AWS may dominate, but it's not necessarily best for business

Enterprises need multiple cloud options, which no single provider has -- and AWS competitors need to focus on its gaps

Coming off its record-breaking re:Invent show last week, there isn't much you can find wrong with Amazon Web Services (AWS) these days. Don't think that hasn't been noticed by the other public cloud providers, which are looking at AWS's dominant market position as a scenario they never actually thought would happen.

These days, I hear a lot of snarky remarks from the other cloud providers and, in some cases, downright anger as the scope of that dominance becomes clear.

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InfoWorld's Eric Knorr saved me some effort by providing key stats on the growth of Amazon Web Services:

  • "According to a recent Gartner report, AWS has five times the compute capacity of its nearest 14 cloud competitors combined. And it's growing that capacity at a prodigious rate."
  • "At re:Invent, James Hamilton, an AWS vice president and distinguished engineer, claimed that every day Amazon adds to AWS the equivalent of the infrastructure necessary to power its $7 billion e-commerce business."

In addition, last week, Morgan Stanley analyst Scott Devitt went as far as to predict that AWS's revenue could increase from its current $3 billion level to $30 billion by 2022, GigaOm reported.

Traditional enterprise technology providers such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle -- which believe they own the enterprise -- are now seeing AWS penetrate their enterprise territory. In response, they are rapidly ramping up public cloud infrastructure, spending billions of dollars on acquisitions, and building new cloud services. However, enterprises of all sizes keep moving steadily toward AWS -- and not paying much attention to the other options.

Most enterprises aren't really selecting the right public cloud provider. Instead, most are picking the most popular provider, which happens to be AWS. Effective enterprise cloud solutions should be made up of many types of cloud technologies, including private and public IaaS, private and public PaaS, cloud management platforms, and use-based accounting.

Rarely does a single provider offer all the required technology, which is why it doesn't make sense to pick one vendor, even one with AWS's scope. If a single provider does provide all the required technology, perhaps you don't understand the entirety of your needs.

I advise enterprises to focus on getting the right solution, not going for what seems to be popular. And I urge competitors to focus on providing the best cloud solution that they can, filling in the gaps in the marketplace rather than trying to replicate AWS. Trust me: There's plenty of cloud to go around.

This article, "AWS may dominate, but it's not necessarily best for business," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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