With the sweeping global tech impact of social, mobile, big data and cloud, it’s becoming rather clear that Google is poised to rock the cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market while Microsoft is pushing the Azure strategy as their alternative to the Amazon and Google cloud plays.
Google announced at Google IO their Google Compute Engine which is a viable Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) product that allows Linux Virtual Machines (VMs) to run on the same system that powers Google’s massive infrastructure. Google is clearly going after the other leading products, like Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon EC2. Google is quietly saying they are high performance across the board.
While Apple and Google continue to generate billions and accelerate market share in an increasingly mobile world, Microsoft is rebooting their efforts with its Windows Phone OS and is spinning up and trying to push out a tablet device of some sort. The future of the recent Microsoft’s effort might be at risk given that Microsoft is looking to pickup an an option to get RIM Blackberry. In such a scenario, RIM could also look for Microsoft to buy a stake in the company and fund marketing and other expenses
As the world moves to big data analytics, companies like Cloudera, Hortonworks and Map Reduce are changing the game while Microsoft repackages existing legacy products as “big data software.” Big data isn’t about trying to repackage products that existed 20 years ago it’s about new technologies that process petabytes of information in days or weeks not multiple months like old school data warehousing approaches that Microsoft is familiar with.
And while companies like Amazon, Google and Nirvanix innovate in the cloud storage space, Microsoft is pushing its aging applications over its Azure cloud. In fact, Azure is only suitable for Microsoft-specific software development, which is a very weak cloud storage value prop. Compared to its primary competitors, Azure doesn’t even have an object store, which Dave Vellante has highlighted as a criticality for massively scalable cloud storage; instead Azure runs on “blobs.”
“I think object storage is the future,” said David Vellante, founder and chief executive officer at analyst firm Wikibon. “A true cloud scales to petabytes, billions of objects. A traditional disk drive [or file system] can’t do that.”
An Azure blog is incapable of parsing data and cannot be searched. Azure makes for an ineffective cloud storage target because the only APIs available are for Microsoft application hosting only—and each account is limited to only 100TB. 100TB is SMB-scale in the cloud these days, particularly when you see multi-petabyte deals like this, this, and this.
All the talk about Google and Apple competing head to head in mobile is valid but the other subplot is the Google Microsoft competition. Google’s Compute Engine which was launched in beta will go head to head with Azure.
If you read the tea leaves throughout the Google IO event in San Francisco you can see that Google is clearly blazing a path directly to the enterprise with the Cloud Compute Engine and Big Data as the key enablers.
Microsoft Azure really needs to step up it’s game on the product side to really extend their enterprise leadership and get a position in mobile.
Many are saying Microsoft’s products are weak and not modern with respect to the moves Google is making with developers. That being said one thing that Microsoft has nailed down that isn’t being discussed is their massive success with developers.
The future of cloud mobile and social comes down to the mindshare of the developers.
Whoever wins the developer will be the leader in the new era of cloud, mobile, and social consumer and enterprise trend.