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Turbonomic Blog

The History of Cloud Computing: Two Decades in Review (Part 3)

Posted by Jacob Ben-David on Feb 7, 2020 10:15:00 AM
Jacob Ben-David
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In the first article in this blog series, we covered the emergence of cloud computing during the 2000s decade:

The History of Cloud Computing (Part 1)

We continued our review in part 2, as we examined the main events in cloud computing during the first five years of the 2010s decade (e.g., 2010-2014) where more vendors joined the cloud wars and tried to grab market share from Amazon:

The History of Cloud Computing (Part 2)

In this part, we will cover a few of the significant milestones and events which occurred between 2015 and the end of 2019 and share our thoughts on the state of cloud computing as we enter the 2020s decade.

Let’s begin.


kubernetesSay hello to your containers “Captain” – Kubernetes 1.0 released on July 21, 2015. The origins of Kubernetes, or k8s for short, goes back to 2003 - it began as an internal project at Google called ‘Borg System’, designed to manage clusters and jobs from numerous applications at scale. In 2014, Google released Kubernetes as an open-source version of Borg and the collective of major software companies, including Microsoft, Red Hat, IBM and Docker, all pledged support for it and joined the Kubernetes community.

kubernetes engineAs part of the Kubernetes v1.0 release, Google and the Linux Foundation also announced the creation of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) to shepherd the advancement of cloud-native enabling technologies (such as container platforms) and align the tech industry around its evolution and emerging ecosystem.  The Linux Foundation and the CNCF are also the proud organizers of KubeCon – the conference for "kubernaughts" everywhere, which hit its 10,000 attendees’ milestone in November 2019 - a massive growth from the first meeting of 100 people at the San-Francisco Hilton back in 2014! Turbonomic joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in 2017.

In August, Google unleashed the world’s first cloud-based Kubernetes Service, ‘Google Kubernetes Engine’ (GKE) went GA after it was announced as alpha in 2014. Amazon launched its own Kubernetes-based service, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), in 2017 - the same year Microsoft released its version, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).

In 2015, Amazon, for the first time, started to disclose the revenue details for AWS -- for the entire 2015 fiscal year, AWS generated $7.88 billion in revenue!

diane greeneIn November 2015, Google appointed ex-VMware CEO and founder, Diane Greene, as SVP to lead the company's cloud businesses, including Google for Work, Cloud Platform, and Google Apps. She held the position for three years, and in 2018 she announced in a blog that she would be stepping down and that Thomas Kurian, former Oracle executive would be taking over.

During 2015, Turbonomic (previously VMTurbo) introduced new PaaS support for Cloud Foundry and recognized that containers are the future by adding support for Docker. The same year, Red Hat made a strategic investment in the company; this was following a collaboration since 2012 on OpenStack, Red Hat JBoss, and Red Hat CloudForm integrations, which were showcased in Red Hat Summit.


sorry closedIn 2016, few cloud vendors decided to close their public IaaS clouds after realizing it will be almost impossible to compete with the “big 3” (e.g., Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.) In February, Verizon shared it would shut down its Public Cloud offerings, and in October, HP announced it would close its HP Helion Cloud and instead will partner with public cloud vendors.

azure functionsMeanwhile, Microsoft introduced Azure Functions, a competing service to AWS Lambda and an Application Performance Management (APM) tool called Application Insights. Application Insight is now a feature of Azure Monitor, a service in Azure that provides performance and availability monitoring for applications and services in Azure, other cloud environments, or on-premises.

Another interesting Azure Advisorrelease from Microsoft was Azure Advisor (in public preview,) a recommendation service designed to help Azure users with security, performance, cost, High Availability, and Operational Excellence. It was the equivalent of Amazon’s Trusted Advisor service.


Lastly, in April that year, Microsoft’s Azure Container Service, which offered support for Docker Swarm and DC/OS, was generally available. Microsoft retired the service on January 31, 2020.

aws snowball edge

AWS continued to crank out new announcements and services. A few notable mentions are AWS Organizations, a new offering designed to simplify multi-account management including consolidated billing options, and AWS Snowball Edge, a data migration and edge computing device for customers with hybrid environments.

In 2016, AWS generated $12.21 billion in annual revenue, an approximately 55% increase from the previous year.


In 2016, VMTurbo transformed into Turbonomic, and later that year, Turbonomic demonstrated new cloud capabilities at AWS re:Invent and announced a partnership with RiverMeadow to accelerate cloud migrations.

Turbonomic won numerous industry and analyst awards during the decade, and in 2016 the company was listed in prestigious Forbes Cloud 100 for the first time, placed at #72.


aws fargateIn 2017, Amazon continuously released new services and updates, including an update to its EC2 Reserved Instances pricing model with Instance Size Flexibility for RIs; it helped to simplify the challenges users had with RIs by allowing discounts to be applied to all sizes of instances within RI’s Instance Family. Two more groundbreaking offerings announced that year were AWS Fargate (for ECS,) a new “serverless”-like service that allowed users to deploy and manage containers without the need to manage any of the underline stacks; the second service was AWS SageMaker, a fully-managed service designed to allow developers and data scientists the ability to build, train and deploy machine learning (ML) models.

