CSPs, Enterprise, Content

Fujitsu Kills International OpenStack Public Cloud Business; Embraces Microsoft Azure

Fujitsu is shutting down its worldwide K5 public cloud business outside of Japan, and will instead bet heavily on Microsoft Azure consulting services, according to The Register. The shutdown comes as OpenStack-centric clouds adjust their focus areas instead of trying to keep pace against Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

According to The Register:

K5 came in various flavors; it was sold and deployed as public, private virtual or private hosted service in a data centre operated by Fujitsu or in a private cloud run on-premise. The OpenStack-based service was rolled out in Japan at the end of 2015, reached UK shores by summer the following year and then went onto a bunch of other territories including North America in 2017. In a statement, Fujitsu confirmed it was killing off K5 in all sales regions outside of Japan.

Moreover, the company plans to train more than 10,000 extra Azure personnel in the short to medium term, according to a follow-up Register report.

Partnering With AWS, Azure, GCP

Shocking news? Absolutely not. Most major hardware providers -- particularly Dell EMC and HP Enterprise -- abandoned their own public cloud build outs several years ago. Instead of competing head-on against hyper-scale clouds like AWS, Azure and GCP, those hardware companies now offer a range of hybrid hardware and software that blend on-premises data centers with public-cloud connections and multi-cloud management services.

Some hosting providers and software companies have also rethought their public cloud strategies. Rackspace, for instance, still offers OpenStack-related services but focuses mostly on managed services for AWS, Azure and GCP. Also, VMware sold off public cloud business to OVH in April 2017 and now focuses on multi-cloud management along with the VMware Cloud on AWS effort.

As for OpenStack, adoption of the open source cloud software also has evolved. An OpenStack adoption survey showed strong momentum in 2017, but the figures could be a bit misleading since many of the participants were OpenStack community members or known adopters. At one time, OpenStack was considered an emerging public cloud/on-premises/private cloud alternative to AWS. But more recently, adoption has involved specific use cases like Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and edge computing.

At least two major hardware providers -- IBM and Oracle -- continue to offer their own public clouds. But their respective financial results have fallen short of Wall Street's expectations in their most recent quarters.

Rise of Azure Expert MSPs

A growing number of small, midsize and large consulting firms are building Azure-centric practices. Microsoft in mid-2018 launched the Azure Expert MSP program to highlight that growing partner ecosystem. ChannelE2E will highlight the early MSP-Azure market leaders -- along with the Top 100 Public Cloud MSP list -- in a research report set to debut on October 18, 2018.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.