In the public cloud Amazon Web Services (AWS) is currently the undisputed leader. Regarding private or hybrid cloud solutions providers such as Microsoft and HP are in a better position. AWS itself has currently no own offering in this area. Instead, an exclusive partnership with Eucalyptus Systems was received in March 2012. Eucalyptus is some kind of an image of the basic AWS functions. This strategic decision is understandable and will have consequences for the future.
The cooperation between AWS and Eucalyptus
In March 2012, AWS and Eucalyptus Systems, a provider of a private cloud infrastructure software that can be used to build up the basic functions of the Amazon cloud in the own data center, have decided to work together in closer. This cooperation was strengthened by Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos and has the background to support the better migration of data between the Amazon Cloud and an Eucalyptus private cloud. Furthermore, and even more important is that the customer should be able to use the same management tools and their knowledge for both platforms. In addition, the Amazon Web Services will provide Eucalyptus with further information to improve the compatibility with the AWS APIs.
The competition is catching up
Although it is currently very rosy in the public cloud, the future lies in the hybrid cloud. In addition, many companies are flirting with their own private cloud rather than changing into the public cloud. This means that the private respectively the hybrid cloud gain increasingly important. Here the Amazon Web Services, except for the virtual private cloud, offer nothing. Microsoft and HP already have a very balanced portfolio that offers solutions and services both for the public and for the private cloud. Furthermore, both have a large customer base.
Also, another point is clear. Where Microsoft and HP focus on the big enterprises, Amazon Web Services are presently the Mecca for startups. The success speaks for itself. However, if we look at Amazon’s efforts in recent months, the target direction is clear. AWS needs and wants in the enterprise. But that’s only possible with a private / hybrid cloud strategy. Therefore Amazon will arrive at some point where it is actively looking to conquer these markets aggressively, too.
Amazon is a service provider
AWS did not make any acquisitions in the cloud space so far, because they easily do not have to. As an innovation leader, they set the standards in the public cloud. In the private / hybrid cloud, it looks different. Here, in my point of view, there is almost no expertise. Even if Amazon operates its own data centers, the operation of a quasi-standard solution for enterprise is different. Here, Microsoft and HP have years of experience, and thus a clear advantage. The Amazon Web Services are a typical service provider. This means they deliver their services from the cloud, which will simply be consumed only. Cloud software for the mass market is not developed. Providing, delivering, maintaining and rolling out updates and new releases as well as appease the customers the experience is missing. Therefore, the cooperation with Eucalyptus has been the first right step. What is not part of the core business will be outsourced. Just as Amazon market cloud computing, they seem to live it themselves.
However, Amazon will want to have more influence on the private and hybrid cloud, and also want to enjoy a piece of this cake. Therefore, the next logical step will be to acquire Eucalyptus Systems. On the one hand it is about more impact on Eucalyptus. Because even though Marten Mickos has promoted the cooperation with AWS, he will not bow to anything that Amazon requires. On the other hand, the hybrid cloud integration needs to be strengthened. In addition, qualified staff is needed for private cloud consulting, which Eucalyptus including its affiliates also brings along.
It’s merely a matter of time
When Eucalyptus Systems is taken over by Amazon is a matter of time. Perhaps in 2013 or in 2014/2015. In any case, it will happen. How Eucalyptus is then integrated is difficult to say. I assume that Eucalyptus will initially operate independently and put under the umbrella brand of Amazon described as „An Amazon company“. According to the saying, concentrate on your core business, AWS will continue to focus on the public cloud and quite look how the hybrid and private cloud will develop under their own influence. In any case, with Eucalyptus they would have the right solution for their needs in their own portfolio.