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Summary

The discussion above means that, in the public cloud market, only Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are confirmed players, with Cisco, HP, and IBM capable of entering if they decide to. For all others, entering the general public cloud IT market is not possible, leaving niche possibilities only.

In the private cloud market, only Cisco, HP, IBM, and possibly Dell, a Japanese vendor, and Oracle/Sun are viable complete-systems suppliers, having access to bladed servers, virtualising software, and integrated networking and storage. Rackable and Verari have outside chances of supplying such systems.

The only viable virtualising software suppliers are Citrix/Red Hat, Microsoft, and VMware.

The only viable networking suppliers are Broadcom (if it buys Emulex), Brocade, and Cisco (on an OEM basis). Blade Network Technologies, Extreme, and Juniper have to acquire FCoE technology or source it, with QLogic looking like the best potential source with it having NetXen technology for integrating FCoE, 10GbE, and protocols such as TCP/IP and iSCSI. They wouldn't source FCoE technology from Brocade willingly since they compete with Brocade in Ethernet switching.

This only viable storage suppliers are 3PAR, EMC, HDS, NetApp, and Sun.

That's it. We're looking at near closed shops. Six players could play the general public cloud supplier game. Only 20 suppliers are in or poised to be in the Data Centre Casino and playing the private cloud supplier game; six players or candidates at the complete systems table, plus two possibles, and the rest at the components table.

Everyone else is already excluded. It's now in the very early days, very early days, but already the stakes are pretty clear and it seems obvious that no one else qualifies at all; the game is already closed to new entrants. ®

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