Over the course of various meetings, events and social engagements people have asked me about “The Cloud” and its longevity.  Will it really take over the enterprise space or is it just a cool fad/niche?

Here at LayerV our vision for the future is clear, and it’s Cloudy (sorry)

Personally I believe nearly all workloads will be cloud hosted in some fashion in the future, and there are 3 strong reasons to believe that:

Growth so Far

Cloud infrastructure is now far beyond a passing trend.  Those leading the industry are reporting staggering growth. AWS have previously reported growth of 99% YoY for EC2 and 137% for S3.  That’s not a statistical blip! Forbes recently valued just the IaaS market at $16.5B.  The SaaS market is estimated at $45B!

Those trailing behind the curve are re-branding old data farms or whatever they have as Cloud in the hope they pick up the scraps, or stop the loss in market share as the masses follow the now overwhelming trend.  I won’t name names here, but it’s amazing how global brands have been left so far behind and are clamoring to stop the loss of their market share.

Business Benefits

Increasingly, the shift in perception of Cloud Services is moving from “Why would I do that? Convince me it’s safe” to “Why wouldn’t I do that?  Why would I do it the old way?”.  This trend is now across industries, including those that are more difficult and regulated.  At LayerV we’re working with both Financial Services and Public Sector customers across Europe.

Essentially it comes down to business benefits.  TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is difficult to calculate, but without too much effort it becomes pretty clear you can assume a large cost saving over the life of a requirement under most circumstances. AWS reported a total average saving for companies that migrated to AWS to 40%!

But TCO is just one reason to migrate.  The agility and improvements in time-to-market probably make the biggest difference.  Remember the days of ordering a server and finally getting it installed 60 days later?  Want to change the spec?  Another 60 days please.  If your company is still doing it this way let’s hope your competitors still are too.  Does your server requirement happen to be the same as the serviceable life of the server?  Are you happy to pay for it all up-front?  Is the scale needed static over that time?  Is anything in business static over more than a year anymore??

History Repeating

Back in the early 00’s** more and more people started using virtualisation.  It started small: Geeks running an alternative OS on their work laptop; Sales people doing canned demos.  Then it got a bit bigger.  Why not run the test server on there?  Why not run an entire environment?  Why not a non-critical service?

Soon production servers were running all over the place.

Jump forward to 2015 and if you’re running anything on premise that isn’t virtualised there had better be a good reason.  For many years I’ve been auditing IT organisations for capability/maturity.  It’s common for IT Managers to apologetically describe why they’re only 90% virtualised “but we’ll have finished migrating the rest in the next x months”.

Deja vu right?

Almost all organisations I speak to now are planning migration to Cloud in some form.  Test and Dev environments are the norm.

In around 5 years time I firmly believe that full cloud migration will be the norm, and I’ll be getting the same apologetic explanation that “we’re only 80% cloud migrated, but we have plans for the rest”

 

LayerV are helping our customers build their Cloud Strategy, migrate to the Cloud, and manage the service once they’re there.

 

James Letley

Co-Founder & CEO

LayerV

 

** Yes, I’m aware virtualisation has been around for decades in various forms.  I’m talking about mainstream x86 virtualisation.