Cloudzilla vs. Chuck Norris & The Big G/Bet Bigger

GodzillaCelebrating its 60th birthday (and 31st remake), Godzilla is once more back on the big screen, but if monsters fighting urban blight isn’t your thing then you might want to check out the most recent developments in cloud computing, including: a Chuck Norris-grade cloud rollout, Rackspace considering pulling the plug, and IBM’s bragging rights. Then there’s new and improved cloud offerings and/or commitments from the likes of Cisco, EMC and VMware. Plus there are a number new reports reinforcing the growing momentum behind cloud.

First, the numbers. IDC just lowered its 2014 spending forecast from 4.6% to 4.1%, but cloud will continue to be a major disruption. Around 10% of software spending will have moved to the cloud by the end of 2014, while Infrastructure as a Service will represent 15% of all spending on servers and storage. Many organizations will choose a gradual approach for their journey to the Cloud, with security, reliability and regulatory factors in mind, implementing hybrid and private cloud solutions.

According to IHS, the cloud market will be worth $235.1 billion by 2017, triple the market’s $78.2 billion in 2011. Spending on cloud-related technologies and services will be up 20% this year, to $174.2 billion.

Forrester Research has announced that the public cloud market is now in hypergrowth, shooting up from last year’s $58 billion to $191 billion by 2020. Cloud applications, at $133 billion in 2020, are leading this growth; cloud platforms will generate $44 billion in revenue by 2020, and cloud business services will come in at $14 billion.

Big Blue’s bragging rights come courtesy of a new IDC report on enterprise cloud computing, which reported that IBM, HP, Cisco, and AT&T are the preferred infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers, topping the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, or Rackspace. The report says, “buyers selected IBM as their overall top preference among providers they believe can most effectively provision IaaS, whether private or public. Following IBM in the top spots were Cisco, HP, AT&T, and Google.”

The “duh” survey comes from Juniper Networks, which found that the shift to cloud services increasingly requires changes in network infrastructure to support the rollout. While 22% percent of respondents have not needed to overhaul their network infrastructure to accommodate a cloud platform, 73% did, according to the Forrester/Juniper survey. Major challenges related to hybrid cloud rollouts included network security (50%), bandwidth and performance (both 42%), along with reliability (39%).

Research and Markets predict that hybrid cloud market — the combination of public and private cloud computing — will grow at a CAGR of 30.16% over the 2013-2018 period. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Rackspace, and VMware are expected to dominate the market.

Speaking of Rackspace, the long-time runner-up to AWS in the cloud infrastructure space has hired Morgan Stanley to look at strategic options, ranging from partnership to acquisition. The competition has gotten a lot hotter with the mega-vendors throwing out billion-dollar cloud investment announcements i.e. Cisco and IBM, at an accelerating pace.

The big may be getting bigger, or at least betting bigger, but the small are still battling the cloudzillas. Canonical, best known for Ubuntu Linux, has just released what it calls Chuck Norris Grade private clouds, fully managed, OpenStack private clouds with carrier service level agreements.

The race to the cloud may be heating up, but the size, scope, complexity and significance of the cloud guarantee that the vendor competition will be both fast and furious. Take that, Godzilla!