Guest Blog by Frazer McKenzie, VP of Sales, Flexiant
Competing in the match of the decade, the cloud boxing ring is one of fierce competition where only the strong will survive. Arming yourself to compete is not only advisable, but absolutely necessary in order to have a fighting chance at victory.
In This Corner: The Competitive Market
While global spending on infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is expected to increase 32.8% from 2014, according to Gartner, the cloud IaaS market that service providers are expected to compete in is still evolving and in many ways is now in a further state of upheaval. Many service providers are shifting their strategies after failing to gain enough market traction with the initial iteration of their cloud service offering. According to analyst Lydia Leong, the IaaS solution ecosystem is rapidly consolidating around a small number of market leaders.
In 2014, the absolute growth of public cloud IaaS workloads surpassed the growth of on-premises workloads (of any type) for the first time. Eighty-three percent of CIOs consider cloud IaaS as an infrastructure option, and 10% are already cloud-first with cloud IaaS as their default infrastructure choice, reports Gartner's 2015 CIO survey.
But, in 2014, a lot happened. Service providers wanted to launch an entirely new cloud IaaS platform, make substantial changes to their current platform, or move to providing managed services on leading cloud IaaS platforms. Gartner says that many providers have indicated that they intend to discontinue or significantly reduce their investment in their cloud IaaS offerings, and others intend to eliminate or replace them. Flexiant and Odin, however, believe the rewards for those who take to the ring properly armed can still compete.
In This Corner: Delivering an Extended Range of IaaS
Getting in such a competitive market “ring” can be scary, but only if you are not armed properly. Why? Because it isn’t a one-size-fits-all market. So managing IaaS and then extending it becomes complex and service providers have difficult choices to make because the market demands more than one solution.
Here are three examples of those choices:
1. Prospects want to launch on different virtualization stacks. These disparate virtualization technologies can mean a service provider missed an opportunity. Offering an extended range of IaaS starts with the ability to deliver choice. Using cloud management technologies that deliver multi-hypervisor freedom enables you to deliver more than one type of IaaS. The result? Customers get the hypervisor power they need at the price point they require.
2. True cloud IaaS abstracts the user experience from the underlying technology components. Customer demands and expectations are continuously evolving and service providers need to adapt their service to meet these ever-changing requirements. While aligning with a single-vendor-technology solution may suggest you have built a deep capability to meet a specific use-case, most customers come with a shopping list of needs that no single solution will ever be able to accommodate on its own. The best preparation for this constantly changing battle is to have the ability to interoperate with a range of products that can be bundled and provided together.
3. Fight the battles you are best placed to win. It is unlikely that a fly-weight boxer would survive in a bout against a heavyweight if they stood toe-to-toe against each other. However, the fly-weight fighter may well overcome the heavyweight by using his agility and speed to keep away from the knock-out punches the heavyweight would attempt to land while in turn continually landing his own “scoring” punches.
The hyperscale clouds offer just such a mismatch in financial firepower to the average service provider, however, they are also much more standardized in the services they offer to the customers they attract. By providing the right technology components and value-add services in an easily consumable manner, service providers can offer a winning combination to high-value customers that can see them both compete in their chosen market and do so profitably.
A Service Provider’s Boxing Gloves to Compete – Flexiant and Odin
Flexiant’s leading cloud management solution combined with Odin Service Automation and Virtuozzo enables service providers to launch powerful IaaS clouds. Flexiant provides the Odin product portfolio with cloud orchestration across multiple hypervisors and data centers, while delivering a true pay-as-you-go billing model with advanced application deployment capabilities.
Check out this whitepaper to learn how to launch your laaS business.
Flexiant provides solutions aimed solely at helping service providers capture the cloud market opportunity. Its portfolio of solutions includes Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator and Flexiant Concerto. Since 2009, Flexiant has armed service providers with the solutions necessary to launch revenue generating cloud services quickly and easily.
Flexiant has been named a Gartner Cool Vendor in Cloud Management and received the Info-Tech Research Group Trendsetter Award for two consecutive years. Flexiant is a gold Odin partner and a Dell certified technology partner. Customers include Brinkster, Acens part of Telefonica Group, FailProof Technology, and ThinkGrid Ceano part of Colt Telecom. Flexiant is also a key participant in the EU’s Horizon 2020 program. For more information, visit www.flexiant.com.