Amazon Offers Startups Helping Cloud Hand

By Doug Barney

Talk to any venture capitalists and they’ll tell you that virtually every startup they pour money into bases their computing infrastructure on the cloud. It is the fastest way to get up and running and lets the startup focus on inventing new technology and building a business, rather than configuring and managing infrastructure. If a startup pitches an on-premises approach, there is precious little chance of getting funding.

Amazon was once a startup, and often invests in new companies, so it knows these issues as well as anyone. And it knows the cloud.

So it is little surprise that Amazon is using Amazon Web Services (AWS) to go after startups. And AWS is now claimed to be easier than ever for new companies to deploy thanks to the new AWS Activate.

The new activate bundles up key services startups may need, and adds to them developer support, training and a self-help community based on forums.

And it is not just about AWS, but there are also credits to make it cheaper to buy third party tools that may be useful.

In recent months, Amazon has upped the AWS ante with clearer pricing on AWS instances and more support services that take an even bigger load off IT shoulders.

There are two main Activate offerings: The AWS Activate Self-Starter Package that comes with a free usage tier, and the AWS Activate Portfolio Package that is aimed at seed funds and startups that are connected to select accelerators.

Fierce Competition

Amazon is one of the kings of the cloud, especially in the area of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). That’s why so many are now gunning for what Amazon has, and this includes some pretty big outfits.

Verizon, for instance, just unveiled Verizon Cloud Compute, an IaaS platform designed to go after AWS.

Verizon claims its new IaaS, which is paired with a cloud storage system, does what AWS can’t, and changes what is possible with the public cloud, adding never before seen levels of security and performance. These issues have forced many cloud customers to go with private solutions and expensive dedicated connections.

A smaller Australian outfit is likewise going after Amazon, in this case trying to recruit its MSPs.

The new CloudCentral Cloud Services is being pitched largely to the Australian market, but has its origins in Santa Clara, Calif. That’s because technology from CumuLogic powers the new CloudCentral service.

CumuLogic was started by a group of former Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle) employees who wanted to build “a platform which prevents vendor lock-in and is agnostic to clouds, hypervisors and application infrastructure,” as the company described.

Today, CumuLogic platforms support the building of cloud services as well as Platform as a Service (PaaS). Startups doing developments may be particularly interested in the PaaS offering.

The idea behind Cloud Central’s new services is similar to Amazon’s pitch to startups; to help enterprises more quickly build cloud apps. CumuLogic, as recently reported by TMC, now more fully supports OpenStack, and announced that its cloud services run on both Cloudscaling IaaS clouds and Nebula.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

MSPToday Editor at Large

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