In what may be a definitive sign that cloud services are here to stay, cloud services provider Skytap has announced that its customers have provisioned more than 1 million virtual machines on Skytap Cloud, the company's hosted infrastructure offering.
Skytap's primary offering, which the company classifies as a hybrid cloud, is designed to provide end users with the ability to quickly create cloud-based virtual environments using self-service tools and automated procedures. The virtual environments can be configured to provide applications, networking, collaboration capabilities and other capabilities to allow businesses of any size to create ad hoc desktop and network services with little or no support from IT staffers.
In a conference call, Brett Goodwin, vice president of marketing and business development at Skytap, said, "Enterprise demand for simple and secure cloud computing has accelerated over the past year, and it's clear the market is poised for rapid growth as we head into 2012."
With this claim of more 1 million provisioned virtual machines, Skytap is poised to become a major player in the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market. However, Skytap is far from alone, at least when it comes to IaaS and desktops as a service (DaaS); several other companies are either ramping up or currently offering both IaaS and DaaS to growing customer bases. Those potential competitors include Desktone, Vyatta, Integral Networks, Virtual Computer and RES Software.
Even so, Skytap is bullish on its success and confident in its market space. "Launching over 1 million virtual machines is a testament to the success and tremendous business value that our customers derive from their use of Skytap Cloud," Goodwin said.
The DaaS and IaaS markets are poised for rapid growth, especially when one considers how popular user state virtualization is as a subset of the technology. The 451Group, an industry research firm, is predicting that the user state virtualization market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 61 percent through 2014.
The potential growth of the market is further indicated by a recent study from ABI Research, which states that the worldwide market for such hosted virtual desktops is forecast to grow from about $500 million in 2009 to a cumulative total of nearly $5 billion in 2016. North America and Europe will make up the majority of the market for virtual desktops throughout the forecast period.
While Skytap's achievement is impressive, it may only be the tip of the iceberg for a market that is primed for growth.