With Third Parties in Tow, The Cloud is Amazon's Game to Lose

By Doug Barney

With a big show coming up, Amazon AWS third-party partners are lining up to get their news out in advance.

AWS: reinvent is happening next week in Las Vegas, and by all indications it could be a barnburner.

2nd Watch is one firm getting its news out early, announcing this week that it snagged $23 million in a new round of funding. Investors clearly see dollar signs when they look at AWS. In fact, Amazon AWS has five times the raw compute capacity as all of its rivals put together, at least the rivals research house Gartner tracked in a recent report.

2nd Watch is all about migrating enterprises to the AWS cloud, and so far has performed this move over 300 times. The company claims that, with its help, migrations are some 50-70 percent than without it.

For 2nd Watch, AWS and its approach to IaaS is the sweet spot. “Cloud computing has changed the way businesses operate and AWS has quickly become the foremost infrastructure-as-a-service platform,” said Kris Bliesner, CEO of 2nd Watch. “The enterprise is drawn to AWS due to its attractive economics and rich feature set, but a move to the cloud can be complex. At 2nd Watch, we appreciate the myriad considerations of the CIO and ensure that our customers manage risk while capturing the ongoing benefits of cloud transformation. This investment will support our rapid growth and strengthen our ability to serve our enterprise customers.”

AWS Explosion

Despite fierce competition from the likes of Microsoft Azure and Verizon, AWS is solidly on top. 

“Market momentum has strongly favored Amazon Web Services. Many organizations have now had projects on AWS for several years, even if they hadn’t considered themselves to have 'done anything serious' on AWS. Thus, as those organizations get serious about cloud computing, AWS is their incumbent provider — there are relatively few truly greenfield opportunities in cloud IaaS now. Many Gartner clients now actually have multiple incumbent providers (the most common combination is AWS and Terremark), but nearly all such customers tell us that the balance of new projects are going to AWS, not the other providers," Gartner argued. “Little by little, AWS has systematically addressed the barriers to 'mainstream,' enterprise adoption. While it’s still far from everything that it could be, and it has some specific and significant weaknesses, that steady improvement over the last couple of years has brought it to the 'good enough' point. While we saw much stronger momentum for AWS than other providers in 2012, 2013 has really been a tipping point. We still hear plenty of interest in competitors, but AWS is overwhelmingly the dominant vendor.”

But Verizon doesn’t want to let that stand. It 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.

Edited by Alisen Downey

MSPToday Editor at Large

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