William Hurley wrote an interesting blog post this week about the “public vs. private” cloud issue.
I think he brings up some good points. His idea around cloud makers vs. cloud providers is especially interesting. I mean, really, there is nothing stopping those companies that create the tools for enterprises to build cloud infrastructures from creating clouds themselves and hosting applications for VARs or enterprises.
The question becomes, how profitable is it to become a service provider instead of a hardware parts vendor? I am not sure how these companies see the benefit of moving in this direction, and who knows if players like Cisco or EMC will start becoming providers in their own right.
One scenario that could work would be for these providers to sell cloud infrastructure hardware to large buyers, like Fortune 500 and major hosting partners etc. and then as an SMB strategy actually manage their own cloud environments.
This would enable Cisco, for example, to bring unified communications and other telephony/data capabilities to small companies that normally wouldn’t even have a PBX in place. By offering these as a service, via a subscription model it would open a new market and create a recurring revenue model for the company.
Again, no idea what these companies are planning to do around the cloud. But the fact that all these different flavors of cloud computing, both public and private, are easily conceivable means that there will be some very interesting cloud environments popping up in the next year.