Beyond Test & Development: What The Virtualization Era Can Teach Us

Beyond Test & Development: What The Virtualization Era Can Teach Us

Beyond Test & Development: What The Virtualization Era Can Teach Us About The Next Phase Of Cloud Computing

The cloud revolution we are currently witnessing shares a number of parallels with the virtualization movement that empowered the enterprise datacenter over the last decade. At the core of both of these tectonic shifts were clear platform disruptions spurred by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and VMware respectively. Similar to how VMware jumped out to an early lead in x86 virtualization market, AWS has shown early dominance in the public cloud market. The predominant early adopter use-case at the heart of both of these movements has been test/development environments.

Building on its test/dev era momentum, VMware successfully navigated to its next phase of growth around the end of 2008 as enterprise customers began to migrate production workloads to virtualized environments. Once customer comfort level was established with this use case, VMware license revenue continued its rapid upswing through the end of the decade.

The similarities in the initial adoption profile across these two market disruptions led me to take a closer look at the x86 server virtualization market growth trajectory to see what else we might learn. It turns out that a deeper examination of how this market evolved is an extremely informative exercise to help provide greater comfort and appreciation for the real market growth potential for cloud computing.

The Test & Development Era in the Cloud

In November of 2012, almost seven years into the adoption of its Simple Storage Service (S3), AWS announced that greater than 1.3 trillion objects had been stored in the S3 service. Given AWS’ initial market dominance, the number of objects stored in their S3 repository serves as the most accurate proxy for growth and adoption in this early phase of the cloud market. In the same vein, the x86 virtualization market was initially dominated by VMware’s success in test and development. Consequently, VMware’s software license revenue through this period from ’02-‘08 serves as the most accurate measure of early server virtualization market growth. Overlaying the growth trajectories from the initial ramp of the cloud and virtualization platforms in their formative years shows a remarkably similar early adoption profile.

The Test/Development Era – x86 Virtualization vs. Cloud

production

Entering The Production Era

Projecting out the next phase of growth in cloud computing surely will be dependent on the ability for cloud service providers to architect a VMware-like market transition from primarily test and development workloads to production applications. However, no single service provider, not even AWS, can affect this transition alone. Driving the delivery of production workloads from the cloud requires commitment and innovation across the cloud ecosystem equal or greater than that demonstrated by the ISV and hardware vendor community that supports VMware. Today’s cloud ecosystem vendors are stepping up to support cloud’s advancement by building in features to support multi-tenancy, self-service via automation, and leveraging new architectures to drive increased scale. Similarly, Amazon continues to add services to support production environments including Route 53, VPCs, Direct Connect and traditional relational database certifications. If the revenue growth realized by VMware from successfully navigating their transition is any indication, the potential returns to be had from investing in the Production Era of cloud computing will more than offset the upfront investments.

The Production Opportunity

Building off the Test/Dev era comparison from earlier, the graph below plots VMware’s actual license revenue growth over the ten-year period from ’02 (YR1) to ’12 (YR11) against early cloud computing growth in its first 7 years (using AWS S3 objects as the proxy). Missing from this graph, as the history is still to be written, is what happens in the next phase of cloud computing. AWS announced that, only 1/3rd of the way through 2013, S3 objects stored had eclipsed the 2 trillion mark. If this pace continues, by the end of 2013 cloud adoption will show a significantly accelerated growth trajectory relative to the same period of x86 virtualization adoption. In this context, cloud computing’s initial adoption trajectory is pretty impressive, especially considering we are only now just scratching the surface of the opportunity for production applications.

The Production Era Opportunity

bridgingthegap

Bridging The Gap

While the x86 server virtualization market evolution has presented us with an intriguing template for what could lie ahead in the cloud computing market, it is not yet a forgone conclusion that things will materialize in a similar fashion. Certainly the early parallels between the test/development phases of these markets are too compelling to ignore. But continued innovation needs to occur across the cloud infrastructure ecosystem to yield similar growth rates compared to what was experienced in the Production Era of server virtualization.

Similar to the “virtualization first” mandate that helped drive the majority of incremental workloads to virtualized environments; IT departments are increasingly subjecting applications to “cloud-first” scrutiny. With this type of adoption stimulant in place, the opportunity for cloud providers to help facilitate the Production Era of cloud computing is there for the taking. For the market to have any chance of realizing its full potential, service providers must be able to confidently, and economically, address the more stringent demands of mission and business critical applications. In the x86 server virtualization market VMware was able to answer the bell. In the cloud computing market the time is now for service providers to do the same.

By Dave Cahill / Director of Strategic Alliances, SolidFire

davecahillbwDave comes to SolidFire with 10 years of experience in and around the enterprise storage industry. Prior to SolidFire, Dave was the founder of Diligence Technology Advisors, a strategy consulting practice focused on emerging enterprise technologies. He started his career at EMC as an early member of the Centera business unit. After EMC, Dave spent 6 years on Wall Street in analyst and investor capacities, including at RBC Capital Markets, where he was a key contributor on one of Wall Street’s top equity research teams in storage. At SolidFire Dave leads the company’s strategic alliance efforts.

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Security In The IoT The network security market is experiencing a pressing and transformative change, especially around access control and orchestration. Although it has been mature for decades, the network security market had to transform rapidly with the advent of the BYOD trend and emergence of the cloud, which swept enterprises a few years ago.…

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups Cloud platforms have become a necessary part of modern business with the benefits far outweighing the risks. However, the risks are real and account for billions of dollars in losses across the globe per year. If you’ve been hacked, you’re not alone. Here are some other companies in the past…

Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority Research has revealed that third parties cause 63 percent of all data breaches. From HVAC contractors, to IT consultants, to supply chain analysts and beyond, the threats posed by third parties are real and growing. Deloitte, in its Global Survey 2016 of third party risk, reported…

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Cloud Email Migration In today’s litigious society, preserving your company’s data is a must if you (and your legal team) want to avoid hefty fines for data spoliation. But what about when you move to the cloud? Of course, you’ve probably thought of this already. You’ll have a migration strategy in place and you’ll carefully…

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data The modern enterprise is digital. It relies on accurate and timely data to support the information and process needs of its workforce and its customers. However, data suffers from a likability crisis. It’s as essential to us as oxygen, but because we don’t see it, we take it for granted.…

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy A few weeks ago I visited the global headquarters of a large multi-national company to discuss cloud strategy with the CIO. I arrived 30 minutes early and took a tour of the area where the marketing team showcased their award winning brands. I was impressed by the digital marketing strategy…

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

DDoS Attacks October 21st, 2016 went into the annals of Internet history for the large scale Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that made popular Internet properties like Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify and Box inaccessible to many users in the US. The DDoS attack happened in three waves targeting DNS service provider Dyn, resulting in a total of about…