Cloud and data, first-quarter 2014: analysis and outlook

1 Summary

This quarter we saw faster growth in the cloud computing and big data marketplaces, with mega deals in VC funding in the big data space and new intensity in the public cloud computing wars. The interest in public clouds exploded, and the rapid growth of public cloud mega-player, Amazon Web Services (AWS), drove this acceleration. Market tactics included a rather obvious price war and dueling conferences occurring at the end of March.

During the first quarter we did see lagging interest in private clouds, as public clouds seemed to rise in interest. Enterprises drove part of this shift as IT departments came to the conclusion that private clouds using OpenStack were still not ready for primetime, and public clouds provided more cost savings.

Microsoft announced that Satya Nadella was their new chosen one, and the speculation circulated that this was good for the Microsoft cloud strategy. He’s still unpacking his boxes, so he’s yet to have an impact, and it could be later this year before we see anything significant from his office.

IBM rattled their sabers his quarter, announcing that they will spend more than a billion dollars to build their cloud, and the company pushed out something called “BlueMix.”  At the same time, IBM will force their existing cloud customers to move to the SoftLayer cloud, and the company will pay for the migration.

Cisco surprised a lot of people by tossing their hat into the public cloud computing area, with a forthcoming OpenStack-based public cloud that uses partners to extend the reach of their forthcoming cloud services. While late to the game, it will certainly make the market that much more interesting.

In the world of big data, it’s funding, funding, funding. Cloudera locked up $900 million, while Hortonworks could only rustle up $100 million. The interest and growth around the Internet of Things is drawing more attention to big data, as everyone begins to realize the amount of information that will have to be managed once our toasters are connected to the cloud.

In summary, here are the events of this quarter:

  • Microsoft has a new CEO, now what for Azure?
  • IBM announces a billion-plus dollar investment in their cloud, pushes customers to SoftLayer, launches “BlueMix,” and worries about their traditional business.
  • Private cloud finally gives way to public cloud.
  • Google, AWS, and Microsoft continue to fight for market position.
  • Cisco enters the cloud computing world.
  • Cloudera get $900 mil to play with from Intel and other investors, and Hortonworks raises $100 mil.
  • The Internet of things set to drive the growth of data.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr user karindalziel.