Cloud infrastructure: Soon there'll be just one that counts

With recent price drops and better offerings, Amazon.com seems unstoppable as a cloud infrastructure provider

One company dominates the infrastructure services cloud space: Amazon.com through its Amazon Web Service (AWS). When you talk to other infrastructure services providers, they describe their position in the market relative to AWS and even mimic the way AWS deploys its technology.

Amazon.com is further taunting the other infrastructure services providers by rolling out two premium support tiers and announcing a 50 percent price cut on existing premium plans. As a result, rivals such as Rackspace and GoGrid will have to chop pricing as well.

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AWS is to infrastructure services what Saleforce.com is to software as a service (SaaS). It leads the market, and the remaining providers are left way behind. It has an excellent brand name in the cloud computing space and has made only a few missteps thus far. AWS appears to be unstoppable.

The reality is that the infrastructure services business is a much more commoditized space than most people understand. Because storage and compute services are their core offerings, infrastructure services rarely give the sense of a product behind the scenes -- they don't have an interface that demonstrates richness and value as with SaaS. Indeed, you could go with one infrastructure services provider one day and another the next, and the users wouldn't have a clue.

I believe that Amazon.com understands the commodity nature of the infrastructure services marketplace, so it is looking to grab share now, with the goal of making profits later. The end result is that Amazon.com will outmarket and outsell others in the infrastructure services space. After all, for a user, AWS is the No. 1 brand and innovator in the infrastructure services space -- and it is now cheaper than the rest.

A single company -- Amazon.com -- is rising quickly to the top of the infrastructure services market. It won't be a group of providers running neck and neck for your business.

This article, "Cloud infrastructure: Soon there'll be just one that counts," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and follow the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.

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