There is a two-pronged battle going on today for the soul of the cloud. It involves a struggle for cloud infrastructure supremacy and control of the network pipes, and it involves many of the biggest names in tech, from old (IBM, Microsoft) to new (Amazon, Google). As organizations move more data center infrastructure to the cloud, the results of these battles will have a profound impact on your business.
Like every other technology battle we have witnessed over the last 25 years — whether it was AOL, CompuServe, and Prodigy in the early early ’90s; Netscape versus Internet Explorer in the browser wars in the early days of the Web; or the ongoing client computing platform battle among Apple, Microsoft and Google — the story is the same. We have several dominant players trying to be the one company.
For now, Amazon maintains a sizable lead in the cloud infrastructure business. In fact, some have suggested that Rackspace, unable to compete, could be a takeover target soon.
But Amazon can’t rest easy. Last year IBM bought SoftLayer, an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider that gives it serious chops, so much so it actually landed in second place in revenues behind AWS with 7% of the market, based on numbers provided by Synergy research group. Even if you lump IaaS and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) numbers together, Amazon appears to have a sizable lead despite its lack of PaaS offerings.