Reflection on 2013 and 2014 Cloud Market from Charles Fitzgerald

Gigaom's Barb Darrow writes on Platformonomics posts on the cloud market

If you want a cogent — and hilarious — assessment of the state of cloud, take a look at Charles Fitzgerald’s latest blog post “A dispatch from cloud city — 2014 retrospective.”

Fitzgerald, managing director of Platformonomics, a strategy consulting firm, has an incisive take on how legacy IT powers — Cisco, HP (HP Enterprise?), IBM, Microsoft and others are performing in what HP CEO Meg Whitman would probably call a “multi-year transformation.” Fitzgerald, formerly an exec at Microsoft and VMware, assigns each legacy vendor a “delusion factor” to indicate how its stated view of its position in cloud contrasts with reality.


Here is a Charles's 2014 reflection.

And here is his 2013 reflection.

Fyi is a part of the Seattle Tech crowd so he is immersed in the cloud platform

Qualcomm's Future Data Center Efforts built on Mobile

Barron's had reported on Qualcomm's announcing its data center effort in its latest analyst call.

Perhaps the most interesting and surprising part of Mollenkopf’s presentation was his discussion of how the company is finally entering the server market, riding the wave of implementations of new kinds of data centers, where entities such as Google (GOOGL) build their own servers. That should bring Qualcomm into direct competition with server-chip Titan Intel (INTC).

Said Mollenkopf, the kinds of requirements that have nurtured the architecture of mobile device semiconductors is becoming more and more relevant to the way server chips must be designed. “The high end of the smartphone and the tablet really are starting to merge with what would be feasible in the data center.”

In addition to the architecture of mobile coming to servers, Mollenkopf sees an advantage in servers in the fact that the company can get its chips made in the most advanced semiconductor processes. “Our ability to go to the leading node puts us in a unique position.”

“It will take us awhile to build this business, but we think it’s an interesting business.”

And the rest of the tech media referenced this post and one image.  Turns out there are 4 slides from the investor meeting. Let's start with one way far at the end slide #76 that shows where data centers are in other initiatives at Qualcomm for future growth.

As Dileep Bhandarkar presented in August 2014 on his life from Mainframe to Mobile, there is a movement from below to disrupt the data center industry.

Here is another slide from the investor review that shows Qualcomm's plan to come from its strength of high volume smartphones and move into mobile computing and data centers.

In this slide Qualcomm identifies the markets it sees for ARM - The cloud era and software defined data center.

And the last slide.  Well this isn't actually the last slide.  It is the 2nd slide in the deck that mentions "data center", but so many times I find the order in what gets presented misses the opportunity to tell the story.

This slide explains the vision of an integrated cloud.  It does make sense that an ARM mobile environment could support the development of an ARM server cloud environment.

There are some of you who are going to blow this off as just another anti-Intel (x86) initiative.

Here is something to think about.  What Qualcomm is explaining as the integrated cloud is being built by Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Samsung.

iCloud connects you and your Apple devices in amazing ways. It makes sure you always have the latest versions of your most important things — like documents, apps, notes, and contacts — on whatever device you are using. It lets you easily share photos, calendars, locations, and more with friends and family. It even helps you find your device if you lose it. And iCloud does it all automatically. Just like that.

Technology Companies with Seattle Offices

Microsoft and Amazon are well known for having their HQ in the Seattle area.  Geekwire has a post on the range of technology companies that have set up shop in seattle.

Home-grown tech giants such as Microsoft,, Expedia, T-Mobile, Zillow and Tableau have deep roots in Seattle — important companies which have helped define this region’s unique tech ecosystem.

The post does a good job of providing the range of other companies in the Seattle area.  Here are some that are the cloud companies.

Given that news and Apple’s fresh presence — along with recent arrivals of Alibaba, Oracle, HP, and, yes, even SpaceX — I thought the time was right to update the list.
CenturyLink: The telecommunications giant isn’t just about broadband Internet. The company is building a huge cloud engineering center in 30,000 square-feet of space in Bellevue at the One Twelfth @ Twelfth building, with plans to add 150 employees in the coming year. CenturyLink arrived in Seattle through the purchase last year of Seattle area cloud computing startup Tier 3, which makes up the backbone of the company’s big cloud push.“Seattle has become this pulse of cloud. It is like the heartbeat,” said former Tier 3 CEO Jared Wray in an interview with GeekWire last month as he showed off CenturyLink’s new cloud engineering center. PreviouslyInside CenturyLink’s fast-growing dev center: Shaking up the cloud with innovative work spaces
Google: The granddaddy of the Silicon Valley titans in Seattle, the Internet search pioneer established a presence in Kirkland 10 years ago. It now employs more than 1,000 people in the area, split between offices in Kirkland, Bothell and Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. Last year, the company doubled down on the Seattle area, announcing plans to add onto its Kirkland campus with a new 180,000 square foot development, one with enough room for an additional 700 employees. PreviouslyGoogle to double size of engineering center in Microsoft’s backyard
HP: In May, HP announced that its Helion cloud engineering effort will be based in Seattle, led by Microsoft veteran Bill Hilf.“We’re hiring like gangbusters,” said Hilf, speaking at the HP offices at Seventh Avenue and Pike Street in Seattle earlier this year. The company employed about 70 folks in the offices at the time, and said that it planned to add more than 200 in the next 18 months. PreviouslyHP hiring hundreds in Seattle for ‘Helion’ cloud launch, led by former Microsoft exec, betting $1B on OpenStack
Oracle: Yes, another long-time nemesis of Microsoft just arrived in Seattle. Oracle just inked a 17,000 square-foot lease in Seattle’s Century Square high-rise, with the new offices led by cloud engineering veterans and former employees Don Johnson and Craig Kelly. They are aiming to hire more than 100 engineers for the new office. PreviouslyOracle to hire 100+ engineers in Seattle for new cloud infrastructure center

If any of you are looking for what kind of housing is available in the Seattle areas you can go to one of Seattle Native Tech companies Zillow.

Seattle is the Cloud Hub - Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Others, and now Apple

Apple’s recent arrival to Seattle as the media and others talking about Seattle as a Cloud Capital.

The Seattle region has emerged as a major cloud computing hub thanks to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and a wide range of startups focused on cloud infrastructure and services. Much of Google’s cloud infrastructure work happens out of its Seattle-area offices.

In the short run, the new Apple office could intensify the competition for top engineers, but long-term it promises to add to the region’s status as a cloud center.

Influx of tech giants

Apple is the latest in a long list of tech giants from Silicon Valley and elsewhere who have established engineering outposts in the Seattle region. That list includes Google, Facebook, Oracle, HP, and many others, most recently Alibaba.

Talking to a friend who has the challenge to hire Cloud infrastructure engineers who isn’t in the above list he made the following observation.  The typical pattern is engineers start at Microsoft, then move to Amazon, then Google.  His challenge is to catch the engineers while they are making the transition and hire them to his company.  

Take a 22 year old software engineer.  Have them spend 3 years at Microsoft, 3 years at Amazon, and if they were able to make it to 3 years at Google.  They’ll be 31 years old with 9 years experience building Clouds at Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.  That is killer resume, and he/she can go anywhere in the world now.

Name another area you could do that and not move.

Oh and there are handful of people who will be able to put Apple on their resume.  Now that would kill.  Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Apple.