2017 marked the change in VMware’s cloud strategy. In April, VMware sold its vCloud Air business unit to European hosting provider OVH. In August, almost a year after VMware and AWS 

VMware Cloud on AWS

announced an unexpected partnership, VMware Cloud on AWS was available to users. The offering all owed users to use VMware vSphere to manage and run their clusters and VMs on top of Amazon’s infrastructure with the ability to extend their on-premises vSphere deployment to the “Cloud.”

In 2017, AWS generated $17.46 billion in sales, a whopping 43% increase from 2016. In November 2017, Microsoft finally released its commitment-based discount model, 


Azure Reserved VM Instances, enabling users to reserve Virtual Machines on a one- or three-year term, and enjoy up to 72% cost savings versus pay-as-you-go prices. Furthermore, with the Azure Hybrid Benefits program, Microsoft allowed users with ‘Software Assurance’ to enjoy even higher discounts (up to 82%) by eliminating the licensing cost when running windows workloads on Azure.

azure stackIn July, Microsoft finally released Azure Stack (through approved OEMs) after much delay. Azure Stack was a Microsoft hybrid cloud solution built with custom hardware configuration by various hardware vendors such as Cisco, Dell, and more and allowed organizations to run workloads on-premises using the same APIs and experience of Azure. Lastly, Microsoft acquired Cloudyn, a multicloud cost visibility, and optimization solution – the solution features are slowly being ported over to Azure’s billing management console.

Google had over 100 announcements in its Google Cloud Next 2017 conference. One of them was Google’s version of the commitment-based discount model, Committed Use Discounts; with this model, users could obtain up to 57% of regular prices in exchange for one or three-year purchase commitment paid monthly.

By the end of 2017, all major cloud vendors offered multiple discount models and services such as Advisor, designed to help customers control one of their most significant pain points - costs. Additional native tools were released in the following years as customers continued to voice concerns over cost and the complexities associated with the discount models, especially RIs.

In 2017, Turbonomic was listed at #57 on the Forbes Cloud 100 list for the second consecutive year, moving 15 spots from the previous year. Turbonomic was also named ‘An IDC Innovator for Multicloud Management’ and IT Central Station Named Turbonomic as 2017’s Top Cloud Management solution. Last but not least, Turbonomic and Cisco Systems, a long-time Turbonomic customer, have partnered to deliver Cisco Workload Optimization Manager, an OEM version of Turbonomic, allowing Cisco customers to enjoy the benefits of optimizing workloads with application resource management on hybrid and multicloud. In 2020, during Cisco Live in Barcelona, Cisco unveiled the evolution of the partnership by announcing Intersight Workload Optimization.


In 2018, IBM announced that it would acquire Red Hat in a deal valued at $34 billion. In its press release, IBM stated that the acquisition “Completely Changing The Cloud Landscape And Becoming World's #1 Hybrid Cloud Provider”. The following year, IBM announced 'Cloud Paks,' which were built leveraging  Red Hats solutions, such as Red Hat OpenShift, a hybrid and multicloud platform for Kubernetes.

microsoft githubAnother major acquisition that year was the acquisition of GitHub by Microsoft for $7.5 billion. Many analysts estimated the Microsoft could leverage Github to help and attract more developers to Azure.

In 2018, AWS announced hundreds of new services and updates, including a new managed service for Blockchain and an update to its somewhat outdated billing console with a new Cost Explorer Console adding more cost visibility, reporting, and granular “drill-down” capabilities. However, the announcement of AWS Outposts was the most fascinating. aws outpostAWS Outposts was Amazon's response to Azure Stack. It is a hardware and software solution for hybrid deployment, allowing users to run AWS services but keeping the workloads within the datacenter while managing everything using the same AWS console and APIs. Amazon shared that there will be two variants, a flavor running AWS propriety software and another that will run VMware Cloud on AWS. The AWS variant went GA in December 2019, offering EC2, EBS ECS, EKS, and RDS services.

Amazon also reported that AWS generated more than $25 billion in revenue in 2018, an increase of 43% from the previous year. The AWS revenue surpassed giants such as McDonalds and Macy's.

The same year Turbonomic was listed on Forbes Cloud 100 for the third consecutive year being ranked at #51, moving up six spots from the previous year.

Turbonomic also expanded its partnership with both Amazon and Microsoft. In February, Turbonomic announced it had earned a Co-Sell Ready Status through the Microsoft One Commercial Partner program. co sell readyIn September, Turbonomic achieved AWS Cloud Management Tools   Competency status (one of only six partners for Resource and Cost Optimization). Turbonomic was also one of only six APN Partners who have attained AWS Migration Competency for Discovery and Planning in August that year.


anthosIn 2019, Google announced Google Anthos, which enables users to manage and deploy containerized applications to any Kubernetes-based environment. It provides a consistent experience no matter where the clusters reside, on-premises (with GKE On-Prem), or on the cloud…any cloud, not just Google’s.

