Battery Ventures technology fellow Adrian Cockroft is almost always the smartest guy in the room.
Back in 2009, Cockcroft was the Netflix system architect who made the forward-looking decision to move the company into the Amazon Web Services cloud, well before anyone else took it seriously.
Without that move, Netflix’s tremendously popular “Watch Instantly” video streaming service would likely never have happened.
So when Cockroft said on stage at today’s Structure conference in San Francisco that Amazon Web Services is growing so fast that it’s actually causing big, multinational corporations to consider shutting down their in-house IT infrastructure, it’s time to pay attention.
“There’s certainly a massive budgetary switch from data center spend to AWS,” says Cockroft.
Amazon Web Services is the clear leader in the cloud, and will be $US7 billion business for the retail giant this year alone. Cockroft says that Microsoft Azure is certainly catching up, thanks in no small part to its recent love for open source technologies like Linux.
But Cockcroft says that Amazon could be growing even faster than current analyst projections of 80% per year, mainly because it’s been in the game longer and has developed its core infrastructure platform further.
The end result: Companies like General Electric and Capital One are shutting down their data centres, opting to save cash by outsourcing big chunks of their computing to Amazon. In fact, they say that they get better security on the cloud than they could on their own.
“I’ve been saying that for a while now,” Cockcroft says.
Other trends identified by Cockcroft:
- As companies look to move faster in the cloud, $US1 billion startup Docker will only continue to grow, thanks to its signature software container technology. And there’s a huge potential for startups that help enterprises use Docker in their own apps.
- “Serverless architecture,” like the kind presented by Amazon Web Services’ Lambda, will really take off since it makes it much easier for developers to build big apps that scale.
- “Teraservices,” or the ability to crunch massive amounts of data right on the same servers where they live, is going to be a big trend in 2016.
- DigitalOcean, a hot startup that’s in the hard business of competing with Amazon Web Services, is seeing its growth cool off: The more customers the big tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon get, the more they can invest in both price and performance, making it hard to differentiate.
- He calls Dell a “sinking ship” that went private to become a “submarine,” EMC a sinking ship that decided to merge with a submarine, and HP a sinking ship that split into two ships to sink slightly more slowly. In other words, he thinks that they can’t necessarily compete in the cloud.
With Cockcroft’s track record, it’s going to be interesting to see how right he is.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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