The cloud market is becoming more volatile and hotter. Both the Enterprise and startup sectors are experiencing a lot of momentum. Here are my top cloud predictions 2014
1. Intel will announce a Public Cloud Offering
This is a bold prediction. Imagine you are a senior manager at Intel and realize that only a few giants like Amazon, Google and Microsoft are buying large amounts of your CPUs. Instead of buying CPUs, companies are now directly using public cloud services. Imagine the power these three companies have over Intel. What will happen to Intel stock if Amazon, Google, and Microsoft decide to collectively move their entire cloud infrastructure over to AMD? Intel is recognizing that cloud computing is the future of computing. Companies will no longer be able to buy large quantities of CPUs directly.
Intel quietly acquired many companies to allow them to venture into the public cloud. Cloud computing offers traditional IT infrastructure such as storage, network, computation platform, and computation platform as APIs. It is essential that cloud computing companies are skilled in developing and maintaining APIs. Mashery was a specialist in creating and providing APIs for infrastructures of other companies. Intel bought Mashery. Mashery’s team may be working on prototypes for their Cloud APIs. Aepona was then acquired. According to Intel, the acquisition of Aepona was a “significant expansion” of Intel’s capabilities in areas that are essential for building and delivering future cloud and network services across the entire spectrum of computing.
Stonesoft, a network security company, is another interesting acquisition. The responsibility for infrastructure security falls to the company that provides public cloud offerings. Intel lacks experience in hosting applications and is therefore unable to provide infrastructure security for any cloud offerings. I believe the reason Stonesoft was bought was to improve their network security for their future public cloud offering.
There are many subtle indicators that indicate that Intel is brewing a pubic cloud.
2. Google Compute Engine (GCE), will outperform AWS EC2 when it comes to features
AWS is unquestionably the king of the public cloud world. It is constantly innovating and releasing new services at an alarming pace. Unfortunately, it has stopped improving its core services such as EC2. For a long time, users have been asking for basic features such as EBS volumes that can be mounted on multiple EC2 instances, vertical scaling without rebooting EC2 instances, scaling EBS volumes at the runtime, and so forth. AWS has been busy launching new services, instead of investing in these features. Google Compute Engine could offer better features than EC2 in the future. We hope that competition form GCE will finally force AWS to better their current offerings at the execution layer (EC2/EBS/ELB).Update: Since I wrote this article, GCE already launched many great features like load balancers not requiring pre-warming, getting discount for long usage (unlike AWS where you have to buy reserved instances), etc. This is already in motion.
3. Cloud will be the most sought-after skill set to get hired in 2014.
Cloud was 3rd on the list of most desirable skillsets to be hired by Linkedin last year. Cloud will be THE MOST sought-after skill this year. Cloud is becoming more popular and companies, large and small alike, are looking for the right talent to use cloud technologies. Many companies are training their employees in cloud technologies. According to research this year, cloud technology experience will be the most sought-after skill. Research already done by IDC and sponsored Microsoft suggests that there will be 7,000,000 cloud-related jobs by 2015. This is a lot of jobs, and there are many open positions. In casual interactions with cloud-related people,