How Amazon Brainwashed Us All (and Joyent Too)

How Amazon Brainwashed Us All (and Joyent Too)

How Amazon Brainwashed Us All (and Joyent Too)

When you enjoy a first-mover advantage in a new market as Amazon has for the last 7 years in the public cloud, you get to dictate the terms of the initial conversation (Think Henry Ford “You can have any color so long as it’s black”). That doesn’t mean we all have to keep listening, though, allowing them to brainwash everyone into thinking about cloud exclusively in a way that plays to their advantages. Instead of challenging Amazon to stick to the fundamentals of flexibility that supposedly necessitated the public cloud in the first place, companies like Joyent are following along…

Why cloud in the first place?

Remember this?

Capacity-Image

(Image Source – thanks, http://www.chades.net)

This is the diagram that justified public cloud, showing how in a classic on-premise solution you were forced into capital expense based on future capacity predictions. With cloud, we were told, you don’t have to make predictions which are ultimately doomed to failure anyway causing either an overcapacity spending nightmare or an under capacity business limiting situation. It’s supposed to be about flexibility.

At least, until it’s inconvenient for Amazon to be flexible.

The deal you REALLY make with Amazon

When you sign up for AWS, the deal you’re really making is that you’ll agree the following:

  • I’ll let you dictate to me what sizes my VMs can be. Instead of letting me pick how many CPU cores and how much RAM I need for my workload, I’ll choose from among 18 sizes you pick for me and pay for resources I don’t need. After all, those cookie-cutter sizes make the multi-tenancy density easier and more profitable for you so I’ll do my part by paying for things I won’t use.
  • I can’t possibly expect consistent performance from my VMs. Is that fair to you, really? Instead of holding you accountable for any quality, I’ll design around it with a deployment strategy that launches five VMs, runs performance benchmarks on each, and keeps the one good one.
  • If I need to scale, I’ll do so horizontally. Why even consider a vertical scaling option? All my apps were designed with an on-premise solution in mind where we could add memory whenever we wanted to. I’m sure running something intended for a single machine will run on multiple VMs just fine as my demand grows. What could possibly go wrong?
  • To get the best pricing, I’ll predict how much resource I expect to need and pay you a large upfront fee. I don’t even have to recoup all of it if my predictions were wrong. I’d just like to reserve that price for resources I might not use.

Wait a minute, what about that last one? Isn’t cloud supposed to be flexible resources on-demand instead of making a prediction on capacity need that will ultimately be incorrect? So how come the best AWS pricing comes with that exact same model?

Don’t ask Joyent, they just did the same exact thing.

A hypnotized market

The conversation around public cloud is starting to resemble that old Jon Lovitz SNL skit about the hypnotist with a Broadway show (Amazing Alexander, thanks Hulu) where too many people keep repeating the same lines Amazon feeds them over and over again. Amazon’s business model is to buy commodity hardware at insane volume direct from manufacturers and then sell a notion of flexibility that isn’t what it could be. It’s better than the old on-premise world, but when you overhear someone at a trade show debating the merits of a m1.xlarge vs a m2.xlarge vs m2.2xlarge instead of just how many CPU cores and how much RAM they actually need, there’s room for improvement.

So when Joyent announced support for reserved pricing in a model very similar to what Amazon is doing, not only are they chasing a competitor whose economies of scale they probably can’t match they are sending a dangerous signal to the marketplace that the status quo is just fine.

It isn’t.

Worldwide IT spend is estimated to be around $4 trillion and public cloud spend only $4 billion. What are the 99.9% waiting for? Something better.

Price/Performance > Price

There’s growing sentiment that price/performance should be a part of the purchase decision. Value with anything, including public cloud, is derived from a combination of factors and getting started with a performance characterization of public cloud providers has never been easier. Third party cloud benchmarking and performance reports, like those available from Cloud Spectator, can provide a guide for narrowing choices among IaaS vendors before running your own application-specific tests. Only then, and when considering flexibility factors, can you truly judge the total cost of ownership for a cloud solution.

The bottom line is that Amazon got to define the way the market things about public cloud functionality by going first, but that doesn’t mean they get to own the definition in perpetuity. As Rackspace CEO Lew Moorman recently saidWhen public cloud came out, and you could suddenly provision a server in a minute when it used to take 3 months, those were intoxicating advances. . . you get drunk on them, but when things settle in there are tradeoffs.” As a consumer, you owe it to yourself to explore what those tradeoffs are and in what choices Amazon is falling short in not providing.

By Pete Johnson,

Senior Director of Cloud Platform Evangelism, ProfitBricks

After a 19-year career with HP that included a 6-year stint running Enterprise Architecture for HP.com as well as being a founding member of HP’s public cloud efforts, Pete Johnson joined ProfitBricks in February 2013 as Senior Director of Cloud Platform Evangelism. @nerdguru on Twitter, Pete is active in social media, trade shows, and meet ups to raise awareness of Cloud Computing 2.0 from ProfitBricks.

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Data Merge

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Data Merge

By Christian Mirra Please feel free to share our comics via social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest. Clear attribution (Twitter example: via @cloudtweaks) to our original comic sources is greatly appreciated.

