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State of the Cloud Market in Application Platforms

| Mar 29, 2011 | Application Platforms
| Analyst: Charlotte Dunlap, Senior Analyst, Application Platforms

Click here to download report (100 KB PDF)

Over the past two years application platform providers have rallied around the cloud computing concept, unilaterally pledging their commitment to the industry’s hottest and most perplexing trend since virtualization. Various unveilings of cloud initiatives have been rolled out based primarily on strategies to offer products and services for private clouds, public clouds and hybrid/clouds; and for these clouds, vendors have proposed software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions.

Vendors have been on a rampage with cloud plans: annual developer conferences are suddenly jammed with keynotes and panel discussions with the word “cloud” in the title; elaborate if sometime convoluted press releases introducing cloud strategies continue to hit the wires; and formal partnerships are being formed between leading Internet and software companies solely on the basis of delivering joint cloud services.

The trouble is that most of these cloud visions are short on details, long in promises and oftentimes lacking in release dates. Cloud commitments in the form of PaaS and IaaS tend to be two to three years away in actual delivery dates, for those few application infrastructure vendors who are venturing into this area. Cloud commitments around SaaS support are largely delivered through partnerships with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), AT&T services and Google services as well as numerous other IaaS and PaaS providers such as Rackspace, FlexiScale and ENKI. These cloud service providers give customers the ability to throw appropriate applications into the public cloud, thereby reaping some of the rewards of the public cloud while awaiting broader cloud capabilities to be delivered by application platform vendors.

The fact is, most vendors in the application platforms marketplace haven’t worked out the marketing, sales and channel logistics around how cloud services will complement their on-premise software-based offerings, and so are concerned about interrupting the flow of their current strong revenue growth by supporting a new business that might possibly cannibalize their cash cow. Application platform vendors are at various stages of supporting cloud services and delivering on past promises. This report provides an overview of the state of the cloud market among application platform providers, including a scorecard and ratings on key players.

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