Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Rishi Bhargava, Ed Featherston, William Schmarzo, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

The Cloud Vendor and the Agnostic Intermediary

Part II in a series by 6fusion's Co-founder and CEO John Cowan

Abstract: This is Part II in a blog series by 6fusion Co-founder and CEO John Cowan on the emerging trend of Cloud Brokerage and the impact it will have on the technology industry and markets. Be sure to check out Part I of the series here.

Part II – The Cloud Vendor and the Agnostic Intermediary

I gave a presentation a few months back in which I opened with the following statement:  The future of cloud computing has little to do with technology. Sounds crazy, right?  But before you send me to the virtual nuthouse, let me explain.

What I think is unclear in the emerging Cloud Broker business model is the demarcation point between the business of compute and the technical organization of compute.  The era of Cloud Brokerage will see these two concepts treated and considered as two distinct threads.   The technical organization of compute is what the myriad of cloud software vendors does today.   They are the companies that pitch “hey, buy my software and you too can have a cloud” or “hey, run your apps on our infrastructure and you too can pay for IT like a utility.” The role of this vertical in the industry is about the orchestration and management of the compute resources sitting in customer cabinets and cages across the global data center landscape.  It is about, as some of the more vocal pundits and talking heads espouse, a complete paradigm shift in the way IT is delivered.

But cloud vendors, despite their impressive efforts to convince us otherwise, are, and never will be, Cloud Brokers.

Cloud Brokers will focus on the business of compute rather than the technical organization of compute.    And the business of compute has nothing to do with cloud computing or the technology driving this revolution. The business of compute is about the commoditization of compute, network and storage infrastructure.

There is a big difference.

Analysts and experts measure the market by examining the adoption rates of cloud technologies private and public.  Projections vary widely but I think we can all agree we are already in a Total Addressable Market (TAM) in the billions and on a fast track much higher.

That’s a lot of dough.  But the real TAM for Cloud Brokerage is much, much bigger.

Cloud Brokers will play a catalyzing role in the establishment of a commodities market for computing, just like soybeans, metals or corn.  One of the principal advantages of any commodity market is for businesses to hedge their risk.  It is difficult to argue that such practices could not or should not extend to information technology needs (specifically computing).

In order to truly see this market one must look beyond the resources that are “in the cloud” today.   Businesses in the future will hedge their total risk – the needs of the organization both internally and externally.  That is – the sum total demand for compute resources.  To this end, existing market sizing reports dealing with cloud are inadequate to represent the total opportunity.   Based on publically available data on server and storage shipment tracking I believe the TAM for Cloud Brokerage to be north of $1 Trillion.

As a central figure to the emergence of a commodity market for compute infrastructure, the Cloud Broker must be an entirely agnostic intermediary.  The job of the agnostic intermediary will be to connect those that consume infrastructure and those that produce infrastructure.  It will not be their job to influence, direct, sell or support what the infrastructure is ultimately used for.  Nor will it be their job to influence what infrastructure supplier is used.

Herein lies the demarcation point between those facilitating the future business of compute and those enabling the technological organization of compute.

This may come as a revelation to some, but it won’t be players like Amazon, Rackspace and the ‘Magic Quadrant’ of telcos and co-lo providers that form the commodity market for compute.   Yes, they will no doubt be suppliers to the market.  But they will not be the true market makers.

Today’s leading cloud vendors will learn that you can’t be a retail cloud and an intermediary for a cloud market.  The very concept would be like being an arms dealer for the war in which you take up arms.   It will not work.  While important actors in the emerging story, today’s cloud vendors are merely proving out that there is room for many suppliers in the market.

In Part III of this post I will take a look at the some of the important technologies that will emerge to create what I call “The Market Unified.”

More Stories By John Cowan

John Cowan is co-founder and CEO of 6fusion. John is credited as 6fusion's business model visionary, bridging concepts and services behind cloud computing to the IT Service channel. In 2008, he along with his 6fusion collaborators successfully launched the industry's first single unit of meausurement for x86 computing, known as the Workload Allocation Cube (WAC). John is a 12 year veteran of business and product development within the IT and Telecommunications sectors and a graduate of Queen's University at Kingston.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Early adopters of IoT viewed it mainly as a different term for machine-to-machine connectivity or M2M. This is understandable since a prerequisite for any IoT solution is the ability to collect and aggregate device data, which is most often presented in a dashboard. The problem is that viewing data in a dashboard requires a human to interpret the results and take manual action, which doesn’t scale to the needs of IoT.
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...