The cloud industry has become a commonplace term in even in less tech savvy households and businesses. From back-up in the iCloud to personal at home clouds provided by companies like Seagate, the current usage of the cloud has been limited by the fear of security issues and focus on traditional flash storage. The future, however, lies in enterprise businesses making the transition to all digital storage.
The three leading names in this industry are quite common for the technology aficionado and the Luddite alike: Google, Amazon and Microsoft. Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform are shifting their focus to cater to the complex data needs of enterprise businesses.
Google hosted their GCPNext Conference last week and was presenting the future of how they will be catering to their customers including Best Buy and Spotify. Leading up to the conference, many technical leaders including Gartner Vice President Lydia Leong speculated that Google will be adding new features the platform to improve their market share; they predicted correctly. At GCPNext Conference, Google announced a variety of changes coming to the Google Cloud Platform including Stackdriver. Stackdriver is a dashboard in the form of a single plane of glass that controls monitoring, incident reporting, logging and alerting. The Stackdriver dashboard provides a unified view across different cloud providers, with private clouds coming in the near future.
Stackdriver not only works with Google Cloud but also with Amazon Web Services. This decision makes sense as AWS currently holds the majority of the market share for cloud services.
Technical experts like Dave Bartoletti, a principal analyst at Forrester, noted that the biggest challenge facing Google in the cloud wars is proving itself to enterprises. Google’s technological prowess is well known but its product catalog isn’t as large as Microsoft’s or Amazon’s. It needs to make those changes and shift its focus onto enterprise customers by marketing, sales and channels aimed at big companies.
Amazon has claimed majority of the market by acting as the biggest innovator and risk-taker. AWS celebrates ten years this March and the business had plenty to celebrate. From leading the economic boom in Seattle to its $10 billion business, AWS has been leading technological innovation since its creation. Now with the future racing toward enterprise and government cloud adoption, cloud systems are set to mature.
AWS’ market share has already proven significant: over 1 million customers in 190 countries, host of data and computing power in twelve different physical “regions” from Oregon to Brazil, and five more regions are expected to become live this year. Now, Amazon’s cloud development looks to extend into the Internet of Things, the rising industry of cloud-connected devices like washing machines and other appliances. Amazon’s Alexa, a voice-activated artificial-intelligence platform that customers utilize through Echo, is an example of Amazon’s use of AWS into IoT.
Innovative usage of the cloud in IoT is not the only way providers are looking to get an edge in the industry. Security has been a number one concern for many adopters, especially enterprises and governments. Dave Bartoletti noted in an email that “enterprise cloud customers do retain a strong desire to manage some services in dedicated environments.”
To accomplish this task, Microsoft Azure as well as a number of other providers are looking to create OpenStack-based private clouds that can be maintained onsite, hosted or managed from the business. The goal is to create private clouds that act like public clouds with the necessary services and developer APIs. Microsoft has the Azure Stack that functions as a hybrid cloud platform that enables a business to deliver Azure services from its own datacenter.
Oracle has recently launched their own version entitled Oracle Cloud at Customer where the cloud machine is installed on the business premises. It works alongside Oracle Cloud, but exists behind the business’ own firewall. Oracle hands the reigns over to the customer, giving them full control of the cloud to customize the services needed, the database, the infrastructure, and more at their own convenience. The subscription price is the same as for Oracle Cloud.
As the competition for enterprises’ cloud business heats up, the future forecast remains hazy.