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How hybrid will shape the cloud battle in 2019

07 Jan 19

Hyperscale cloud service providers, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google are accelerating efforts to target on-premises enterprise workloads, setting the stage for an intensely competitive hybrid cloud solutions market in 2019, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.

GlobalData principal analyst Chris Drake offers his take on the implications of these developments and the longer-term challenges and opportunities facing leading cloud service providers as they target on-premises and hybrid cloud workloads.

“In 2019, businesses and other organisations will make increasing use of hybrid cloud environments to support a range of IT and application requirements,” Drake says.

“Major cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle and Alibaba, are responding to the growing demand for hybrid cloud solutions with versions of their public cloud technology designed to be deployed privately, within customers’ data centres.”

The big players are recognising that with competition heating up, they too need to remain relevant in order to take and keep their share of the highly lucrative public cloud market.

“Although AWS is the largest provider of public cloud services globally, this does not guarantee its success in the hybrid cloud space,” he continues.

“AWS already has several options for organisations that require a hybrid cloud solution and, in late 2019, AWS plans to launch a new managed on-premises version of its cloud platform called AWS Outposts. However, information on component services and pricing has yet to be provided.”

Pricing is a major issue for cloud customers as the consumption model means spending needs to be monitored more carefully on a continual basis.

“Microsoft is hedging its hybrid cloud bet on its Azure Stack offering, delivered with a choice of on-premises hardware and using the same development and management tools to provide consistency across private Azure Stack deployments and the Azure public cloud,” Drake says 

“However, criticisms of Azure Stack include its considerably slimmed-down feature set compared with the features, services and capabilities that are available with Microsoft Azure.”

Technology is only as useful as what you can do with it. If Azure Stack doesn’t provide the features an organisation needs, they will go somewhere that does.

“Oracle, IBM, Google, Alibaba and other public cloud providers also have solutions that are designed to help them target enterprise private and hybrid cloud workloads,” Drake adds.

“Given this expansive range of solutions and initiatives, the market for hybrid cloud solutions will become intensely competitive with vendors competing in several fields, including the provision of solutions that are tailored for specific user groups, workloads, and use cases.”

By looking at market needs, the major vendors will hope to attract the growing number of organisations that are transitioning to hybrid cloud across every vertical. 

As well as trying to remain on top of what customers are looking for, there are also the core needs of every cloud user.

“Vendors will also compete on things such as cloud performance, availability, scalability, cost and manageability, and on the provision of tools for application developers and DevOps initiatives.”

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