back to article IBM trades cold comfort for hot air in Microsoft-AWS slugfest

IBM is at it again. Earlier this year IBM claimed to be the world’s largest cloud provider, trumpeting a $7bn cloud run rate. By conflating a variety of definitions of “cloud” (including, ironically, hardware), IBM hoped to earn itself a place on the cloud computing podium. It didn’t work. And so, despite Amazon and Microsoft …

  1. Roland6 Silver badge

    Depends on where you want to be...

    IBM sells a tiny number of mainframes - compared to WinTel servers, but it makes a large profit on this business. I suspect that IBM are wanting to establish a similar business in cloud, so let MS and AWS slug it out at the commodity end.

    The only question is whether IBM can convince (enterprise) customers of the tangible added value of their cloud offering over commodity. But then I suspect neither Azure or AWS will let you run OS/390 applications...

  2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    It's all marketing bullshit.

    Cloud vs Managed infrastructure / applications that IBM have been doing in their datacentres for years.

    There is no difference other than the underlying platform is all ESX or VMware imaged so setup can be automated and scripted for reduced startup time, and that cross frame resources can be added or removed "on account" until requir...

    ... sorry, I caught myself not using marketing bullshit... of course I mean "be made elastic".

    * Facepalm *

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: It's all marketing bullshit.

      Of course, of course. But so what?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of the truisms of cloud adoption, and particularly public cloud adoption, has been that it’s partly a way for the enterprise to get stuff done without involving IT

    It's also a way for chilling out the CFO.

    1) CFO looks at numbers, which convey "something" as there are several digits too many for his earthly tastes listed under "IT expenditures"

    2) "IT is spending too much! What are you guys doing? Can't you reduce headcount? And where is the CAPEX numbers?"

    3) "Sorry, all the stuff is on AWS, we just have a guy formely expert in deep-frying mars bars, now monitoring red lights on the console and a dude with a repair kit sometimes going round the offices"

    4) "Oh, ok" (continues to hunt for other victims)

    5) "Miss Bechum, please bring me a coffee and a cheese danish to liven up this dreary conversation"

  4. thames

    The Conclusions do not Derive from the Facts

    "it’s very, very clear that Amazon and Microsoft own the cloud."

    Er, no that's not what your facts show. You said:

    "Nearly two years ago, Gartner analyst Lydia Leong found AWS to have five times the utilised compute capacity of the next 14 competitors combined. (...) More recently Leong told me that AWS’ market share lead has grown, not shrunk, in the past two years."

    When the market leader has 5 times the market share of the next 14 combined, and that lead is growing, then Amazon "owns the cloud" all on its own.

    Microsoft is only 3 percentage points ahead of IBM. Compared to Amazon's lead, that's virtually nothing. In other words, IBM (7%) and Microsoft (10%) are peers in the cloud. Neither is really that far ahead of Google (5%), Rackspace (3%), or Salesforce (4%). Meanwhile, Amazon is at 28%.

    Or let's put it this way, the gap between Amazon and Microsoft is roughly 2-1/2 times that of the gap between Microsoft and Rackspace.

    If IBM is telling a few nose stretchers about market share, then so is Microsoft. IBM has far more right to lump themselves into "the big 3" than Microsoft does to claim to be peers with Amazon.

    "So it’s a two-horse race, however you quantify it"

    Not according to the numbers the article uses, however you quantify it. Here's what the facts in the article supports - Amazon owns the cloud, and everyone else, including Microsoft is an also-ran in a herd trailing far behind the leader. It's a one horse race.

  5. Uncle Ron

    Nonsense is Goodsense, I Guess...

    AWS will -always- have the most utilized compute capacity so long as it hosts Netflix -and- Amazon Prime VIDEO streaming. That takes a HUGE amount of compute power, network bandwidth, VM's and more. But it means NOTHING. It's high-volume, low-margin work. Remove that, and study only relevant, real-world, business cloud computing (which is all that really matters in terms of high margin revenue) and all the results from all the "studies" will skew back to IBM, followed by everyone else.

    1. klaxhu

      Re: Nonsense is Goodsense, I Guess...

      that is wrong. you don't know that as you don't have access to the numbers.

      in my past job almost every customer I have seen has admitted to having workload in either aws or azure and planning to put more in. it's just a question of time ...

      this is the biggest marketing scam ibm ever tried to pull

      also, somebody mentioned mainframe: there is a correction I would like to make > IBM doesn't make any money from the actual mainframe or storage (they are both actually making a loss on hardware). the money is made on the MIPS contracts and services. get your facts right before you open your "keyboard"

      1. returnofthemus

        Re: Nonsense is Goodsense, I Guess...

        "IBM doesn't make any money from the actual mainframe or storage (they are both actually making a loss on hardware). the money is made on the MIPS contracts and services. get your facts right before you open your "keyboard"

        Even if true, what's the difference between making money from MIPS contracts/services and virtual instances?

        Apart from the fact you'll need fewer of them, there is not a lot of difference between the mainframe or the cloud.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Nonsense is Goodsense, I Guess...

        > IBM doesn't make any money from the actual mainframe or storage

        Agree, IBM's mainframe business is very much like Rolls Royce aero engines business: they don't sell engines any more, instead they sell service support contracts based around the usage of their engines...

        I see no reason why IBM won't structure their cloud offering similarly.

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