Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2016. Read them in this 8th Annual VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed by Shannon Snowden, Senior Technical Architect, Zerto
2016 Predictions: Cloudy with a Chance of Snowballs
It's an interesting time of change in the IT industry. For the
last few years, using the cloud for some portion of the core infrastructure has
been a topic of discussion in IT thought leadership circles, but I think 2015
is the year where these discussions actually transitioned to reality.
Cloud providers are focused on offering datacenter replacement
level of services and they are maturing into legitimate infrastructure options.
They are finding more than willing enterprise customers who want to get rid of
their own datacenters and use a more efficient and cost-effective solution.
The customers of which I speak aren't nameless, faceless
trends I found from reading analyst research. I've actually seen a steadily
increasing number of our customers that have made the decision to either
curtail or completely stop buying datacenter hardware, and shift to a managed
or public cloud for their infrastructure deployments.
The snowball is rolling and gathering speed, and I expect to
see this trend to continue to grow in 2016.
Maturing Cloud Services
Managed and public cloud providers are aggressively
competing with each other, so the services being offered, the capabilities and
costs must meet, or exceed, the performance and quality of service that
customers have in their own datacenters.
One of the biggest concerns that enterprises traditionally
had about using cloud services is security. Knowing they must overcome this
barrier to adoption, cloud service providers have made security an area of
focus. Since they want to be able to host all segments of customers, they must meet
or exceed security requirements, across many industries. This cascades into an
overall benefit of a very secure environment.
These security capabilities of cloud service providers are
reflected in a recent study conducted by the analyst firm ESG, which shows customers
using cloud services feel their data is more secure with the cloud provider
than what they were doing themselves.
We are seeing customers in verticals you wouldn't expect.
Companies from healthcare and financial segments are increasingly accepting
cloud services as their solution. That's a major shift in thinking from just a
couple years ago.
Datacenter Hardware Vendors Feel the Chill
It turns out that the biggest threat to datacenter hardware
vendors isn't other hardware vendors; it's cloud services providers that buy
cheap, commodity hardware at scale and offer acceptable levels of datacenter
As cloud services get better, and customers gain confidence,
it is putting an increasing amount of pressure on datacenter hardware vendors. The
big expensive hardware storage arrays, and servers, are their cash cows and as
the cloud momentum picks up velocity, customers aren't so quick to buy them
Hardware vendors who haven't balanced their portfolio of
product offerings will be forced to find alternatives like consolidation. So look
for more significant changes with hardware vendors, like Dell acquiring EMC, to
continue. These newly combined companies will build competing clouds based on
their hardware and offer fully managed services to try to survive. As a result,
customers will have even more cloud-based options in the
However, all of the hardware vendor instability has another
effect. Customers will lose confidence that the hardware, or even the hardware
brand, will exist before the warranty runs out.
It actually increases the momentum to the cloud snowball
with two very different types of IT decision makers.
Shifting to the cloud isn't just for the decision makers
that embrace the new or bleeding-edge technologies. As cloud services gain in
the market as an acceptable option, the decision makers that traditionally have
picked a hardware vendor and settled in for the long term, because of stability,
are prime potential cloud customers.
Because with cloud services, they aren't buying hardware,
they are buying a stable service levels.
Let it Snow
2016 will be an interesting year of transition in how IT
organizations provide infrastructures to the business.
The good news is IT decision makers have more options than
ever before to meet the business needs.
Navigating through the changes will be a challenge, but worth the effort.
About the Author
Shannon Snowden, Senior Technical Architect, Zerto
Technical Architect, Shannon helps develop and articulate the technical product
messaging and use cases so clients, prospects, industry analysts, and media
better understand the value proposition of Zerto. He also establishes and
develops strategic technical alliances with synergistic technology vendors to
create productive co-branded solutions leveraging the power of Zerto.
Shannon has more
than 15 years of experience in the technology industry having started his
career at New Age Technologies as a Senior Solutions Advisor. In addition to
his position at New Age Technologies, Shannon has also worked as a consultant
for PharMerica and Kindered Healthcare as well as in the Information Security
Department at Yum Brands. As a Senior Technical Architect at Zerto, Shannon
works towards developing and articulating the technical product message and
developing strategic business partnerships with key technology vendors and
service providers. He was named a vExpert in 2009 and again in 2012 by VMware
and has been a delegate for Tech Field Day as well as a judge for Best of
VMworld. Shannon received a BA in Business Administration at Sullivan