Cloud computing just had another amazing, awesome, over-the-top good week

Record earnings and huge acquisition mark major new milestones in the ongoing ascent of cloud computing

Cloud computing just had another amazing, awesome, over-the-top good week
Credit: ©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian

Cloud computing has been on a roll for a while now, and instead of slowing down, it just keeps speeding up. Last week, for example, the cloud hit the accelerator big time, as demonstrated by a pair of key developments:

First, Amazon announced record quarterly results for Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS simply blew through its Q2 numbers, hitting $2.9 billion in revenue, which was up more than $1 billion from the same quarter in 2015. Yes, quarterly revenue increased by a billion dollars in just one year.

Second, Oracle announced a $9.3 billion takeover of cloud ERP provider NetSuite. That’s a huge investment in the cloud from a company that not so long ago went out of its way to ridicule the very concept of cloud computing. (Sure, NetSuite had deep Oracle ties, but almost $10 billion to buy into the cloud is serious money.)

Google also reported its quarterly numbers, but the company doesn’t break out the results for its Google Compute cloud operations. Still, it’s hard to imagine it didn’t experience significant growth as well.

If that’s not enough, only the week before, Microsoft announced that its Intelligent Cloud division saw a 7 percent jump in revenue, to $6.7 billion for the quarter. The star of Microsoft’s cloud show? Microsoft Azure, which basically doubled usage and revenue compared to the same period a year ago. Amazingly, the cloud seems to be lifting all boats, not just market leader AWS.

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Whew! That kind of killer performance doesn’t come around every quarter. Except in the cloud, record-breaking quarters are becoming commonplace.

Clearly, companies of all sizes are becoming more and more comfortable putting more and more workloads into the cloud. For new workloads, the cloud has pretty much become the default option. Unless there’s a specific reason not to put a particular new workload into the cloud, many users no longer even consider adding new applications to their own data centers. Sure, there still are some good reasons to not use the cloud in every instance, but those reasons are gradually being reduced and eliminated.

Migrating existing applications and workloads to the cloud is a slower, more difficult change, but make no mistake, that’s happening, too. Especially as the major cloud vendors work hard to ease the process—and ease the minds of CIOs and sysadmins about the risks and changes inherent in cloud migrations.

Sure, some applications will won’t move to the cloud for a long, long time, if ever. Barring some unanticipated breakthrough, there will always be a need for on-premise applications in certain situations. But that increasingly feels like a limited niche, not a path to future growth. Cloud computing is on the right side of history, as the expression goes. If this kind of momentum continues, cloud alternatives may turn out to be history.

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