Public cloud IaaS providers are competing heavily on price. Watching Google, AWS, and Microsoft play the falling prices game is like watching a ping-pong match. It is just a matter of time before IBM’s SoftLayer matches the prices as well. Adrian Cockcroft wrote a great piece called The Real Story Behind the Cloud Price War, which is a must-read for those trying to understand the impact of the market’s feverish competition to be the lowest-cost provider. Here is an important nugget from Adrian’s article:
The rise of server-based flash caching and other technologies like local performant storage pools, whether virtual storage appliances like the HP StoreVirtual VSA or VMware’s VSAN, marks a possible return to the days of the pizza box server in data centers across the world.
In what may have seemed like an eternity, at least in the way time is measured in technology and the cloud space, IBM has been putting the finishing touches on its different acquisitions and the development of the Big Blue Cloud Stack. Although IBM seems to be fashionably late to the cloud party, I believe we are going to be seeing the Big Blue Battle Plan presented and executed in the near future. IBM is getting ready to step into the octagon to take on all comers, with its eye on Oracle, HP, Amazon, Microsoft, and VMware. It seems IBM is not going to settle with the typical as-a-service mode; on the contrary, it seems that it wants to usher itself into the new era with IBM as a Service. Continue reading IBM as a Service
Microsoft continues to take great strides forward with its cloud strategy, to the point where success has it charging forth at almost record pace. One thing I have learned, in my years working in IT, is that when Microsoft sets its mind on doing something, it is a pretty safe bet that it will succeed in pretty much whatever it puts its collective minds and resources behind. The cloud is just another example of that success.
With the sale of its x86 server division for $2.3B, IBM exits the marketplace it started in the early 1980s. Some have argued that this is a good move for IBM and tolls the death knell for the x86 server marketplace. “Well, if IBM is closing shop, surely the end is nigh. What with all that virtualization malarkey, nobody is purchasing x86-based servers anymore.” While it is true that the glory days may be behind for a company based on server hardware due to the consolidation of large numbers of compute entities on single-host servers, there is still a significant marketplace for x86 servers: according to IT Candor, over $46B in 2013. Although the server market suffered its third quarter of revenue decline, dropping 4%, actual numbers shipped increased by 2%. The plain fact is that people are still buying x86-based servers.