Cloud Edge: What's Happening in the Russian Market
Roman Shulimov, Sales Director Linxdatacenter
The year 2022 is marked by fundamental structural changes in the IT market in Russia. In the segment of cloud providers and data center operators, the greatest attention is paid to the localization of IT systems, the development of hybrid and multi-cloud solutions, and the emergence of new roles for specialists and departments in the structure of companies.
It's time to go home
The main trend on the cloud and data center services market today is mass localization of IT resources. Foreign cloud platforms have become inaccessible to Russian companies either due to a direct ban or to the impossibility of paying from Russia.
Domestic businesses are forced to minimize risks by transferring all IT infrastructure to Russia. We see a significant increase in demand for resources within the Russian Federation and a noticeable lack of supply.
The current situation falls under the definition of "provider market. On average, the volume of customer requests for services and infrastructure in data centers exceeds available resources by about 2 times.
At the same time, in the mode of converting requests into real contracts, providers are still coping, adjusting the technical requirements to the goals of the project and selecting adequate solutions.
Another significant factor is the lack of supply on the physical equipment market. Today it is difficult to freely purchase servers, storage and network infrastructure.
It's hard to make a forecast yet - a lot depends on the actions of Chinese and other alternative vendors. And they are lurking and waiting. Perhaps there will be an attempt to use Russia as a bargaining chip to return to the U.S. market.
Platform of possibilities
Business has long sought to get rid of unnecessary tasks of organizing the work of the "iron" and move toward development on the basis of a service model. Companies want to get ready-to-use IT services.
For example, a database as a service so that you don't have to create an entire IT environment to run the database, or containers with containerization management tools. Services such as S3 storage, Terraform, load balancers, etc. are also in demand.
Companies want to get all this "out of the box" and with a minimum of staffing costs. This request is well answered by the offerings of major cloud players. However, it is still not a one-click service.
Today there is a huge window of opportunity for cloud giants - if they have large-scale platforms, they are able to create such services. That way they can reshape the market and significantly increase their share.
Multiсlouds and hybrids
Solutions from smaller and more flexible providers are still available for business requirements that cannot be covered by the resources of large players. They are ready to provide infrastructure based on classic VMware platforms.
Such providers can take the first step toward full PaaS through partnerships with "hyper-scale" providers. It is possible for customers to create customized cloud solutions without moving or additional connectivity.
One tool can be taken from the Yandex cloud or VK, another from a "native" provider, add physical equipment in a data center where critical IT elements can be placed, creating a full multi-cloud architecture.
Barriers to the use of foreign clouds have provided an additional incentive to move to hybrid and multi-cloud solutions.
Last year, there were several serious deals on the data centers and telecom market. In particular, ER-Telecom bought Acado, Beeline bought IBS DataFort, MTS bought GreenBushDC, and Rostelecom bought a number of data centers and IT companies.
The next couple of years in the Russian IT market will pass in this rhythm of mergers and acquisitions. The larger the company, the more opportunities it has to hire programmers to operate and develop advanced cloud platforms and adapt new tools and technologies.
Small players will have a harder time surviving - the final product that the customer needs is transforming and becoming more and more complex. Small companies will not be able to create multilevel integrated platforms.
In terms of personnel, there are two things to note.
First, a number of equipment vendors that have given up working with Russia have freed up a large staff resource. Their personnel have entered the labor market, and they are quite actively hired by companies that previously used the products of these vendors.
For example, Cisco has left Russia. Accordingly, any federal telecom operator, which on average has 40% of all equipment from Cisco, wants to get support. But it is no longer possible to buy it. The natural solution is to hire people fired by the vendor, creating their own in-house support.
This will create service divisions with a high level of competence to support equipment and software within Russia, which have no direct connection to the vendors.
Second, the need for cloud platform architects is obvious. Market changes and consolidation of the supply of large providers will cause demand for specialists who will be able to build working cloud systems from resources purchased from various players.
Such architects must have competencies in all the services they acquire from different providers in order to build from these "cubes" what the business needs. In the past, these tasks were handled by the providers themselves and their specialists, but as the market grows, their internal strength is not enough.
Another trend is the development of the market towards a single window for accessing the services of various large providers. Analyzing mergers and acquisitions, we can conclude that telecom companies are "acquiring" competencies in data centers, clouds, IS and software development.
The competencies within one IT or telecom holding company are constantly being built up and expanded in order to make the widest possible offer to the client.
For example, a conditional factory in Ryazan will be able to get from the usual telecom provider in a "one-stop-shop" software development, implementation of a CRM-system, data allocation, modern cloud services, etc.
There is competition on the market. If you don't give any service, then a competitor will provide it. To survive, companies have to engage in constant development.
The likely next step in development is the emergence of a "national multicloud," similar to Gosoblak, only with a focus on commercial customers. This level of integration is still a long way off. But it is possible and, most importantly, will be demanded by clients. That is why its appearance is just a matter of time.