Posted by: Greg Ness | November 21, 2014

The Cloud Agility Race: Implications for CIOs

Last week as I was writing Amazon Declares War on VMware, VMware was preparing to announce the acquisition of a pro services team to aid in cloud migration (see coverage in CRN): VMware Acquires Professional Services Firm To Boost Cloud Migration, DevOps Expertise.

Pony-express-statue

You can get my thoughts on Amazon’s frontal assault on VMware and the VMware acquisition via the above links as well as at Part Deux, or on the importance of agility at the VMblog Tea Garden Talk from VMworld (about 5 minutes in).

It was great to see that Amazon exec Andy Jassy championed agility at re:Invent.  GigaOm covered his comments:

“Andy Jassy, Amazon’s SVP of web services, repeatedly invoked agility, not price, as a prime motivator for cloud.” – Barb Darrow, Top 5 Lessons Learned at AWS Re:Invent

That raises the question of what the cloud agility race really means for the CIO.  Let me offer an equation as a starting point.

Calculating Hybrid Cloud Agility

VMware: Islands of Agility

VMware, for example, offers a high level of agility if you standardize on their platform. That takes me back to the Tea Garden talk and my discussion regarding the ecosystem of first generation cloud migration and DR tools; tools that work well for VMware environments. You could call this agility model islands of agility, because agility is pretty good within the confines of the platform.

Thinking beyond VMware

For those with physical or mixed workloads, the automation requirements escalate. For example, in the three critical questions (regarding cloud migration) I blogged about supporting physical and virtual workload migration, as well as live migration and the automation of the extension of critical network services.

Implications of the Agility Race: Emerging Cloud Competition

That equation then takes me back to the first blog about Amazon’s Declaration of War on VMware.  If you think about the equation and its implications, it is strategically vital for AWS, Azure and a host of cloud service providers to compete on agility, to replicate what VMware has accomplished within its platform.  The agility race also creates an opening for the likes of Cisco, HP, Citrix, IBM and the emerging SDN players.

A new category of hybrid cloud automation players could be positioned to monetize agility for enterprise workloads across the clouds.  No need to make massive data center investments and compete directly with AWS and Azure in a race to the bottom.  Instead monetize the agility between them and others.

High Speed Cloud Image

Recommended Reading

Three Years of Cloud Predictions – my take on the evolution of cloud, since 2012.

Our Cloud DR Story – InformationWeek on emerging best practices in the cloud

How the Cloud War will be Won – More on the coming consolidation in service providers and the rising importance of agility


Responses

  1. It just struck me that AB ought to be on top versus the bottom. The higher the numerator relative to the denominator the better. Glad my son is studying algebra. 🙂

  2. Just updated the equation (flipped AB to top) in case my son sees this.

  3. Moving to the cloud still ain’t easy: http://www.datamation.com/cloud-computing/survey-moving-to-the-cloud-still-aint-easy.html
    Timely article…

  4. Great Forbes blog on hybrid cloud done right: http://www.forbes.com/sites/benkepes/2014/11/26/a-good-hybrid-cloud-case-study-asheville-shows-how-hybrid-should-be-done/


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