The week in cloud: AWS goes mobile; Google vows patent pledge; cloud wars rage on

Amazon mobilizes

android-phonesAmazon(s amzn) Web Services, which has focused a ton of resources on wooing enterprise developers with higher end services is apparently staffing up a broader mobile development effort as well, as evidenced by job posts signaling the creation of a new group to be based in Palo Alto, Calif.

The new group appears to be dedicated to building client-side functionality — but observers say it’s likely that it will do more than that. Most developers access their AWS goodies from their PCs, but we’ve seen more users of all types supplementing or even replacing their laptop and desktop PCs with smartphones and tablets so it makes sense for Amazon to respond to that trend. (It already lets folks access the AWS management console with Androidand iOS devices. 

And, as GigaOM PRO analyst Janakiram MSV had already noted in a post (subscription required) last month, AWS already offers many of the building blocks– Amazon EC2, S3, DynamoDB, and RDS — needed to expose mobile backend services. And its Android and iOS software development kits (SDKs) make it easy for developers to consume these services, he said.

Google inks patent non-aggression pact

Google LogoIn hopes of staving off the sort of patent litigation that has embroiled the mobile phone market, Google(s goog) last week unveiled a sort of nonagression pact — a patent pledge under which it says developers  can use or sell the technology described in the patents without fear of future lawsuits, as GigaOM’s Jeff Roberts reported. The pledge includes a controversial patent issued last year that covers a form of parallel processing known as MapReduce. That particular patent provoked concern that Google could monopolize tools like Hadoop, which is an integral part of the “big data” revolution.

PayPal caught in cross fire

dark cloudsThe notion that any large company will completely rip-and-replace one technology stack for another came under the microscope this week after reports surfaced that PayPal was doing just that — yanking out VMware(s vmw) technology in favor of OpenStack. As it turns out, PayPal, a unit of eBay(s ebay) is building out a big project with OpenStack, with help from OpenStack integrator Mirantis, but stressed that it would also continue to use VMware — whether that’s vSphere and associated management tools; vCloud Director; or just VMware’s hypervisor.

It’s interesting that the clarification came via a VMware blog post by a VMware executive quoting a PayPal exec. Let’s face it — companies rarely yank any technology that’s working. They usually launch new projects with new technologies and keep running whatever works in tandem. But clearly these reports hit a nerve at a time when VMware is struggling to show that its new “hybrid public” cloud strategy has legs and when OpenStack appears to be gaining momentum as a cloud platform.