The Rise Of Threat Intelligence Sharing

The Rise Of Threat Intelligence Sharing

Threat Intelligence Sharing  Security has been discussed often on CloudTweaks and for good reason. It is one of the most sought after topics of information in the technology industry.  It is virtually impossible to wake up and not read a headline that involves the words “Breached, Hacked, Compromised or Extorted (Ransomware)“. Included (below) is an…

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Cloud Email Migration In today’s litigious society, preserving your company’s data is a must if you (and your legal team) want to avoid hefty fines for data spoliation. But what about when you move to the cloud? Of course, you’ve probably thought of this already. You’ll have a migration strategy in place and you’ll carefully…

Higher Education Institutions Increasing Cloud Use In Next 5 Years

Higher Education Institutions Increasing Cloud Use In Next 5 Years

Cloud Computing Advancing Edtech In a new research study by ResearchMoz it’s predicted that the global cloud computing market in higher education will grow steadily at a CAGR of 24.57% over the period 2016 to 2020. Making use of computing resources connected by either public or private networks provides the benefits of scalable infrastructure, greater…

Big Data and AI Hold Greatest Promise For Healthcare Technologies

Big Data and AI Hold Greatest Promise For Healthcare Technologies

Digital Healthcare Executives and Investors Addressed Opportunities and Challenges Facing the Industry New York City – September 21, 2016 – According to a survey of 122 founders, executives and investors in health-tech companies released today by Silicon Valley Bank, big data and artificial intelligence will have the greatest impact on the industry in the year ahead. Healthcare…

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Security In The IoT The network security market is experiencing a pressing and transformative change, especially around access control and orchestration. Although it has been mature for decades, the network security market had to transform rapidly with the advent of the BYOD trend and emergence of the cloud, which swept enterprises a few years ago.…

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

Governance, Risk and Compliance Businesses are under pressure to deliver against a backdrop of evolving regulations and security threats. In the face of such challenges they strive to perform better, be leaner, cut costs and be more efficient. Effective governance, risk and compliance (GRC) can help preserve the business’ corporate integrity and protect the brand,…

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Incident Response Planning – Part 1 The topic of cybersecurity has become part of the boardroom agendas in the last couple of years, and not surprisingly — these days, it’s almost impossible to read news headlines without noticing yet another story about a data breach. As cybersecurity shifts from being a strictly IT issue to…

Using Cloud Technology In The Education Industry

Using Cloud Technology In The Education Industry

Education Tech and the Cloud Arguably one of society’s most important functions, teaching can still seem antiquated at times. Many schools still function similarly to how they did five or 10 years ago, which is surprising considering the amount of technical innovation we’ve seen in the past decade. Education is an industry ripe for innovation…

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap You’re out of your mind if you think blocking access to file sharing services is filling a security gap. You’re out of your mind if you think making people jump through hoops like Citrix and VPNs to get at content is secure. You’re out of your mind if you think putting your…

Cloud Infographic – What Is The Internet of Things?

Cloud Infographic – What Is The Internet of Things?

What Is The Internet of Things? “We’re still in the first minutes of the first day of the Internet revolution.”  – Scott Cook The Internet of Things (IOT) and Smart Systems are based on the notions of Sensors, Connectivity, People and Processes. We are creating a new world to view and measure anything around us through…

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services Business Intelligence (BI) services have recently seen an explosion of innovation and choices for business owners and entrepreneurs. So many choices, in fact, that many companies aren’t sure which business intelligence company to use. To help offer you a solution, we’ve compiled a list of 12 Business Intelligence companies…

Cloud Infographic – Guide To Small Business Cloud Computing

Cloud Infographic – Guide To Small Business Cloud Computing

Small Business Cloud Computing Trepidation is inherently attached to anything that involves change and especially if it involves new technologies. SMBs are incredibly vulnerable to this fear and rightfully so. The wrong security breach can incapacitate a small startup for good whereas larger enterprises can reboot their operations due to the financial stability of shareholders. Gordon Tan contributed an…

5 Essential Cloud Skills That Could Make Or Break Your IT Career

5 Essential Cloud Skills That Could Make Or Break Your IT Career

5 Essential Cloud Skills Cloud technology has completely changed the infrastructure and internal landscape of both small businesses and large corporations alike. No professionals in any industry understand this better than IT pros. In a cutthroat field like IT, candidates have to be multi-faceted and well-versed in the cloud universe. Employers want to know that…

M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology: Where To Next?

M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology: Where To Next?

M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology Profiling 600 companies and including 553 supporting tables and figures, recent reports into the M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology ecosystems forecast opportunities, challenges, strategies, and industry verticals for the sectors from 2015 to 2030. With many service providers looking for new ways to fit wearable technology with their M2M offerings…

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud One of the least considered benefits of cloud computing in the average small or mid-sized business manager’s mind is the aspect of disaster recovery. Part of the reason for this is that so few small and mid-size businesses have ever contemplated the impact of a major disaster on their IT…