News briefs: Dell cloud questioned, Joyent offers Hadoop service

This week, analysts probe Dell's cloud strategy around OpenStack, while Joyent unveils a Hadoop service and enterprises eschew high-risk contracts.

Latest Dell cloud strategy around OpenStack raises questions

Struggling to find its place in the cloud market, Dell recently pledged its commitment to OpenStack in an announcement that has left analysts with more questions than answers. Concerns have circulated around the fact that OpenStack remains incomplete and somewhat inaccessible, as analysts say it still lacks several components necessary to run a public cloud, SearchCloudComputing.com has reported. Dell executives, however, cite OpenStack's lower costs and the company's opportunities to influence code development as two of the open-source cloud platform's more compelling benefits. As with its private vCloud offering, Dell's latest strategy comprises a single-tenant, on-premises private cloud based on OpenStack and managed by Dell -- a strategy that one expert downplayed as more of a managed services tack than pure cloud. Dell plans to deploy the service by year-end at the earliest.

Analysts predict slow growth in the enterprise cloud market

Cloud providers around the world will likely experience slower revenue growth over the next four years, according to a new forecast by Analysys Mason, a London-based analyst firm. Year-over-year growth rates for the enterprise cloud services market will peak at 17% this year and slow down each year thereafter through 2017. Other shifts in the market will also define the few years. Although Software as a Service, or SaaS, will remain the top revenue-earner for providers in the next few years, it will garner a shrinking portion of revenue while Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS, revenue rises. Communications service providers are set to account for a larger portion of cloud sales as they present higher-quality cloud services and more offerings bundled with core connectivity. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the report predicts, will take credit for a larger proportion of revenue by 2017, as the cloud gains traction in terms of affordability, available services and industry awareness.

Joyent joins 'big data' game with Hadoop service offering

With the release of a fresh Apache Hadoop service, cloud computing provider Joyent has stepped on the big data stage, as CRN notes. Offering storage, management and platform tools to capture, monitor and secure data, Joyent's Solution for Hadoop is geared to businesses looking to analyze large data sets. The company touts studies indicating that its Hadoop clusters outperform competitors' at a lower cost, operating as much as three times faster than some other cloud-based Hadoop services.

High-risk cloud contracts cause businesses to shy away

Even as cloud adoption looks increasingly inevitable for enterprises of all sizes, providers' contracts are driving some businesses to push back on the cloud or avoid it entirely. David Linthicum at InfoWorld's Cloud Computing blog addressed the problem of "take it or leave it" contracts, which saddle enterprises with all risks for using the services and offer no opportunities for negotiation. Larger businesses with strict liability guidelines and legal counsel won't take the chance of signing these rigid contracts, and will potentially avoid the public cloud as a whole if they can't find a provider willing to negotiate. This spells potential danger for the cloud market's progression, Linthicum says.

EarthLink targets SMBs with xStream deployment

Internet service provider EarthLink is expanding its offerings to SMBs with the deployment of Virtustream's cloud computing platform, xStream. As stated in a press release, EarthLink plans to continually expand its cloud offerings to SMBs through flexible, economically priced services via xStream. Already deployed in EarthLink's Rochester, N.Y., facility, the software will be available from four new data centers in Dallas; Chicago; San Jose, Calif.; and Miami by mid-2013.

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