With last week's gale of Google cloud announcements, it'd be easy to think that the Chocolate Factory has a competitive offering compared with Amazon Web Services. But when you look at the number of services Google fields versus Amazon, that is simply not the case. For all the announcements last week – and there were several – …
The disparity between Amazon and Google/MS is even bigger than you outlined, because a few important services were not mentioned in your article: VPC, which enables businesses to run isolated private clouds on AWS, which can then be linked to other data centre locations via IPSec tunnel; PCI-DSS certification of their infrastructure -- both very important elements for bigger players. Also, S3, which is essentially storage that can optionally make content available via http (including whole entirely static sites to shift them off VMs). If you engineer your dynamic web application in a clever way, you can offload all static content to S3 and significantly reduce the requirement to scale up VMs under higher load, which can reduce your costs and increase performance.
And then there's DynamoDB, message queues (SQS), notification and email services (SNS, SES), Elastic Transcoder (media encoding etc)...
Seeing the pace at which AWS deploy new features, it'll take Google and MS a lot of time, effort and money to catch up (not to mention others, even less feature-rich clouds, if you can call them that), if that's at all possible. They may have missed the opportunity, which AWS have made lots of money with (while continuously reducing costs for customers).
Ok, I realise this sounds like I'm working for or affiliated with them... I'm not, actually. But I've seen a number of clouds under business/production conditions (most of them don't even deserve that name). I don't see any serious competitors out there, neither in terms of price nor offered features.
There were also a few features from Azure missing in the list. In-Memory Caching - Azure has AppFabric caching plus caching in web/worker roles, Message Queues - Service Bus and Azure Storage Queues, Notifications - this is part of Mobile Services, admittedly not as comprehensive an offering as Amazon's but still there, and you mentioned media encoding which exists in Azure as stated by the original article. Also, Blob storage is a comparable equivalent to S3 from what I understand.
Plus, in the original article, Route 53 was mentioned twice.
I'm not disagreeing that both Azure and Google lag behind Amazon, but personally I prefer their slow and steady approach which is resulting in some very well thought out services versus Amazon's sling features out as quickly as possible without them necessarily joining up as well as they could.
I suppose competitiveness all depends on what customers actually need. My company's requirements are fairly standard so from our perspective, Amazon and Azure both have all the features we need, but Azure is a much more coherent system in my opinion.
Nuke-because when Skynet takes over we'll be too busy fighting for our lives against our metal overlords to be comparing clouds.
I agree with AC @1:52. Plus our experience is that AWS is consistently less expensive. We've been using AWS for about 6 years and always look at the options for saving trying to use Google and Azure but they are not there. At least for us. Because we have been, and are likely to be, long term users we've taken advantage of the substantial discounts available when you commit to a three year deal. It's true you are locked in and can't then take advantage of price reductions but the commitment has saved us a lot of money. We calculate that the upfront cost is paid off after 9 months and that for 27 months we're saving 30%/month.
Aren't the cards stacked though?
If I remember rightly isn't Bezos on a "to hell with profit we want market share" trip? MS and Google are all about the profits. MS and Google might be able to offer competing, technically similar levels of service, but if Amazon are prepared to make little to no profit, I don't see how MS or Google can hope to compete with them in the long run.
Since when are more features equivalent to a better product ?
The only feature of use to me is an autoscaling platform and on that front, the only credible offering is Google App Engine.
clean_state, you have to compare like for like. App Engine is focused on application hosting and scaling (for a selected few programming languages only).
You can't create VMs there. The target group and purpose are different.
Cloud Based Software
It's important to solidify features that actually are useful to the user, especially in a cloud based platform.
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