In October, just a few days before its annual conference, Microsoft Ignite, the company was awarded by the Pentagon with the highly coveted JEDI defense contract, worth $10 billion over ten years. It was a significant win for Microsoft over Amazon; the other finalist left after Google, IBM, and Oracle were eliminated earlier. azure arcDuring its Ignite conference in November, Microsoft had a plethora of new announcements, the main announcement being Azure Arc. Azure Arc is a groundbreaking solution that allows users to "run Azure data services anywhere," including on-premises, edge, and multicloud. Azure Arc is a management platform for VMs running on any platform (including bare metal) or cloud (even EC2 and GCE), Kubernetes clusters, and databases and enabling users to deploy cloud-native applications within and outside of Azure.

During VMworld, VMware shared its focus for the future. It mostly revolved around multicloud and Kubernetes. The main announcement was VMware Taznu, a portfolio of products aimed at Kubernetes. One of the tools is VMware Tanzu Mission Control, a SaaS-based control platform for Kubernetes regardless of where they run, allowing users to build, run, and deploy containerized applications. VMware also unveiled Project Pacific, VMware’s attempt to embed Kubernetes natively into vSphere to enable admins to manage both vSphere and Kubernetes clusters along with VMs and containers from a single console.

In 2019, Amazon made few acquisitions to help customers move to its cloud. In January, Amazon announced they acquired CloudEndure, a startup from Israel that focused on disaster recovery for cloud, for $200 million and TSO Logic, a Canadian startup that worked on cost analysis features such as TCO calculations to compare cloud and on-premises costs.

aws compute optimizer

In December, Amazon unleashed hundreds of announcements (check out this AWS re:Invent 2019 recap blog for highlights) one of the announcements was AWS Compute Optimizer. Yet, another cost optimization solution to help customers to reduce cost with basic rightsizing recommendations.

Another major update was announced in November (during Microsoft Ignite) was AWS Savings Plans, a new flexible pricing model that aimed to simplify and replace EC2 Reserved Instances. EC2 Reserved Instances evolved over the years since there were introduced in 2009 (see the timeline below). Every update, although aimed to simplify the model, ended up adding more complexity. AWS Savings plans eliminated most of the complications by allowing users to commit to $ value vs. the RI model, where users had to commit to a specific capacity with multiple attributes that must match with what instances were assigned to enjoy the discount.


Turbonomic had an extremely busy and exciting year in 2019.

Turbonomic was listed on Forbes Cloud 100 list for the fourth consecutive year, now placed at #42, moving up nine spots from the previous year.

In March, Turbonomic released the findings of the 2019 State of Multicloud, the industry’s first survey of over 800 IT professionals that examines the underlying dynamics fueling cloud-native/container and multicloud adoption.

Turbonomic was named an inaugural launch technology partner for AWS Microsoft workload competency and a Launch partner in Azure Migrate Program Experience.

pmcLastly, Turbonomic made its first-ever acquisition in May 2019 when it acquired ParkMyCloud, a policy-driven cloud cost optimization platform that provides intelligent workload suspension and rightsizing capabilities for all major cloud providers.


The second acquisition occurred in November; Turbonomic acquired SevOne, a platform that enables the world's largest and most complex networks to be agile, reliable, and more efficient.


As we recap our journey through the history of cloud computing, it is quite evident that this space, which was the enabler of digital transformation for many organizations, went through a transformation of its own over the years. And it is only the beginning – “The best is yet to come," as the great Frank Sinatra once said.

In February, Canalys published its Q4 2019 Cloud Market Share Report. The report, which focused on cloud infrastructure services (IaaS), validated that the "Cloud Wars” are far from over and that although Amazon is leading the race with 32.3% market share in 2019, Microsoft (16.9%), Google (5.8%), and Alibaba (4.9%) are gaining additional market share when compared to 2018:


During the writing of this article (end of January 2020), all major cloud providers shared their earnings reports. Let's take a look at the leading three cloud providers (make sure to check this excellent blog post from ParkMyCloud for more insights):

  • Amazon reported that AWS generated $9.95 billion in revenue during FY19 Q4, a 34% increase from Q4-2018. AWS was responsible for 11% of Amazon's total revenue of $87.4 billion. Overall in 2019, AWS generated $35 billion in revenue, more than a 36% increase compared to 2018!
  • Microsoft does not share the exact revenue numbers generated by Azure during FY20 Q2, but it shared that the "Intelligent Cloud" business unit, which Azure is part of, made $11.9 billion (27% increase) and that Azure experienced 62% growth, compared to FY19 Q2.
  • Alphabet, the parent company of Google, disclosed the revenue details of Google Cloud for the first time this year. During its earnings call, Alphabet reported that in FY19, Google Cloud generated $2.6 billion during Q4 and $8.9 for the entire FY19, a 53% increase from FY18 ($5.8 billion).

With all of this in mind, what should we expect in cloud computing in 2020 and beyond? What trends will emerge and take the cloud space by storm?

Stay tuned for our upcoming article, 'The Future of Cloud Computing', where we will share our thoughts and predictions.

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