The ever shifting sands of the cloud market are driving a re-think on management and security.

Why? Consolidation, strategy changes, new entrants and out right exits are almost a daily occurrence in the cloud market segment:

  • GoDaddy very recently announced an IaaS cloud offer (really virtual private servers hosted by GoDaddy)
  • VMware has a new/renewed push into a hybrid cloud model which was punctuated by the IBM partnership announcement.
  • DropBox drops AWS and will build and own the infrastructure stack.
  • HP completely exits the public cloud market – bye Helion, reportedly a billion dollar business.
  • IBM heavily investing and adding huge amounts of value to their Bluemix/Softlayer platform with Watson and Application tools offering local (private), dedicated cloud and public cloud offers.
  • Amazon AWS anticipating the reality of a many cloud world and adding migration and multi-cloud management tools.
  • Dell/EMC merging and VMware cloud business merging with EMC’s Virtustream for a single EMC/Dell/VMware cloud platform.
  • Oracles aggressive cloud pricing strategy.
  • Google’s very public strategy that they will be a major player in the cloud market with major wins like Apple,  the Verizon Partnership and the appointment of virtualization pioneer Diane Greene as “Cloud Boss”.

Yes, lots of reference points to a changing/evolving/maturing market segment. Where does that leave customers of these public clouds and users of private clouds?  How can enterprises and agencies plan longer term? What strategies should be in place to manage this churn and change?

These questions are becoming more and more prominent in cloud strategy discussions I am participating in.

My answer is brief. “Maintain control”. Yes ROI, operationally and logically it more often than not makes sense to move your application, storage and compute aka infrastructure, (yes I deliberately added applications into the infrastructure category), to a cloud platform or vendor. But it is critical that you own and solely control the management and security solutions that manage and secure your resources and especially your data.  These tools need to be independent and ‘neutral’ to cloud platforms. This will enable independence, flexibility in choice, a common platform and view and avoid the building of silos to a specific cloud platforms.

So to summarize, yes to embracing multi-public clouds and/or hybrid cloud models, BUT strategize and maintain control of your data across this diverse strategy by controlling independent and pervasive security and management solutions.

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