The Economist this week published an article (Tanks in the Cloud) that talked about an attempt to fill in the cloud market knowledge gap left by industry analysts such as Forrester Research. The problem the analysts have is that the further down you go in the Cloud stack, the less forthcoming companies are in divulging their revenue numbers. Companies say even less about the number of servers they have in their data centers (which is where the tanks come in).
The 2010 revenue numbers of interest (see illustration) are SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) $11.7 Billion (Forrester Research); PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) $311 Million (Forrester Research); IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) ~$1 Billion.
The “$1 Billion” figure for IaaS comes from an extrapolation from estimates of revenues generated for Amazon by its AWS (Amazon Web Services) business. Two estimates were used, one performed by Randy Bias of Cloudscaling ($500M to $700M), and the other by UBS ($500M in 2010, and $750M in 2011 - a tidy growth rate).
And the tanks? I’ll leave it to the article, but the method applied by Cloudkick (acquired by Rackspace) and Guy Rosen estimated Amazon to be deploying around 90,000 virtual servers per day in their East Coast region alone. The estimate is a little on shaky ground, but “in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king” right?
Anyway, that’s a lot of servers. It makes you think about software vendors considering turning their data centers into clouds to make their software available in a SaaS model. The private-cloud-made-public is a good way to start at this nascent stage of market development, but how does this scale as we project out?
Posted under cloud
This post was written by James Colgan on January 11, 2011