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August 4, 2015

Does AWS have rivals Google & Microsoft lagging behind?

AWS dismisses private cloud being more secure than its public offering.

By James Nunns

Recent moves in the cloud market from Google and Microsoft have seen them look to extend their market reach with private cloud partnerships.

Microsoft recently joined officially in partnership with Rackspace, while Google has been working more closely with the OpenStack foundation. This OpenStack paring has been mainly around the Kubernetes container orchestration, but the move to work more closely with private clouds is clear.

Amazon meanwhile, maintains a dominant public cloud position and doesn’t appear to be making many, if any, moves to work with private cloud vendors.

According to Technology Business Research analysts, AWS "is good at what it does but doesn’t do it all."

Questions can be raised by the industry as to whether AWS can accommodate a hybrid cloud model, which apparently many want to deploy. Although according to Kable analysts, this might not even be true as hybrid cloud spend is predicted to fall.

Analysts from TBR highlighted that the competitors offer different threats to AWS. Google offers constant innovation in cloud, mobile, BI and IoT, while Microsoft challenges with a large customer base and Azure’s ability to run across hybrid environments.

Despite these threats, AWS still runs ten times more computing power for customers than the next 14 combined, that isn’t a small gap for its competitors to make up.

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Additionally, despite questions whether it can offer a hybrid environment, it can.

Speaking to CBR, Ian Massingham, UK Technical Evangelist, AWS, said: "It’s common to deploy under a hybrid model. Large organisations develop IT over time and it’s not practical to flick a switch and change immediately to AWS."

So AWS can work with hybrid IT environments and the argument that it can’t do hybrid cloud and that private is more secure than public is wrong. "It’s a perception issue rather than a reality, private vendors benefit from selling a private cloud model."

Massingham is clear in his opinion that public cloud is being given a negative security image from private cloud vendors, he believes that AWS can both increase security and compliance in a public model.

AWS doesn’t really need to work with a private cloud partner, because it can offer than to customers anyway through its services packages.

According to Massingham, the company provides services that will allow businesses to partition off sections of the AWS cloud to give full control over it; you can even choose not to connect to the internet – a private cloud.

Again for Massingham, it is a perception issue, he stressed that a large number of its customers are running a private cloud with them.

These comments from Massingham appear to dispel any myths that AWS can’t run a hybrid cloud environment. So while Google and Microsoft work on partnerships, AWS is going it alone.

This does potentially raise questions about vendor lock-in, although it is relatively easy to deploy AWS with other options, the API’s can stick customers to its platform.

Although AWS has opened its code and supports open source vendors, some concern may be felt by those wanting it to support open source cloud frameworks like OpenStack or Cloud Foundry.

Discussing what AWS offers Massingham noted that it also offers KMS encryption tools, meaning that only you can access and store data, so while Google is only just announcing its encryption keys in beta, AWS is yet again ahead of its ‘rival’.

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