A "pure IaaS" provider ?
Revolutionary, yet evolutionary these thoughts will change the thinking on how to offer IaaS services to customers respecting their dignity and wishes, while making them richer.
The largest Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) public clouds are increasingly morphing into more like Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) operators.
The customers using cloud services, particularly at the infrastructure level, are also interested in other tools that may add convenience. These are usually service driven; things such as email services, content distribution networks, DNS services etc. etc. So the debate here really is who is best positioned to provide those services and how should they be offered/delivered to end customers?
Can Amazon Web Services (AWS) maintain a position where it offers the best email service, the best DNS service, the best database service …? The answer so far is yes
In all categories I can point to products and services offered today that in my opinion are better than the AWS alternative. Of course customers have different needs so the best for you might not be the best for another user. Don't customers deserve easy access to the best services for them? Surely the challenge for the IaaS cloud vendor is therefore to make the widest choice of services available easily to their customers, not to offer an anointed service or in-house offer.
CloudSigma describes itself as the pure IaaS cloud. This is a marketing metaphor, as 3rd party PaaS can create havoc, when not designed to work together.
One impact is to have a lock-in effect on the customer base (using proprietary PaaS) to the particular cloud which is something customers might want to think about carefully. There are some even more worrying problems associated with the move to PaaS as the IaaS provider increasingly widens their role and comes into conflict with users of their own cloud
The primary motivations for IaaS cloud vendors to offer their own in-house PaaS services are that they feel they have a captive audience. If for whatever reason the customer wishes to move to another vendor, this is going to be a wholesale move of your entire operation. Whilst looking convenient up front, in fact creates a very entrenched situation for the customer which is difficult to escape from.
Vendor lock-in is not something desirable for customers (it is for providers) and should be avoided if possible when choosing a provider. Multiple providers is the solution.
Technology will keep re-inventing itself and evolving through creative destruction or if we'll see convergence and some abstraction from computing processes.
In the US Netflix, the leading movie streaming service is estimated to account for some 20% of peak internet traffic! The company chose to migrate to the cloud ( most of their IT), and now largely uses Amazon's EC2 service. As a result, EC2 benefits from the bulk purchasing of data traffic that Netflix necessarily purchases from them in the course of its operations in their cloud.
Netflix are known to be happy with their cloud experience and Amazon clearly aren't complaining so what's the problem? Well, Amazon just launched a video streaming service which is a direct competitor to Netflix and their strongest competition currently. Netflix are hosting much of their infrastructure with their biggest competitor. Not only this but Amazon will likely be benefiting from lower data transfer costs over their whole operation as a result of the additional traffic that Netflix puts through their cloud! It is a neat trick but how do Netflix shareholders feel about it? :-) (Note December 2011; this paragraph was prophetic :-) )