Cloud computing management provider RightScale updated its blog this morning with some impressive figures that point to company’s growth: its customers’ cloud computing usage has increased by 1000% in one year. While the post accompanies a press release, it would be a mistake to dismiss the numbers as just PR.
The increased usage reflects three trends:
- Customers are using more cloud servers
- Cloud servers are running for longer periods of time
- Customers are using larger servers
“We are amazed to see how much has changed in the past year, both in terms of the overall amount of cloud computing as well as the applications being deployed,” says Thorsten von Eicken, RightScale CTO. “For example, our customers’ average server runtime has increased 146 percent, and the number of servers running full time has increased 310 percent, which are indications of not only more production applications, but also increasing cloud stability. Our customers are also launching more powerful servers in support of more users, increasing amounts of data, and additional services offered.”
These numbers point to an increasing adoption of cloud technologies in enterprise organizations. But as RightScale note in its blog, it’s not simply the growth itself that’s interesting – it’s how and where the growth occurred. The move to larger instances, for example, seems to indicate that cloud adoption isn’t simply about horizontal scalability. And while new apps should be built with horizontal scalability in mind, many customers are opting instead to simply purchase a larger server instance so that scaling can happen vertically instead.
That servers are running for longer also indicates that it’s not simply development and testing that’s being done on the cloud. RightScale says that of the servers launched in June 2009, 3.3% still ran 30 days later. In June 2010, 6.3% were still running after a month. It’s a small percentage increase, perhaps, but it does indicate that more and more organizations are adopting the cloud for production, not just development.
The RightScale figures only reflect one company’s growth, but it’s an interesting glimpse nonetheless in how the industry itself is scaling.