Click here to close now.


IBM Cloud Authors: Betty Zakheim, Liz McMillan, Greg O'Connor, Don MacVittie, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Market: Rites of Passage

It’s taken roughly eight Cloud Expos to move from “Cloud what?” to “Cloud how?”

Blink twice and "Can we get a puppy?" becomes "Can I take the car tonight?"  Cloud computing took a little longer.  By my calculation, it's taken roughly eight Cloud Expos to move from "Cloud what?" to "Cloud how?" - I know because I've been at all but the first.  So, returning from New York where last week 7,500 people attended the 8th, I reflected on how much the questions being asked about "the cloud" have changed since the first Cloud Expo in 2008.

2008 - What is cloud computing?
Translation: Okay, what is it?  Does ‘The Cloud' = Amazon Web Services or what?

What are the key capabilities of a cloud? What is AmazonWS?  How is cloud computing different from virtualization?  Self-service, pay for what you use, SaaS ... are hot topics. Amazon WS does $100M in revenue.

2009 - Is the cloud real?
Translation: Is this something I'm going to have to pay attention to?

Does cloud computing mark a generational epoch on a par with Mainframe, Minis, PC and Web? ... or is it a fad that will pass?  Saving money, CapEx vs. OpEx, agility, and ‘why wait on IT?' are core issues of the day.  AmazonWS does $250M in revenue.

2010 - How do we define the cloud?
Translation: What's going to be my best approach to clouding-up my organization?

Every presentation opens with the question: "What is the Cloud?"  Most speakers cite Wikipedia or Nist, others have man-on-the-street videos asking people what cloud computing is. Vendors define it in terms most favorable to their own offerings.... IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, what color is your cloud? Cloud company acquisitions begin.  AmazonWS does $500M in revenue.

2011 - Where do I go from here?
Translation: How do I make this work?

Many have tried to leverage cloud with mixed results.  Cloud Roadmaps and solution presentation abound in attempts to fast forward through the experience curve, but the devil is in the details.  Cloud company acquisitions accelerate.  AmazonWS on track to do $1,000M in revenue.

2011 and beyond: It's pretty clear that Cloud is the next generational computing epoch, likely to dominate the next decade plus, unless the Mayan calendar turns out to be right. Today, the market is moving from the Wild West to the beginnings of settlement - a time in which companies are building stonewalls to stake their claims.

IT professionals also have moved past the obvious low-hanging fruit of dev/test and brand new apps to moving existing applications to a cloud. Companies want to be able to install, configure, clone, run and .... then .... move ..... multiple instances of an application unchanged. The reality of Amazon being down for a few days only reinforced the requirement to have multiple copies of any important application ready to go at a moment's notice.

Mu$ic to my ears.
I actually had fun manning the booth and walking the floor, telling the AppZero story, which is a great match to this generation of questions:  We offer the fastest way to move existing applications to any cloud - letting companies change clouds and workloads to match evolving strategies.  Here's the flexibility to learn, adopt and change cloud foundation rapidly, without lock-in.  This cloud agility is a differentiator that will separate the winners and losers in many markets.

On that note, now seems like a good time for the next installment of GregO's cloud valuation exit/acquisition score-card

Time             Company                                          Valuation*

Q1 2010        3Tera/CA                                           $90M   @ 30  EV/R(ttm)

Q2 2010        3Para/HP                                            $2.4B   @ 12  EV/R(ttm)

Q1 2011        Facebook/Private IPO (GS)               $50 B   @ 25  EV/R(ttm)

Q1 2011        Terremark/Verizon                             $1.9B   @ 5.4 EV/R(ttm)

Q2 2011        NaviSite                                               $230M @ 2.1 EV/R(ttm)

Q2 2011        Savvis                                                    $2.9B   @3.0 EV/R(ttm)

*Valuation - includes debt

EV - Enterprise value or market cap + cash + debt

R(ttm) - Revenue for trailing twelve months

I am always looking for a way to communicate better and cut to the heart of any discussion. So, if you have thoughts on this subject drop me a line at GregO {@} Appzero {dot} com or tweet me at

Register to attend: "ISV technical drill down: OS-free Windows and Linux server application delivery for instant provisioning"

This 60-minute webinar is a detailed, technical, how-to session appropriate for ISV development, operations, support, and professional services practitioners. Presenters will consider a range of ISV-specific benefits in virtualizing multi-tiered, client-server applications for rapid deployment and instant provisioning. They will walk through the process of virtualizing/encapsulating Windows and Linux applications so that they can be easily moved from server to server (physical and virtual) for instant execution in the cloud, on site at a customer's premise, or in a datacenter. Strong use cases will be outlined, as well as those for which the solution is not a great match. Join us June 23rd @ 1pm EST to learn how to boost the bottom line without changing your business model or technology of choice. Register Now>>

More Stories By Greg O'Connor

Greg O'Connor is President & CEO of AppZero. Pioneering the Virtual Application Appliance approach to simplifying application-lifecycle management, he is responsible for translating Appzero's vision into strategic business objectives and financial results.

O'Connor has over 25 years of management and technical experience in the computer industry. He was founder and president of Sonic Software, acquired in 2005 by Progress Software (PRGS). There he grew the company from concept to over $40 million in revenue.

At Sonic, he evangelized and created the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) product category, which is generally accepted today as the foundation for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Follow him on Twitter @gregoryjoconnor.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.