Cloud Connect, last week in Santa Clara, offered an insightful look on the state of the industry, with perspectives from analysts, big name vendors, and startups.  Here are a few things that caught our eye in the week that was.

The Enterprise Cloud Adoption Survey Summary from Everest Group.  Done in conjunction with the organizers of Cloud Connect, the survey of 3 segments (cloud buyers, cloud service providers, and cloud advisors) offers a reality check on where the market is today, compared to the future-looking perspectives that are common in emerging spaces like this one.  One of the more interesting highlights that mirrors our experience:

Public cloud providers may need to modify their communication on the cost benefits of adoption from a pure cost/unit conversation to one that is more focused around lower TCO and ROI

The findings also paint a positive picture for platform-as-a-service (PaaS), indicating that a strong majority of survey respondents are already using PaaS, or plan to in the near future.  Check out the whole survey here.

Q&A with Joe Weinman of Telx.  Against conventional wisdom, Joe has long predicted that hybrid clouds will be the eventual end state of cloud computing.  Our own Richard Seroter catches up with Joe, and discusses the finer points of hybrid cloud and something called the Backseat Airline Magazine Bias.

PEER 1 Launches the Mission Critical Cloud, powered by CenturyLink Cloud. I didn’t see too many product launches at Cloud Connect, so this one (albeit self-servingly) makes the list.  There are many white-label products of this sort in the market today, but very few that are targeted upstream at businesses with more complex requirements.  This partnership helps CenturyLink Cloud scale, while complementing PEER 1’s product portfolio.  The product announcement is here.

6fusion, utility-metering of cloud services for the enterprise.  ROI and TCO calculations for enterprises considering the public cloud can be complicated, even for small workloads.  This complexity grows as hybrid cloud and additional vendors are thrown into the mix.  Solving this problem of cost transparency, and ultimately delivering “apples to apples” comparisons across multiple cloud, based on historical and real-time data, is the aim of 6fusion.

I saw a demo of their app, and it is very cool.  There are commodities trading overtones to their approach and the UI.  In fact, CEO John Cowan wrote a few weeks back:

_“When the modern enterprise or resource supplier can apply the principles of financial trading to the IT industry we are going to see a force capable of completely redefining everything we currently think we know about the business of technology delivery.”

_

There will be a range of cloud services: vanilla commodity services for low-end deployments, other more differentiated offerings for mission-critical scenarios, and other tiers in between.  6fusion aims to help IT quantify the value difference between the inevitable layers of cloud services.  It will be interesting to watch their progress, and see how the industry in general grapples with delivering better cost transparency as complexity of cloud deployments grows.

Cloudmunch. This startup launched its DevOps platform, a “first-of-its-kind full-stack continuous delivery platform”, at DeployCon.  With this service, developers can leverage full-stack continuous delivery for applications and infrastructure, with integrations to GitHub and support for Chef.  It is a little surprising that this hasn’t been thought of before—there is a lot of flexibility and efficiency for all the devs out there.  Read the news of their launch here.

Flexiant receives funding for cloud orchestration.  This wasn’t anything specific to Cloud Connect, but the timing was apt.  Cloud orchestration remains a little mysterious to most enterprises (as well as the reseller channel), so traction in the category is encouraging (CenturyLink Cloud for our part, has built Blueprints).  Flexiant seems keen to use orchestration on a larger scale, actually helping with greenfield reseller cloud build outs, instead of targeted templates to assist end-user IT pros.  Sounds like a US expansion is in the works.  They will be one to watch in the States.