Over the past several years, the public cloud computing market has grown tremendously. It has seen a rise from $87 billion in 2015 to $146 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $236 billion by the end of 2020. A recent survey by Gartner also suggests that one in every three organizations see cloud investments as their top three investment priority. Also, by the end of this year, around 30 percent of new investments by technology providers are expected to shift from cloud-first strategies to cloud-only initiatives, suggesting a rise of subscription-based service, and a steep decline in the license-based software and service consumption model. All major cloud service providers including AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, and IBM Cloud/Red Hat have made considerable investments in new technologies like containers, serverless. and edge computing, combined with machine learning and artificial intelligence, to redefine the ways businesses operate globally. Here are some highlights of the recent news and developments from major public cloud computing vendors.
Key news updates in public cloud computing
1. SAP and Google partnership
In March, SAP National Security Services (SAP NS2), the independent U.S.-based arm of SAP, and Google announced a strategic alliance to attract global enterprises into the adoption of SAP’s flagship products on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), promising them with the benefits of best-of-the-class experiences. This collaboration offers SAP’s in-memory database on top of Google Cloud’s network infrastructure with machine learning capabilities. The partnership allows the public sector businesses to use advanced data analytics capabilities, as well as enjoy the scalability and flexibility of cloud infrastructure while meeting all the FedRAMP compliance requirements. Automated provisioning of the SAP HANA instances on GCP would mean faster and secure access to mission-critical applications as well as real-time insights.
It should be noted that SAP NS2 is already having a similar partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS), where they offer SAP’s HANA Cloud and AWS’ GovCloud in a single package while remaining compliant with FedRAMP, ITAR and DOD SRG. Other things planned in the pipeline include SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology, SAP Data Intelligence and Collaboration between the SAP Leonardo IoT solution and Amazon Web Services IoT.
2. AWS migration services target Azure
In April, with the launch of support for the migration of virtual machines from Microsoft Azure to AWS cloud, AWS further strengthened its proactive AWS Server Migration Service (SMS) campaign to lure Azure customers. This new capability allows the customers to migrate their existing applications hosted in Microsoft Azure cloud to the AWS cloud, including the applications hosted on Virtual Machines. AWS offers an agentless service that can group several Azure VMs together, and migrate them to a single AWS instance, as against replicating individual servers on one-to-one mapping basis. It also provides support for replication of live server volumes, enabling migration of large-scale workloads.
AWS is already running various initiatives such as AWS partner programs and fierce price initiatives for several months, targeting Microsoft AWS customers, including SQL Server DBAs, .NET Application developers, and Cloud Architects. AWS Server Migration Service (SMS) also supports the migrations of VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V workloads.
3. Microsoft and Oracle partnership
Microsoft and Oracle recently announced a partnership for cloud interoperability, which is considered to be their take against cloud computing giant AWS. The two companies plan to set up high-speed links between their data centers, which would allow the customers from either side to run mission-critical workloads seamlessly across the Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud platform. This would mean that customers subscribed to the AI and Analytics services on the Azure platform will be able to connect to Oracle Cloud services directly, like Autonomous Database. And these combinations will also enjoy enhanced identity and access management services, via a unified single sign-on experience and automated user provisioning across both the worlds.
This also opens up possibilities of several new cross-cloud solutions running in an optimized environment. For instance, customers may run customer applications or packaged Oracle applications (like JD Edwards, Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft) on Azure against an Oracle Autonomous Database running on Exadata infrastructure in the Oracle Cloud.
4. Google Anthos for Google Cloud and Google Kubernetes Engine
Google recently introduced its hybrid cloud initiative dubbed Anthos. This new open platform leverages the Kubernetes and is available for Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), as well as in the private datacenters using the GKE On-Prem. With this initiative, Google embraces open standards, enabling users to run the existing applications across on-prem hardware as well as in public cloud without any hassles. Anthos platform also allows the user to manage workloads on other third-party clouds like AWS and Azure. Besides, the Anthos Migration feature allows migration of VMs from on-premises servers or other cloud instances into containers in GKE, without making any upfront modifications to the original VMs or workloads.
With the tie-up between Google Cloud and Cisco datacenters, businesses can also enjoy the benefits of fully managed services like GKE combined with Cisco’s top-notch technologies including Cisco ACI, Cisco HyperFlex, Cisco Stealthwatch Cloud and Cisco SD-WAN. Additional partnerships with vendors including Dell, VMware, Intel, EMC, Lenovo, and HPE allow the organizations to leverage their existing infrastructure investments to enjoy a converged cloud-based environment. More than 20 ISVs and several system integrators are also actively working with Google to help provide enterprise-grade solutions to interested customers. Partners including Accenture, Arctiq, Atos, Cognizant, Deloitte, HCL Technologies, NTT Communications, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, and WWT can help customers incorporate Anthos-related services.
5. Multicloud, containers, and microservices
Several big companies have been following a concept of a multicloud environment, which enables interoperability between platforms while avoiding any lock-in period. Several open source frameworks and platforms, with support for ready-to-use containers and microservices architecture, have opened up a plethora of new opportunities for the customers. Now they can easily switch between the major cloud vendors like AWS, Google Cloud, or Azure, to meet their expectations and priorities. This is also opening up new job opportunities like cloud architects, automation engineers, and service brokers to manage workloads in a truly hybrid environment. Such jobs demand a new set of skills, like knowing cross-platform management tools for securing and administering all cloud instances, or data integration and API management best practices. Container technologies like Docker, as well as container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes, have shown tremendous growth already and are already fulfilling their promise of transforming the entire process of application development and deployment across on-prem and well as cloud-based infrastructure. The large-scale in-production use by a large number of MNCs, including Capital One, AT&T, Bloomberg, Box, Comcast, SAP, IBM, and Samsung depicts the success story of Kubernetes.
Public cloud computing: Major players, major plans
Increasing adoption of public cloud computing and cross-cloud solutions by businesses has put the cloud vendors on their toes. In a race to grab the maximum share of this growth pie, all the major vendors are compelled to innovate their business as well as adopt other strategies via collaborations, partnerships, and even acquisitions to strengthen their market share. IBM’s $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat and Google’s $13 billion worth cloud plans are few incidents indicating the seriousness of these major players towards their goals of establishing cloud supremacy across the globe.
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