Cloud Wars Under the Microscope: Leaders’ DevOps Strategies and Solutions

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Businesses are resorting to shifts in investments in emerging high-value innovations to hasten their cloud journey.
  • We delve into how cloud rivals stack up in five key innovations: low-code/intelligent automation, developer tools/app architectures, hybrid/multi-cloud management, holistic cloud security, and edge computing.

This week, GlobalData released Part II on its analysis of the five most important innovations necessary for successful business transformations. This report specifically delves into how Microsoft, AWS, Google, and IBM stack up in key digitization technologies. Considering the pandemic’s unprecedented pressure on the global economy, prompting enterprises to accelerate and nail digitization initiatives, we determined that cloud providers’ strategies and solutions should be put under the microscope. (Please see A Cloud Wars Comparison on Critical innovations (Part II),” March 9, 2021).

For application modernization efforts, multi-cloud is no longer a future opportunity but a critical requirement. The endgame for operations teams is being able to share select workloads and data repositories between premises and multiple clouds to achieve continuous integration, continuous distribution (CICD), propelled by analytics and automation advancements for high-value services.

With this in mind, the battle rages among cloud leaders, with steep investments by the four top participants. Google’s latest ‘Open Cloud’ initiative builds off the popular Anthos multi-cloud management technology to ensure customers have the flexibility to deploy workloads across clouds including public, private, and on-premises. Microsoft Power Platform is furthering key integrations between its popular platforms including Power Apps, Power Automate, and Microsoft Teams, helped by the new Power FX programming language to unify the platforms. IBM has repositioned its multi-cloud efforts through Cloud Satellite, whose common control plane among multiple cloud environments squarely addresses workload lifecycle management. And AWS leads on sheer breadth of services with 175, which appeals to developers looking to tap into that functionality. AWS has also been a standout in helping accelerate machine learning adoption.

Businesses have shifted investments onto emerging high-value innovations in order to hasten their cloud journey. Technologies of most interest include integrated serverless computing, consolidating automation with cognitive app development, reusable microservices via low-code authoring tools, advanced threat detection, compliance assurance, machine learning, and orchestration and automation. GlobalData digs into the current status and perspective on exactly where cloud competitors are in their DevOps investments addressing operational multi-cloud management, deployment provisioning, and modern app development tools and platforms. (Note: Part I of the GlobalData report outlined the importance of five key innovations: low-code and intelligent automation, developer tools and app architectures, hybrid and multi-cloud management, holistic cloud security, and edge computing.)

Of note to enterprises, key to adoption of the five cloud-based technologies will be continued integration for helping to abstract complex operational provisioning, and enterprises should demand consolidated platforms. Growing in popularity is the premise of equipping small to large enterprises with ‘turnkey’ platforms, eliminating the need for operations and developer teams to integrate various technologies associated with app modernization projects as part of transformations. Most ops professionals are ill-equipped to configure modern architectures involving service mesh, serverless, and API management, resulting in a major stumbling block for enterprises trying to containerize (microservices) applications and manage Kubernetes clusters spanning across on-premises and multi-cloud workload deployments.

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