The Australian infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market is growing as organisations become more confident in the reliability and security of Cloud delivery models, according to Frost and Sullivan.
Companies are realising the benefits of outsourcing IT infrastructure such as storage, servers and networking components to specialist vendors which provide access to these resources over the Cloud on an 'as-needed' basis.
In its latest Australian IaaS 2013 report, the research firm claims the main drivers stimulating IaaS adoption include: the reduction of IT capex; the greater agility and scalability IaaS offers in changing infrastructure requirements; higher levels of awareness of the benefits of IaaS; an increasing need for mobility among corporate employees, requiring access to corporate resources from any Internet-enabled location; and public Cloud infrastructure improvements such as the NBN.
Concerns surrounding sovereignty and the security of data held in the Cloud, the reliability and security of access to infrastructure delivered over the Cloud, and general management conservatism over migrating business functions to the Cloud are now eroding.
"Although the IaaS market is considerably smaller and much more nascent in comparison to the software-as-a-service market, Frost and Sullivan forecasts that IaaS expenditure will grow at a compound annual growth rate of almost 43 per cent to reach $380m by 2017, as an increasing number of clients switch to the IaaS provisioning model, and many more vendors enter the local market," Frost Australia and new Zealand (A/NZ) ICT practice senior research manager, Phil Harpur, said.
To put this into perspective, Frost estimates that Australian IaaS vendors earned revenues of just under $65 million in 2012.
Breaking down the market
Frost Asia-Pacific (APAC) ICT practice datacentre and Cloud computing industry analyst, Mayank Kapoor, said Australian IaaS vendors can be categorised into four main groups.
Pure play IaaS Cloud providers -- including the likes of Amazon Web Services, Google, and Rackspace -- typically offer public IaaS services as core services, although an increasing number are offering private, virtual private, and hybrid offerings as well.
Carrier Cloud players, on the other hand, are essentially telecommunications providers offering Cloud-based solutions by leveraging strong network capabilities.
Kapoor classifies the third group as traditional managed service providers (MSPs), which provide Cloud-based services and usually private Cloud offerings, although an increasing number offer hybrid and public deployments. Services range from Cloud brokering and best-of-breed solutions to actual hosting and deployment. Frost claims this is a rapidly growing segment, and includes Brennan IT, Fujitsu, Harbour MSP, HP, and IBM.
The final group of resellers and channel partners resell or white-label some of the first three categories providers' offerings.