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The Cloud Computing Opportunity by the Numbers

Whatever the number, it's a big one

How big is the opportunity for cloud computing? A question asked at pretty well every IT conference these days. Whatever the number, it's a big one. Let's break down the opportunity by the numbers available today.

By 2011 Merrill Lynch says the cloud computing market will reach $160 billion.

The number of physical servers in the World today: 50 million.

By 2013, approximately 60 percent of server workloads will be virtualized

By 2013 10 percent of the total number of physical servers sold will be virtualized with an average of 10 VM's per physical server sold.

At 10 VMs per physical host that means about 80-100 million virtual machines are being created per year or 273,972 per day or 11,375 per hour.

Fifty percent of the 8 million servers sold every year end up in data centers, according to a BusinessWeek report

The data centers of the dot-com era consumed 1 or 2 megawatts. Today data center facilities require 20 megawatts are common, - 10 times as much as a decade ago.

Google currently controls 2% of all servers or about 1 million servers with it saying it plans to have upwards of 10 million servers ( 107 machines) in the next 10 years.

98% of the market is controlled by everyone else.

Hosting / Data center providers by top 5 regions around the world: 33,157

Top 5 break down
USA: 23,656
Canada: 2,740
United Kingdom: 2,660
Germany: 2,371

Netherlands: 1,730.

According to IDC, the market for private enterprise "Cloud servers will grow from an $8.4 billion opportunity in 2010, representing over 600,000 units, to a $12.6 billion market in 2014, with over 1.3 million units.

Market opporunity based purly on server count. $160 billion dollars divided by 50 million servers = $3,200 per server.

The amount of digital information increased by 73 percent in 2008 to an estimated 487 billion gigabytes, according to IDC.

World Population 2009: 6,767,805,208
Internet Users 2000: 360,985,492
Internet Users 2009: 1,802,330,457
Overall Internet User Growth: 399.3%
Fastest Growth Markets (Last 10 years) - Africa +1,809.8%, Middle East, +1,675%, Latin America +934.5%, Asia +568.8%
Slowest Growth Markets - North America +140.1%

Cloud value by world population: $23.64 per person
Cloud value by Global Internet population: $88.77 per person

-- Conclusions --

Based on these numbers, a few things are clear. First server virtualization has lowered the capital expenditure required for deploying applications, but the operational costs have gone up significantly more than the capital cost savings making the operational long tail the costliest part of running servers.

Although Google controls 2 percent of the global supply of servers, the remaining 98 percent is where the real opportunities are both in private enterprise data centers as well as in 40,000+ public hosting companies.

This year 80-100 million virtual machine will be created, the traditional management approaches to infrastructure will break. Infrastructure automation is becoming a central part of any model data center. Providing infrastructure as a service will not be a nice to have but will be a requirement. Hosters, Enterprises and small business will need to start running existing servers in a cloud context or face in-efficiency which may limit potential growth.

Surging demand for data and information creation will force a migration to both public and private clouds specially in emerging markets such as Africa and Latin America.

Lastly, there is a ton of money to be made.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Reuven Cohen

An instigator, part time provocateur, bootstrapper, amateur cloud lexicographer, and purveyor of random thoughts, 140 characters at a time.

Reuven is an early innovator in the cloud computing space as the founder of Enomaly in 2004 (Acquired by Virtustream in February 2012). Enomaly was among the first to develop a self service infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform (ECP) circa 2005. As well as SpotCloud (2011) the first commodity style cloud computing Spot Market.

Reuven is also the co-creator of CloudCamp (100+ Cities around the Globe) CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas and is the largest of the ‘barcamp’ style of events.