Storms ahead in the Digital Cloud

Google has been slow in unveiling its cloud intentions, but with this years' Google Cloud conference GCP2016, it was evident that they are in this game to stay, raising the bar enough that it looks like storm clouds ahead for a number of providers. Amazon AWS has had the lead by a wide margin, but its clear that Google is taking this seriously.

I've used Amazon AWS, Rackspace, Digital Ocean, Heroku and a host of other providers long gone, largely due to changes in technology as they were left behind. I think this is the fate of another shift as cloud infrastructures get larger, more complex and more sophisticated in their offerings.

Google Cloud Logo

As more an more enterprises consider moving to the cloud, and frankly why they aren't moving faster befuddles me, the increasingly complex capabilities required will necessitate only a short list of providers, including Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and perhaps IBM and HP's clouds.

Rackspace is highly exposed in my opinion, and a clear stock short, as they lack capabilites and price that are necessary to make them competitive and their small size limits their potential. I suspect they'll either be acquired or they'll eventually be out of the game.

I'm placing my money on Amazon and Google, since both have the capital and the global ambitions to be major cloud providers. But I particularly believe that Google has an edge since their cloud infrastructure is newer and they have taken into account evolving technical thoughts on automated deployment.

And lastly is price, where Google claims that their prices are at least 18% lower (and possibly substantially lower depending on the type of usage) that the "other" big cloud provider, which is substantial considering the amount of money that will be spent by enterprise cloud purchasers. The large margins that Amazon has enjoyed have likely peaked, limiting profits for it and other up-and-coming cloud providers.

And price is a significant factor. On one project, the bill was reduced by nearly 70% from a change in cloud providers (went from AWS to Digital Ocean). All due to lower cost instances, but more importantly, aligning demand with instance types. But admittedly, for many sites, price still may be inconsequential relative to overall business costs, so its possible that the storm will be short-lived, with Amazon coming out when it all clear.

Carson R Cole