Much like the computer operating system battles of years ago, the race for public cloud market supremacy is garnering media attention. Many are saying the race may already be over. Randy Bias, who is the CTO of Cloudscaling, and a founding member of OpenStack, recently blogged, “It is clear that AWS (and quite likely GCE) will utterly dominate the public cloud race.” Bias contends that Amazon, with AWS, and Google, with the Google Compute Engine (GCE) are the players to beat, but, as he continues, “who cares”. Bias argues that OpenStack should work to make it’s own API compatible with Amazon Web services if it wants to compete.
Tech blogger Robert Scoble disagreed. He comments, “If you believe that innovation is slowing down, you should listen to Randy Bias because there is huge value in providing an API alternative….(BUT) if you believe, like I do, that we are going to see more change in cloud infrastructure in the next five years than in the past 10, then keep in investing in real innovation.”
What is clear that Amazon Web services is the dominant player in the cloud market. According to Synergy Research Group, the market for Infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service was 2.25 billion in the second quarter of 2013. Amazon accounted for over 600 million of that revenue with a 28% market share. The top three remaining players were Microsoft, Google, and IBM (with the acquisition of SoftLayer). Their combined revenue was 400 million. The cloud market includes public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud. The private cloud market supremacy is a much more hotly contested market right now.
A majority of technology vendors are betting on OpenStack to compete with Amazon. HP, IBM, Cisco, Dell, and Red Hat are all members of OpenStack Foundation Board. In fact there are over 800 different organizations involved. Even without market dominance, the revenue opportunity is staggering. Market Monitor, a service of 451 Research puts the cloud computing market at roughly 20 billing by 2016. in is interesting to note that only a dozen vendors generated over $75 million is this market in 2013 (out of 309 cloud-service providers tracked).