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SDN Journal Authors: Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Roger Strukhoff, Pat Romanski

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@CloudExpo | Efficient Multi-Vendor #Cloud Helps Break Incipient Monopolies

Cloud marketplaces and open standards help cultivate a vibrant cloud vendor market, encouraging competition

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Think of a cloud provider. I’d bet that for the majority of people reading this article, the first that comes to mind is AWS. Amazon Web Services were a trailblazer in the cloud space, and they still lead adoption rates at all levels of the market, from SMBs to multinationals. In some ways that’s great: Amazon constantly innovate and refine their product. But, at the same time, it’s not entirely healthy for a market to be completely dominated by one vendor. Google’s Compute Engine is snapping at Amazon’s heels, but ideally we’d like to see a flourishing market with many competitors. A market in which the word “cloud” doesn’t immediately bring one vendor to mind.

Two things are making that market a possibility: open standards and cloud marketplaces or cloud brokerages.

Open Standards
Vendor lock-in imposes a brake on innovation by reducing the competitive forces that compel vendrs to improve their products. If a company is not free to move between vendors, following their own interests and needs, then there is very little incentive for that vendor to provide optimal service. All their energy will go into gaining new sales, and very little into satisfying existing clients because the cost of moving from a proprietary, non-standard environment is prohibitively expensive.

Once a company is locked into one product, the vendor can then leverage that status to sell compatible products — products only they can produce. The operating system and productivity software market in the 1990s and 2000s is a perfect example of this process.

Open standards allow cloud platform users to move their data and workloads between vendors with ease. The burden is on vendors to provide levels of service and cost that keep their clients happy.

Cloud Marketplaces
One benefit of sticking with a single cloud vendor for multiple products is reduced complexity. Multi-cloud environments, where clients build platforms comprised of several vendors’ solutions, are inherently more complex. Added complexity results in inflated costs.

Cloud marketplaces, especially those that incorporate a cloud management platform, reduce that complexity to a manageable level by making it easy to compare cloud products and control them. They provide a layer on top of cloud products that help with integration and control.

By reducing the complexity of building multi-cloud environments on platforms with open standards, cloud marketplaces help cultivate a vibrant and competitive market; one that isn’t dominated by a small number of vendors. That can only be good for cloud users — it helps them to build the cloud that they want and adapt as their needs change.

About Ted Navarro- Ted is the technical writer and inbound marketer for ComputeNext, an innovative cloud marketplace company. Check out the ComputeNext blog for the latest in cloud computing and IaaS technology. Follow them on Twitter, Like them on Facebook, and engage in the discussion at https://www.computenext.com/blog/.

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.

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