Amazon suit shows Google as public cloud threat

Google Compute Engine may have launched less than six months ago but it’s already a serious competitor to Amazon Web Services (s amzn). At least Amazon appears to think so. It just lodged a lawsuit against a former AWS sales executive who is joining Google, according to Geekwire which first reported the news.

Daniel Powers, an IBM veteran, joined AWS as VP of sales in 2010, learned the business “from top to bottom” and was privy to company trade secrets, according to the suit. In June, 2012 Amazon offered him a severance package in return for a signed non-compete agreement. This suit, filed in Washington State Superior Court, charged that Powers’ decision to join Google violates the terms of that pact, which required him to stay clear of directly competitive work for 18 months.

Google launched the Google Compute Engine in late June and by virtue of the company’s experience in web-scale computing, it has to be seen as a potential problem for Amazon, the biggest provider of public cloud infrastructure. Amazon is also seeing more competition come on line from Rackspace(s rax), HP(s hpq), and Microsoft(s msft).

Cloudscaling raised eyebrows a few weeks ago when it said it’s OpenStack-based private cloud will extend into both AWS and Google public clouds. Cloudscaling execs at the time said they see a lot of customer demand for an alternative to Amazon cloud infrastructure.

Neither Amazon nor Google could be reached for comment. If you want the nitty gritty from the suit, check out the filing below.

[scribd id=111391253 key=key-1ipyml61rhsejqjkdcrc mode=scroll]