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November 22, 2017

Cloud Wars: AWS IoT price cuts vs Microsoft running VMware on bare metal servers

Price cuts from Amazon Web Services and now a direct challenge from Microsoft to the VMware Cloud on AWS service launched last year.

By James Nunns

The good thing about the cloud industry is that companies like Microsoft and Amazon Web Services are constantly looking to be better than the other.

Of course they don’t see it like that, it’s all about giving the customer what they want, better serving them and so on. But the competitive nature of the companies, the desire to stay at the top or to reach the top, means that there’s a constantly advancing industry.

The latest moves have seen Microsoft decide that it will be working with a VMware partner to offer the full VMware stack on Azure hardware.

In a blog post by Corey Sanders, Director of Compute, Azure, a subheading reads “A frictionless path to Azure for your VMware environment,” so yes, Microsoft is directly gunning for VMware’s customers.

The first new service, Azure Migrate, is available for free and is designed to help migrate an entire multi-server application, as opposed to single server migrations which Microsoft claims is the norm for “most cloud vendors.”

The service can discover all of your on-premises VMware-based applications, prioritise application choices, identify size and cost guidance, and then migrate at your will.

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The cost savings pitch is clear from Microsoft, with the company point to its Azure Cost Management service (the service formerly known as Cloudyn) that can be used to forecast, track, and optimise spending. Microsoft’s own number crunching showed that there could be up to 84% TCO savings for “certain on-premises VMware to Azure migration scenarios.”

Only a year ago was the VMware Cloud on AWS service announced by the virtualisation company and the public cloud company, a service which let customers run VMware workloads on Amazon’s cloud in a bare mental hardware setup.

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Microsoft’s challenge to this is a preview of VMware virtualisation on Azure, a bare-metal solution that runs the full VMware stack on Azure hardware. Offered in partnership with “premier VMware-certified partners,” the service is expected to go into GA in the coming year.

Microsoft may have caused a little concern to the two companies with its announcements, but AWS isn’t one to rest on its laurels.

The public cloud market leader has decided to change the pricing model of AWS IoT, a move that it says will see a price reduction of 20-40% for most customers, and some seeing lots more.

The change sees the introduction of a more fine-grained model, a departure from charging for the number of messages that were sent to or from the service which resulted in customers paying for something they didn’t use. The new model will implement independent charges for each component, details of which can be found here.

The move comes shortly after Google Cloud lowered the prices of some of its GPUs.

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