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Azure Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Greg Schulz, Todd Matters

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Cloud Wars: Is 2017 the Year of the Cloud Land Grab? | @CloudExpo #AWS #Azure #Cloud

Each of the public cloud ‘territories’ are vying for business ‘homesteaders’ to settle in, grow, and cultivate in their clouds

Next month will mark the 155th anniversary of a piece of legislation that President John F. Kennedy once described as "the single greatest stimulus to national development ever enacted." It was the Homestead Act of 1862. By 1862 the United States had grown from approximately 500 million acres of land to almost 2 billion (with a B) acres, a majority of which was in the public domain. Under the act, over 1 billion acres were made available to settlers. An individual could obtain 160 acres of land. If they lived on, cultivated, and improved that land over a 5-year period, the land was theirs. This led to the explosive growth of the west in the United States. Many of the western territories worked hard to entice the settlers to their public lands. Increased population, cultivated land, resources, all increased the territories influence with the U.S. government and provided the path toward eventual statehood.

In many ways, I see a parallel in today's public cloud environments. Each of the public cloud ‘territories' are vying for business ‘homesteaders' to settle in, grow, and cultivate in their clouds. Three months into the year, 2017 is shaping up to be the year of the great cloud land grab. Let's look at how some of these cloud territories are seeking to expand and attract the homesteaders.

The Amazon AWS Territory, the cloud land baron to beat
By any metric, most would agree (except perhaps Oracle, more on that later) that Amazon is the dominant cloud territory. According to a report by Synergy Research Group, in 2016 Amazon held a 45% market share, more than twice the combined market share of the next three competitors: Microsoft, Google, and IBM. There have been a range of reports that Amazon has approximately 8-10 times the capacity of their next 14 competitors combined. That is a lot of cloud territory.

Amazon does not rest on its laurels. Amazon releases new features, services, and capabilities at a breakneck pace targeting all levels of an organization. At their most recent AWS Summit, they released a laundry list of new capabilities ranging from new billing models for the business to new continuous integration as a service capabilities to attract the developers. Additionally, Amazon has a variety of incentive and discount programs to encourage mass migrations to their platform. The goal is clear. They are aggressively going after the business ‘homesteaders,' a land grab to continue the dominance and size of their cloud territory.

The Microsoft Azure Territory, embrace our cloud damn you
In Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant report of IaaS services, they said ‘The market for cloud IaaS has consolidated significantly around two leading service providers.' Microsoft was the second of those two providers. Like Amazon, Microsoft is not sitting still. They have been making huge inroads and achieving significant growth against AWS. They have been consistently rolling out new features and services to help provide differentiation. Microsoft, like Amazon, is aggressively trying to attract the cloud homesteaders to their territory.

A recent article, ‘Embrace our cloud, damn you: Microsoft dangles 40% discount on Azure instances,' outlined some of those efforts. In additional to large discounts, Microsoft is offering a variety of tools and services to help analyze what your migration costs and savings might look like. These kinds of analysis tools from the vendors should always be taken with a grain of salt. In a recent podcast hosted by cloud visionary and author David Linthicum, we talked about the fact that tools like these only have a certain amount of value. Amazon has a similar tool. These tools will obviously have a bias toward the platforms they are focused on, and do not take the complexities of a true migration into account. That being said, they are useful to the vendors in trying to attract those cloud homesteaders to their territory.

The Google Territory, a land of vision
In the Gartner magic quadrant mentioned earlier, the only vendor in the visionary quadrant was Google. As an example of how volatile this market is, just two years ago there were several vendors in the Visionary quadrant including IBM, CSC and Verizon. Google has pioneered scaling infrastructure, container usage and Big Data. According to Gartner, Google is "leveraging its expertise and experience with Big Data in its own consumer business in order to build product strength in technologies such as analytics and machine learning."

While having great vision and technology is helpful, Google has struggled with selling to the enterprise, a necessary skill to complete against the Amazons and Microsofts of the world to grow their cloud territory. Google has recognized this and is striving very hard to change that. At their recent Google Next Conference in San Francisco, Google put front and center new enterprise-focused leadership, messaging, products and sweeping channel program changes.'

IBM, Oracle, and others, the struggling territories
There are other cloud territories struggling to attract the cloud homesteaders, IBM and Oracle among them. Both companies are huge technology land barons in their own right but have struggled with the new business models and ensuing disruptions that cloud brings. IBM is working hard at shifting gears from a mainframe/selling iron model to the new services model, and has attracted a lot of attention with its work in machine learning (Watson), the Internet of Things and blockchain. Time will tell if they are able to adapt. I never count IBM out of the picture.

Oracle, on the other hand, thinks it can beat Amazon and Microsoft without doing a land grab. In a recent interview with Fortune Magazine, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said they will be able to be competitive because "Our core advantage is what we've said all along, which is that it's about the intellectual property and the software, not about who's got the most real estate." It's an interesting argument. Not many people outside of Oracle seem to buy that argument. For a great perspective on that, I recommend a blog by James Hamilton, ‘How Many Data Centers Needed Worldwide'

2017 is the year of the cloud land grab
There is a common phrase often attributed as a Chinese proverb (or curse): "May you live in interesting times."

For those following the cloud technology space, there is no doubt we are living in interesting times. The land grab is in high gear as the cloud territories try to attract and hold the cloud homesteaders on their land. For the cloud homesteaders, this is a net positive. The features, services, and incentives provide lots of options, and ultimately benefit the businesses looking to leverage the cloud to achieve their objectives. One thing is for sure, this journey will not be boring.

The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open.

Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 New York 
(June 6-8, 2017, Javits Center, Manhattan)

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Speaking Proposals ▸ Here

Topics will include:

  • APIs
  • Architecture
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Big Data & Analytics
  • Business Apps
  • Cognitive Computing
  • Containers
  • Content Delivery
  • Databases
  • Deep Learning
  • Developer Community
  • DevOps & Tools
  • Digital Transformation
  • Enterprise & Migration
  • Financial Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Machine Learning
  • Microservices
  • Mobile
  • Networking
  • Security & Compliance
  • Serverless Computing
  • Storage
  • Virtualization

The World's Largest "Cloud Digital Transformation" Event

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 New York 
(June 6-8, 2017, Javits Center, Manhattan)

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Full Conference Registration Gold Pass and Exhibit Hall ▸ Here

Register For @CloudExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

Register For @ThingsExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

Register For @DevOpsSummit ▸ Here via EventBrite

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsors of Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
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  • Online targeted advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage
  • Unprecedented Marketing Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 100,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) today by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

Secrets of Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here
Secrets of Cloud Expo Speakers ▸ Here

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Track 1. FinTech
Track 2. Enterprise Cloud | Digital Transformation
Track 3. DevOps, Containers & Microservices 
Track 4. Big Data | Analytics
Track 5. Industrial IoT
Track 6. IoT Dev & Deploy | Mobility
Track 7. APIs | Cloud Security
Track 8. AI | ML | DL | Cognitive Computing

Delegates to Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo will be able to attend 8 simultaneous, information-packed education tracks.

There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.

Join Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA for three days of intense Enterprise Cloud and 'Digital Transformation' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indispensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and (IIoT) Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) Digital Transformation in Vertical Markets.

Financial Technology - or FinTech - Is Now Part of the @CloudExpo Program!

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech, which will incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and blockchain into one track.

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. @CloudExpo is pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program, starting at the 20th International Cloud Expo June 6-8, 2017 in New York City and October 31 - November 2, 2017 in Silicon Valley.

@CloudExpo is accepting submissions for this new track, so please visit www.CloudComputingExpo.com for the latest information.

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 20th International @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is open.

Submit your speaking proposal today! ▸ Here

Our Top 100 Sponsors and the Leading "Digital Transformation" Companies

(ISC)2, 24Notion (Bronze Sponsor), 910Telecom, Accelertite (Gold Sponsor), Addteq, Adobe (Bronze Sponsor), Aeroybyte, Alert Logic, Anexia, AppNeta, Avere Systems, BMC Software (Silver Sponsor), Bsquare Corporation (Silver Sponsor), BZ Media (Media Sponsor), Catchpoint Systems (Silver Sponsor), CDS Global Cloud, Cemware, Chetu Inc., China Unicom, Cloud Raxak, CloudBerry (Media Sponsor), Cloudbric, Coalfire Systems, CollabNet, Inc. (Silver Sponsor), Column Technologies, Commvault (Bronze Sponsor), Connect2.me, ContentMX (Bronze Sponsor), CrowdReviews (Media Sponsor) CyberTrend (Media Sponsor), DataCenterDynamics (Media Sponsor), Delaplex, DICE (Bronze Sponsor), EastBanc Technologies, eCube Systems, Embotics, Enzu Inc., Ericsson (Gold Sponsor), FalconStor, Formation Data Systems, Fusion, Hanu Software, HGST, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor), Hitrons Solutions, IBM BlueBox, IBM Bluemix, IBM Cloud (Platinum Sponsor), IBM Cloud Data Services/Cloudant (Platinum Sponsor), IBM DevOps (Platinum Sponsor), iDevices, Industrial Internet of Things Consortium (Association Sponsor), Impinger Technologies, Interface Masters, Intel (Keynote Sponsor), Interoute (Bronze Sponsor), IQP Corporation, Isomorphic Software, Japan IoT Consortium, Kintone Corporation (Bronze Sponsor), LeaseWeb USA, LinearHub, MangoApps, MathFreeOn, Men & Mice, MobiDev, New Relic, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor), New York Times, Niagara Networks, Numerex, NVIDIA Corporation (AI Session Sponsor), Object Management Group (Association Sponsor), On The Avenue Marketing, Oracle MySQL, Peak10, Inc., Penta Security, Plasma Corporation, Pulzze Systems, Pythian (Bronze Sponsor), Cosmos, RackN, ReadyTalk (Silver Sponsor), Roma Software, Roundee.io, Secure Channels Inc., SD Times (Media Sponsor), SoftLayer (Platinum Sponsor), SoftNet Solutions, Solinea Inc., SpeedyCloud, SSLGURU LLC, StarNet, Stratoscale, Streamliner, SuperAdmins, TechTarget (Media Sponsor), TelecomReseller (Media Sponsor), Tintri (Welcome Reception Sponsor), TMCnet (Media Sponsor), Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium, Veeam, Venafi, Violin Memory, VAI Software, Zerto

About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Expo® (@CloudExpo), Big Data Expo® (@BigDataExpo), DevOps Summit (@DevOpsSummit), @ThingsExpo® (@ThingsExpo), Containers Expo (@ContainersExpo) and Microservices Expo (@MicroservicesE).

Cloud Expo®, Big Data Expo® and @ThingsExpo® are registered trademarks of Cloud Expo, Inc., a SYS-CON Events company.

More Stories By Ed Featherston

Ed Featherston is VP, Principal Architect at Cloud Technology Partners. He brings 35 years of technology experience in designing, building, and implementing large complex solutions. He has significant expertise in systems integration, Internet/intranet, and cloud technologies. He has delivered projects in various industries, including financial services, pharmacy, government and retail.

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