Cloud 101: Australia's cloud outlook

Competition among cloud providers in Australia, particularly in the IaaS space, is set to heat up

"In archiving, again security and [data] sovereignty are a major concern, latency is not, which means that the public cloud could probably lend itself very well for that use case," Chandrasekaran says.

In the mid-market, it's likely that more applications will start moving to public cloud, but in enterprises the migration will be much slower.

The National Broadband Network will be "hugely beneficial for cloud", as the costs of bandwidth decline and connectivity grow. "Let's not forget that NBN is also going to aid a lot of e-services in general; things like e-health, e-citizen services, IPTV/consumer entertainment, gaming services — all of that needs data centre space. You could argue those are cloud services as well; a lot of them could be consumer cloud services."

A lot of the recent data centre investment in Australia has been targeting cloud-type workloads, and competition among cloud providers in Australia is set increase, with more vendors entering the market. In particular, in the Australian infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market competition will be "brutal," Chandrasekaran says.

"There's only a few ways you can differentiate yourself with infrastructure-as-a-service. You can differentiate by support, for example, you can differentiate by SLAs in terms of value-added services and SLAs you can deliver to customers [but] there's only so much you can differentiate in terms of the core infrastructure itself. So I think the way the infrastructure-as-a-service [market] is going to pan out is companies will strive to differentiate in those few ways."

"But I am sure there is going to be a set of players that is probably going to compete on price, which means that there's always going to be some consolidation — that's a possibility a few years from now," he adds

In the software-as-a-service space, differentiation between providers will be clearer. "That's where there are opportunities to package solutions and deliver vertical-specific solution packages; for example targeting a healthcare sector or an education sector with a set of pre-packaged solutions...

"That's where some of the local competitors can bring in their existing relationships and understanding of the local markets — maybe partnerships that they actually have with local ISVs — and that's probably going to help some of the providers, but again the global providers, particularly people like Amazon, have the advantage of scale and have the advantage of facilities outside Australia which could be very attractive for companies that are looking to expand outside Australia or are looking for regional presence, or for larger multinationals for whom Australia is one of the places where they have a presence."

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