Conventional wisdom has it that cloud service providers such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft will soon dominate the entire cloud computing category. But smaller providers of cloud computing services that are specifically designed to meet the needs of enterprise IT organizations that want more control over their cloud computing environments report they are starting to see a lot churn in their direction, especially from organizations that have decided the Amazon approach to cloud computing no longer fits their requirements.
CloudSigma CTO Robert Jenkins says that the majority of cloud service providers’ business is coming from organizations that are no strangers to cloud computing. They typically have already deployed application workloads on top of Amazon Web Services (AWS). But Jenkins says that what they soon discovered was that they lost control of their IT environment because Amazon doesn’t provide much in the way of options when it comes to sizing the server environment. In addition, Jenkins says CloudSigma gives customers access to solid-state drives and software-defined networking technologies in addition to allowing customers to more flexibly combine CPU, memory, storage and network bandwidth pricing in ways that are more transparent. In contrast, Jenkins says customers are getting wise to the fact that while Amazon may have some lower upfront initial server costs, they soon realize how expensive Amazon can be when they start accessing network services.
Jenkins predicts that one of the biggest cloud computing stories of 2013 will be the high level of customer churn that AWS is generating. Jenkins says much of the churn today is masked by the number of new customers that AWS signs up every month. But the reality is that as customers get comfortable with cloud computing, they soon start to look for a platform that more flexibly meets their needs.
What Jenkins is driving at is that for a lot of organizations, AWS will wind up being the equivalent of a “starter cloud.” In fact, as the number of outages that customers continue to experience on AWS increases, the more customers there are that begin to explore other options.
There is, of course, no shortage of other options when it comes to public cloud computing services. But CloudSigma is betting that as one of the few public clouds delivering enterprise-class services across multiple continents that are backed up by service-level agreements (SLAs) that have actual teeth, there will be a lot more business coming their way in 2013. Jenkins is making the case that when it comes to cloud computing, size alone is not what will ultimately matter most, but rather the quality of the overall IT experience provided.