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Summary:

A month-long free trial of the Amazon Web Services’ monitoring and alerting tool has to spook a raft of smaller companies offering similar services.

AWS: Reinvent
photo: Barb Darrow

Here we go again. Amazon is offering a month-long free trial of its Trusted Advisor cloud services monitoring tool. That may seem like ho-hum news for rank-and-file Amazon Web Services observers, but for a half dozen or so small companies that hoped to make their living providing similar services, this freebie is a big deal.

News of an updated version of Trusted Advisor — complete with new features and its free trial (for the month of March) — was unveiled on the AWS blog early Monday morning. Before now, Trusted Advisor was available to customers who signed up for enterprise or business class AWS support.

According to the blog, Trusted Advisor looks over a customer’s AWS environment and makes suggestions on how to save money, boost performance and shutter security gaps:

“Because the AWS Trusted Advisor draws upon the aggregated operational history of hundreds of thousands of AWS customers, you can be confident that the recommendations that it makes can help you to save money, bolster your security profile, improve the fault tolerance of your application, and increase overall performance. This is a unique and powerful benefit that is only possible with cloud-based, API-enabled infrastructure.”

trustedadvisor1Meanwhile, companies like Newvem, Cloudyn, Cloud Vertical and Cloudability have to be more than a little worried about this new tool, although they’d be the first to tell you that their own respective offerings watch and measure AWS better than Amazon itself does.

A Newvem spokesman characterized the freebie as big news for AWS users and “a great value as a broken-to-fix support play as in something is wrong with my security, I’ll use Trusted Advisor to fix it.” But, he added, Newvem provides more insights on how to improve a user’s AWS resource usage and to evaluate costs, risks and assets. Newvem started charging for its service late last year.

trustedadvisor2Amazon’s news is a no-brainer for a company that knows it needs to provide more enterprise-class support and monitoring options to placate enterprises used to having such tools, as GigaOM reported last summer. But it also illustrates the issue that, to grow, Amazon is encroaching more and more on spaces pioneered by small members of its ecosystem. Being an AWS technology partner is a risky proposition that is not for the faint-of-heart or the slow-of-foot.

What about the little guys?

Usually, when small companies characterize a huge company’s incursion into their territory as a validation of their strategy, it’s time to pat them on the head and offer condolences. In this case, however, there is some truth that a smaller, more nimble third party (aka Newvem, Cloudyn, et al) can offer more value.

As Forrester Research analyst Dave Bartoletti told me last month with regard to some Cloudyn news:

“Amazon’s tools will get better and better but Amazon has no desire to get you to use less of its services. It’s like in storage — You’d think EMC would be the best vendor of storage management but historically they haven’t been.”

  1. Vinod Shintre Monday, March 4, 2013

    this clearly also indicates that AWS core offering has started to stagnate & there is no more space for innovation around the core part. Great help to the user’s as we all have been waiting for native support since long for plenty of features those should have been published much earlier. Overlaps will happen no matter what as its a cut throat competition. Microsoft did the same long back & killed plenty of small companies. I’m sure there will be more of these & that’s a good news.

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  2. jeff burton Monday, March 4, 2013

    Good job Copying Newvem!

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  3. It is great that AWS is finally recognizing that the complexity of service requires effective tools. However, at the post-March price, we believe users should shop around — they get significantly more functionality using third party tools such as CloudCheckr, Cloudyn, and CloudVertical for far less cost.

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  4. I don’t see a long term future for a lot of these small software companies built around providing services for IaaS and PaaS. The larger cloud providers are going to slowly fill up all the holes in an effort to lock their customers into using that particular IaaS/PaaS provider.

    Amazon has setting the bar which other cloud providers will need to follow to remain competitive.

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  5. With a UI like that, I’m sure the competition will do fine….

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