Market analyst outfit Canalys says that the cloud giants such as AWS, Microsoft and Google are embracing the channel as they look to capitalise on the “next phase” of cloud adoption.
AWS, Microsoft and Google grew their cloud infrastructure revenues by 43 percent, 93 percent and 74 percent respectively in Q1, year on year, as the overall market rose by 42 percent to $11.4 billion, Canalys said.
But the big three have worked out that building an indirect business will be the only way to maintain that order of growth,
Canalys principal analyst Matthew Ball said that the next phase of cloud adoption means that they are looking at corporate and mid-market accounts, and for that they need greater reach and scale, and to do that they need the channel.
Big cloud providers, AWS and Google have not come from an enterprise IT background so they are starting to mature their partner programmes and channel engagements.
They are looking to focus on that more because they recognise that the channel has those relationships with customers.
Canalys thinks the channel will be a part of their go-to-market strategies, especially if they want to maintain their high levels of growth each quarter and year.
Canalys pegged AWS’ Q1 cloud infrastructure sales at over $3.5 billion but the market leader’s success need not be at the cost of the channel, said Ball, who argued that the rise of cloud has in some cases expanded the role played by resellers.
Ball said that the channel has made good business selling datacentre infrastructure in the past, and will do so.
Cloud is another choice for customers in terms of how they operate their IT environments and, for sure, it’s a concern for channel partners. Some partners have been affected by cloud and others changing their business model to develop consultancy or professional services to help their customers define a cloud environment.
Grey box shifter Michael Dell talked up the importance of a ‘multi-cloud’ world and waded in to AWS, Microsoft, and Google by claiming that, for many customers, “public cloud is twice as expensive as on-premise”.
Dell said that while all styles of cloud computing have their merits and applications, customers should not relytoo heavily on any one model, – particularly public cloud.
“If you have a public cloud-first and -only strategy, you will find yourself uncompetitive in the long term. On-premise offers automation capabilities on an unprecedented scale. Many customers have already told us that the public cloud is twice as expensive as on-premise,” he said.
David Goulden, president of Dell EMC, added that Dell’s cloud offering addresses not only generalist productivity and business applications, but also core applications that many enterprises would not typically consider suitable for the cloud arena.
“Most clouds target the millions of general-purpose applications,” he said. “Our cloud strategy targets those, but also targets performance-intensive, mission-critical applications that most customers would not [otherwise] consider running on a cloud or as-a-service basis. We, uniquely, have a hybrid cloud strategy for all your applications.”
Dell EMC is adding its 14th generation of its PowerEdge range of servers this summer and the new VMAX 950F all-flash storage array.
The vendor also boosted its VxRail suite of hyper-converged technology, including the launch of a single-processor unit which allows businesses to invest in hyper-converged infrastructure for a capital investment as low as $25,000.
Dell Financial Services is to a launch a payment offering for hyper-converged infrastructure providing customers with the option of “cloud-like consumption” of the technology.
The battle for the hearts and minds of public cloud users is being won by AWS, Google and Microsoft, and MSPs need to fight back before they become unstoppable.
Canalys CEO Steve Brazier told the outfit’s Channel Forum that the traditional IT industry has to fight back to remind customers that there is an alternative.
He said that Dell, HPE, Cisco and Oracle were all talking about cloud, but there is a danger that they, along with their channel partners, will be swerved in favour of AWS, Google and Azure because the buyer has been swayed by them.
There was a danger that the three big public cloud providers could become “too big to fail” with too many customers putting data through their platforms.
His logic is fair enough. In the last year AWS grew by 59 per cent, while both Microsoft with Azure had grown their cloud by 100 per cent. All this was on the back of the giants leaning on their clouds.
Basically it means that Lenovo, Dell, HPE and others doing more to counteract the public cloud argument and to work in a more co-ordinated way to present an alternative PR message.
Customers need to be worried that will be locked in to platforms and if one of these big companies go down then millions could be hit.
Search Engine Google is expanding its data centre operations worldwide, announcing more than 10 new Google Cloud Platform regions to take on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The first two new regions are set for Oregon in the United States and Tokyo in Japan, and are expected to be up and running by the end of 2016. The rest will follow in 2017.
Varun Sakalkar, Google Cloud’s product manager said that the outfit was opening these new regions to help Cloud Platform customers deploy services and applications nearer to their own customers, for lower latency and greater responsiveness.
“With these new regions, even more applications become candidates to run on Cloud Platform, and get the benefits of Google-level scale and industry leading price/performance,” he said.
The cloud business is getting more cutthroat with AWS, Google, and Microsoft engaged in a bitter price war in recent years, attempting to undercut each other in order to attract customers.
Google has made moves this year to boost its cloud infrastructure strategy and is thinking of buying a number of cloud companies for acquisition, endeavouring to diversify its software and infrastructure offerings to match those of Microsoft Azure and AWS.
Interestingly, AWS has 12 regions globally, the same number Google today announced it was targetting. IBM will soon have 15 major data centres around the world.
Google has just four cloud regions, but with that sphere of influence set to quadruple into new markets across the globe, international customers are about to have a much tougher choice when it comes to choosing a public cloud provider.
Software giant Microsoft is building a new UK data centre for its Azure cloud – the announcement follows something similar from AWS.
Vole wants its cloud services based in the UK beginning in 2016 and AWS will have it ready by the by the end of 2016 (or early 2017).
Vole is behind AWS in cloud services but the distance between the pair is huge.
Setting up in the UK makes a lot of sense. London’s status as a financial hub makes it attractive market for cloud vendors, and having a local region (composed of multiple data centres) mimimises latency.
Microsoft is a US corporation there may be circumstances when the US government can demand access to data. This is less likely to be possible if the data is kept in a local data centre.
If the US does succeed in getting court orders for the data stored in Europe chances are the EU would ban American companies running data centres. This would be too much of a political hot potato for the US government which is currently attempting to re-negotiate its safe-harbour status in Europe having lost it due to its spying antics.
Microsoft has the Ministry of Defence signed up as its first customer, which is probably why it has to have the data kept within the UK.
The department will be migrating to a “private instance” of Office 365, hosted partly by HP and in part by the new UK Azure region.