So Google Compute Engine is out, your move Amazon

Google Compute Engine vs. Amazon EC2

Now that the fog of hype is starting to lift from the Moscone Center  where Google rolled out its promised Amazon cloud killer, don’t expect the folks up in Seattle to stand still. As Amazon Web Services has made clear over the past 7 years, inaction is not an option.

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels and CEO Jeff Bezos on stage at AWS: Reinvent

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels and CEO Jeff Bezos on stage at AWS: Reinvent

Here are a few things AWS (which after all, remains the cloud to beat) could do to shore up its defenses as GCE, Windows Azure and soon VMware’s AWS competitor (to be re-announced May 21) come online.

1: Get more granular in pricing

One headline item Wednesday was Google’s decision to rent cloud instances by the minute instead of by the hour (well, you have to buy a minimum of 10 minutes with incremental charges for each additional minute.) AWS rents by the hour, which is something it could well change. Both companies are late to this particular feature however: Both Cloud Sigma and Profitbricks have offered sub-hour models for some time.

2: Keep pounding on enterprise support …

And management options like Trusted Advisor, which instructs AWS users on how to deploy their workloads more efficiently and more securely.  The knock on Google remains that it (let alone its cloud) doesn’t “get” the enterprise — millions of  Google Apps and Gmail business users notwithstanding. A CIO might ask herself: “Gee, do I want to trust my workloads to a search and advertising company? I still can’t believe I’m trusting some of them to a book seller! ”

If enterprise is a key business, you have to keep earning it.

3: Prove that AWS is an Amazon corporate priority

The perception that, Jeff Bezos and corporate don’t care that much about AWS continues to dog the cloud services arm. It was a big deal that Bezos showed up at AWS: Reinvent last year, but he really doesn’t talk about the cloud business all that much. What might help there? BREAKING OUT AWS REVENUE! If AWS is a $2 billion-a-year-plus business, get transparent about it. And talk profitability, not just revenue. Come on guys, it’s time.

4: Keep the services coming

Much was made of Google’s brand new NoSQL database service, which, as my colleague Derrick Harris pointed out, is “eerily similar” to Amazon’s DynamoDB. Google SVP Urs Hölzle noted that Google, 11 months after announcing GCE, rolled out 10TB persistent disk, something that an “unnamed competitor” hadn’t done in its 7 years. That may be, but AWS has lots of other services and perks and maturity counts — especially among corporate buyers.

So, Amazon. It’s your move.

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