Futility of “tooling” a proprietary cloud.

I’v been pitched by a lot of entrepreneurs trying to make a better-than-original “tooling” for a proprietary cloud, particularly for AWS. Ain’t the attempt futile from the beginning? Amazon is smart, innovative and working hard to make its cloud offering comprehensive and has much larger arsenal to overdo anyone who dare to compete on their own turf. That is their party, the invitation cannot be taken for granted.

Let’s take NoSQL data-stores and DBMS vendors as examples. There are VC-backed companies out-there which are exclusively focused on outdoing Amazon with running MySQL/NoSQL on their own cloud, Xeround comes to mind, but many others also hoping their product will catch fire on EC2.

Well, if just single branding and plain convenience is not enough , how about these two exclusive and “unfair” competative advatnages in Amazon arselnal:

  • [My unverified assumption is] that DynamoDB has storage integrated into its fabric whenever all the rest must use slower EBS.
  • Not it is just integrated, but as announced by Amazon, it uses SSD-backed storage. SSD-backed storage is not available, as of today, for DynamoDB competitors running on AWS. So competitors must continue to use ordinary EBS. That is in fact a double-kick, first the mere fact of using different hardware for a competitive advantage and second, the announcment itself as catalyst to trigger migration.

So, future EMR, may also have an integrated storage as well as other hardware optimization, making Hadoop more efficient on AWS and good if so.  Same goes to RDS and other current and future PaaS-related services.

Do I accuse Amazon on wrongdoing? Of course not! They brought the cloud to the main-street while others were only talking about it they and made large-scale computing affordable to all and continue dropping prices passing their economies-of-scale savings on customers and also keeps optimizing and enhancing their infrastructure constantly, and were good to their shareholders also. However, as any proprietary and monopolistic platform,  they do hinder some outside-of-Amazon innovation. No matter how good they are, we don’t want only one company in the world doing cloud-infrastructure stuff for the rest. That’s why, OpenStack are so extremely important for the industry. If OpenStack will be widely adopted then infrastructural and “tooling” kind of innovation could go directly into OpenStack for greater good and fairer monetization model for the author.









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