One of the biggest strengths of Amazon's cloud is its network of partners who offer products and services on top of its virtual machines. Through the AWS marketplace, companies like SAP, MongoDB, Alfresco, Riverbed, and dozens of others have all certified their products to run on AWS clouds. Will more partners join the lineup?
AWS sets the tone in the cloud IaaS market. When it drops its prices, Microsoft has vowed to match it on core services. When it rolls out new virtual machines instance types, Rackspace does so too on the same day. Perhaps this comes down to the fact that AWS had a multi-year head start compared to many of its competitors in terms of offering public cloud services. But others are catching up.
How will AWS maintain its lead? Last year Amazon released RedShift at re:Invent, a data warehousing service. Will there be another major product released this year?
Some areas where Amazon could continue to move is widening its scope of databases, data storage options, and virtual machine instance sizes and types. Another area it could pivot toward is more tools for developers to build applications atop AWS infrastructure. AWS already has software development kits and auto-scaling services like Elastic BeanStalk to help deploy applications, but it could move further into the platform as a service and application development markets.
Senior Writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing for Network World and NetworkWorld.com. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW. Read his Cloud Chronicles here for all the news from AWS re:Invent.