4 things on the Amazon cloud shopping list

6 Comments

Credit: BruceTurner

Amazon Web Services is fully engaged in the enterprise push it initiated a few years ago, but unlike then, it now has major cloud rivals also shooting for that business. Two of these  — Microsoft and VMware — already have significant mind and market share in enterprise accounts while another — Google –is gearing up there.

So, what does the public cloud leader need to buy (or build) to bolster its business cloud push? Here’s a completely speculative shopping list compiled with help from some long-time cloud watchers.  Note: [company]Amazon[/company] is nothing if not thrifty. Look for something akin to Amazon’s 2012 acquisition of Peritor, a Berlin startup that went under the radar and later became the basis of Amazon’s OpsWorks cloud management tool. No one expects a multi-billion-dollar HP-Autonomy-style deal.

1: Hybrid cloud enablers: [company]Ravello Systems[/company] — which runs KVM or VMware workloads in AWS — might be a good pickup, said GigaOM Research analyst MSV Janikiram. VMware, after all, has 90 percent penetration in large business accounts, so accommodating those workloads is an important selling point for AWS.

Eucalyptus, which offers AWS API-compatible private cloud is another option. And, if AWS is serious about being more copacetic with multi-cloud deployments, it might buy a multi-cloud cost management company — Cloudability or Cloudyn, for example.

2: Data migration/transmission tools: Sure, Amazon already has Storage Gateway, but it might make sense to snap up a third-party option — Nasuni for example — used by companies to move and manage corporate files on AWS.

“AWS needs a better on-boarding strategy,” said the CEO of a storage startup that’s not in this arena. [company]Microsoft[/company] bought StorSimple in 2012 for this purpose; then [company]EMC[/company] bought TwinStrata. AWS and Nasuni, which supports the popular NFS and CIFS storage protocols, would be a good fit, this exec said.

AWS Summit

3: Disaster recovery/business continuity: Many customers use AWS itself as a disaster recovery option, but implementing it right requires quite an effort. Here a company like CloudEndure or Sanovi makes sense. These services, both of which are already available on AWS Test Drive, replicate a customer’s application across regions. Microsoft, which already offered Azure Site Recovery, last month bought InMage to bolster DR, so again there’s precedent here.

4: IT services: Most of the big IT players either have their own services arms and/or an extensive network of affiliated systems integrators and value added resellers. Amazon already has some of that but, if it decides to go all-in on the sort of enterprise-focused servcies that make CIOs feel warm and fuzzy, it might buy consulting and integration expertise. A company like 2ndWatch might make sense.

And now the caveat

So here’s the problem: When AWS enters a new arena through building or buying a product, technology or company, it’ll face pushback from the other partners in related areas. This is exactly the tricky issue any big platform provider — [company]Microsoft[/company] and [company]IBM[/company] are key examples — faces as it seeks new growth. Sooner or later it will assume partner opportunities as its own and when it enters those new markets, it will inevitably cite customer demand as the reason. And that’s why any partner needs to walk into this situation with eyes wide open.

Anyway, these are my picks for Amazon’s shopping list. Please use comments to submit your own.

Feature photo courtesy of Flickr user BruceTurner.

6 Comments

Ohad Flinker

Great list Barb – appreciate the acknowledgement on behalf of CloudEndure. It’s also worth mentioning that a solid multi-cloud DR service by definition qualifies for #2 as well since the first step in cloud-based disaster recovery is to migrate the workload to the target cloud. Migration means replacing your primary site for an extended (or even indefinite) period of time, while failover for disaster recovery acts as a temporary fix until you can “failback” to the original (or primary) location.

brianmccallion

1. Acquia. AWS just made some kind of investment. I see Acquia as an extension of the WorkSpaces, Zocalo space. When you think about how much money has been invested to surface highly contextual advertisements to consumers, yet how blindly we stumble around behind the corporate firewall reinventing the wheel, I could see a “smart, contextual, aware corporate intranet” hosted on AWS as a compelling way to reimagine the corporate content fabric.

2. Riverbed. Riverbed seems like a larger acquisition than you suggested. Yet it owns a number of products of interest to AWS. Steelhead WAN optimization already in place in large enterprises. Stingray software load balancer does a lot of stuff ELB does not do. Riverbed product SteelStore, a storage gateway appliance with data deduplication would be a good way to win certain enterprise and midmarket business. I suppose AWS could sell off the rest, but maybe it has found a clever way to cherry pick just the parts it wants.
AWS would also be able to significantly expand its enterprise and midmarket sales team through the acquisition of riverbed. In my opinion its enterprise salesforce and professional services that would change the game. I don’t know how 2ndWatch could be more AWS centric that it is today even if AWS acquired it. AWS would be better served acquire enterprise sales teams from other firms not as highly engaged with AWS.

bmccallion

Thanks Barb. I agree Riverbed price seems high. I think the game might be changing and thrift is great if you have lots of time and can gamble on the rate of enterprise adoption. For example AMZN paid pretty good money for Zappos—around a billion. AMZN needs something that will get it a seat at the enterprise table and a regular reason to call into enterprise accounts not currently using AWS. I don’t know if Riverbed is right, but it seems like it’s for sale, and AWS could use a lot of what its got to make cloud in the enterprise “situation normal.”

David Mytton

Not sure about IT services – it seems counter-intuitive for a DIY API led provider like AWS (where many of its products came out first as API-only, then added a UI later) to offer professional services above the support packages. They already have a broad partner ecosystem from those providing their software through the marketplace to service partners and certified consultants. Their whole strategy so far has been to attract developers to build things themselves and add the extra enterprise services once AWS is already adopted.

If you want the professional services from the start then maybe IBM is a better choice? Or Rackspace, as they are now the “managed cloud provider”.

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