As the world of cloud hosting and VPS moves into the arena of “big business”, a number of companies have taken the lead on creating viable cloud hosting paradigms. Proper website hosting is essential for a company that is looking to take a leadership role in its market space, and cloud host providers, both public and private, recognize the need to stay as far ahead of the competition as possible. In May of 2010, a “Cloud Development Survey” was conducted by the Evans Data Corporation to get a handle on some of the statistics that are cropping up in the cloud hosting industry. Among the topics covered, the survey tackled items such as private versus public VPS and cloud hosting, portability of data, and the problems faced by companies of being “locked in” with certain providers.
Not surprisingly, the survey found that IBM led the pack when it came to cloud and VPS hosting, with a perceived 29% of the market. Cisco followed at 16%, with all other companies who specialize in cloud hosting falling below the 10% mark. IBM’s leadership in this area is not surprising, as the company has aggressively pursued a wide variety of VPS as well as “plug and play” options.
From the perspective of Web developers, there are a number of concerns that have emerged in the new cloud hosting landscape, or so the survey has found. Chief among them were vendor lock-ins and a lack of portability for data. A great deal of data must be uploaded to the VPS of a cloud host provider, and companies worry about the problem of being “locked in” to that provider and being unable to leave as all of their data is essentially “trapped” on the virtual servers of their providers. Being locked in carries with it concerns of not only data problems, but also puts the Web developer at the mercy of the provider when it comes to aspects such as price and service — with their data trapped, they have nowhere to turn.
In response, a number of companies have begun working on application programming interfaces (APIs) which will allow a smooth transition of data to and from cloud hosting platforms. When asked by the Evans Data survey, 75% of developers stated that it was “very important” for them to able to move content and applications from cloud to cloud, and half stated that it was “very important” to avoid becoming locked-in to a particular public cloud.
As the VPS and cloud hosting industries continue to grow, so too will the options for migration and portability, and new leaders will emerge as the field evolves.