In this early stage of market development, the cloud wars are often on center stage. We've discussed them numerous times here, and they're the subject of a special session at Cloud Connect in Chicago next month, too.
CloudOps Research founder Alistair Croll, who will be moderating the session, posted an interesting piece on InformationWeek about the competing players in the cloud space and how they mirror the competing operating systems of the early 90s.
Cloud Connect's word cloud depicts some of the most dominant themes and players in the current competitive landscape.
Croll makes some interesting points about how VMware is following a similar path as that of Windows, in the sense that its cloud offerings are evolutionary, not revolutionary. He also paints a dire picture of Microsoft's prospects in the cloud area while ignoring Azure:
In an unfortunate one-two punch for Microsoft, the shift from software licenses to SaaS is hard. Thousands of salespeople and channel partners, whose mortgages and moorings depend on commission from licenses, are learning that many clients would prefer services to software.
He thinks Microsoft's missteps in the mobile computing space should serve as lessons for cloud platform providers: The compatible players will win. I agree on that score. But I'm surprised by his likening of Eucalyptus to IBM's OS/2, which was designed to communicate with mainframes in its time.
Croll asserts that TCP/IP took care of mainframe integration and Windows beat OS/2 because of its diverse application portfolio. I don't think AWS today can be considered "legacy" anything, and although it may open its API compatibility to a wider range of players, Eucalyptus has a solid head-start and a strong offering for hybrid environments right now. VMware might make up the lost ground, either by playing more nicely with Amazon or by pouring some more juice into its own public cloud, but we won't know for at least another two years.
I think Croll's analysis should provoke plenty of conversation, which is our mutual goal. So check out his chart and share your thoughts here.