Picking the cloud’s winners and losers: From SaaS to SDN

A group of technology executives played the cloud computing and enterprise IT version of “hot or not” during a Wednesday afternoon session at GigaOM Structure. While hardly a scientific study, their viewpoints on the various technology trends that tech vendors have pushed over the past few years were at least interesting.

Here are the winners and losers, according to Paul Santinelli, general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners; Arne Josefsberg CTO of ServiceNow; Peter Frey, president and founder of Krey Associates; and Raj Patel, VP of cloud services at Cisco Systems.


  • Software as a service
  • Solid-state drives
  • Enterprise cloud
  • OpenStack
  • Self-service IT
  • Puppet and Chef


  • Software-defined networking
  • IPv6
  • Carrier clouds
  • Facebook’s custom switch plans

Memorable quotes

On SDN: “The conversations today sound almost exactly like the conversations we had three to four years ago,” Josefsberg said.

On OpenStack: It’s great conceptually, Santinelli said, but “the contrarian view to OpenStack is are there too many chefs in the kitchen?”

On carrier clouds: “All I can think of is someone in a pair of spikes climbing up the telephone pole to turn the phone on,” Sanitelli said. If we couldn’t trust them with voice, he added, how can we trust them with managing enterprise applications?

On self-service IT: “Try moving a really high-end video0conferencing system with FPGAs and ASICs to the public cloud,” Patel said. You can’t really do it today, but that doesn’t mean IT organizations can’t enable service-oriented applications behind the firewall.

Check out the rest of our Structure 2013 live coverage here, and a video embed of the session follows below:

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A transcription of the video follows on the next page