaces, Heroku, IBM, Joyent, Microsoft, Red Hat, Standing Cloud, TechCello and VMware.

Rymer notes that enterprise IT should act cautiously when it comes to PaaS because "start-ups are risky and big vendors move slowly and may use their PaaS offerings simply as calling cards to sell their current products.''

Rymer says the two companies likely to enjoy long-term success in the PaaS market are Microsoft and Salesforce. "Every other vendor is a long-term risk," he adds.

If enterprise software developers do want to push forward, Rymer offers these tips. Find out how well the vendor supports "the ilities": security, scalability, availability, reliability and serviceability. Next, determine how each PaaS service jibes with the enterprise's existing application development talent. Finally, nail down what benefits PaaS is likely to provide. "Cutting costs is a hard one to obtain. Time to market is relatively easy to obtain," Rymer says.

IaaS free for all

IaaS is currently the smallest market of the three major cloud categories, but is expected to have the fastest growth rate over the next three to five years. Gartner says last year's total of just over $2 billion will grow by that much for each of the next four years.

The 800-pound gorilla is Amazon. Competitors see EC2 both as an ingenious use of surplus compute power and a nemesis to be defeated by the marketing mantra that says a mass-market retailer simply cannot cater to the complicated needs of enterprise customers.

But this market is evolving to be more complicated than simply Amazon vs. the rest of the IaaS world, says Lydia Leong, research vice president at Gartner.

"If your differentiation is 'we're not like Amazon, we're enterprise-class!', you're now competing against dozens of other providers who also thought that would be a clever market differentiation. Not to mention that Amazon already serves the enterprise, and wants to deepen its inroads," wrote Leong in a recent blog post.

Leong is Gartner's go-to author when it comes to analyzing the IaaS market. Her report last December on the cloud IaaS and Web hosting provider market (encompassing private, public and hybrid cloud services) identified AT&T, Rackspace, Savvis (purchased by CenturyLink), Terremark (purchased by Verizon) and Verizon as the market leaders. Visionaries were Amazon, CSC, GoGrid, IBM and Joyent.


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