back to article Oh snap – AWS daddy disses IT's 'old guard': You're so 2000-and-late

Amazon Web Services boss Andy Jassy has fired back at the technology "old guard" for coming late to cloud bearing "ill-advised" offerings while committing his team to a two-year features rollout to win big customers. AWS and Amazon infrastructure senior vice president Jassy on Tuesday said he reckoned traditional on-premises …


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  2. K

    private clouds offered the same benefits as AWS

    Andy.. I completely agree with you, AWS just rocks, its gives

    Constant and high profile outages

    Really shit support and communication

    Overhyped expectations

    Overpriced and underwhelming performance

    Yep, AWS is truly amazing..

    On a serious note though, Cloud does have some really big benefits for some - but please spare me this old-guard bullshit, its about choosing the right tool for the right job. My job is to keep our IT systems up and running so the company can continue to function, AWS simply cannot deliver this level of service and support at a reasonable cost.. As your average hobbyist already knows, DIY is cheaper!

    1. IT Hack

      Re: private clouds offered the same benefits as AWS

      Indeed...wasn't there a bit of an Amazon outage just last week?

    2. John Pollard

      Re: private clouds offered the same benefits as AWS

      I switched our servers to AWS several years ago and would never look back to the dark days of having to manage our own server hardware. The cost has more than halved and price reductions keep coming. Performance and reliability have been very good for us. The customer support has been excellent. As a small IT business, I can not praise the AWS cloud enough.

      1. egericson

        Re: private clouds offered the same benefits as AWS

        I'd love to see your numbers on your OpEx costs being halved under AWS. I ran the same ROI calculations for us (we're colocated) and came up with a 6-7 month ROI... for building it ourselves.

        AWS is ghastly expensive for anything but temporary surge capacity, I'm consistently stunned when I hear about companies running their full time Operations on it. (e.g. Reddit, which is still losing money as an org, even with only 28 people)

      2. K

        Re: private clouds offered the same benefits as AWS

        Jon - As I said, Cloud has benefit for some. I am not pro or anti-cloud, it all comes down to cost, circumstances and requirements. But I found the complete opposite with costs, purchasing and hosting our own kit in a datacenter cost a 1/4 less..

        I work for a small Financial Services business, our IT is our life blood and I demand a reliable 5 9's uptime. Any amount of downtime can cost us a lot of money in profit. and I can't see Amazon reimbursing us the thousands of pounds in lost sales that any outage would cost. Nor can it repair our reputation with the customers..

        I would also take exception with Andy Jassy's calling people old-guards... He's the "daddy" who can't deliver the necessary uptime like its 2001.. so berating people because they want a better service or alternative, well it does absolutely nothing to convince me or others that Amazon is capable of respecting requirements or the ability to deliver them..

    3. John Sanders

      Re: private clouds offered the same benefits as AWS

      """Cloud does have some really big benefits for some"""

      Amazon, Microsoft....

      1. John Sanders

        Re: private clouds offered the same benefits as AWS

        Oh and Adobe!

  3. davenewman

    All your data belongs to the NSA

    Forgot another advantage of AWS. Anything stored there without your own encryption is readable by the NSA and GCHQ, plus their contractors and the companies connected to the military who bribe them for your commercial details.

  4. ItsNotMe

    More unbiased opinions...

    ...from people SELLING commercial cloud services.

  5. egericson

    AWS is like a rental car

    Great when you need temporary wheels and capacity, but lousy (and expensive) to live with for any length of time.

    As "K" put it, the public cloud is just another tool in the IT/Ops toolbox. It's great for somethings, and bad for others.

  6. The Godfather


    I'm not selling it...but he's right.

  7. Erik4872

    Horses for courses

    AWS, Azure and the other big infrastructure clouds are great for the huge wave of social media startups that have popped up lately. Where else can you buy and provision 10,000 servers instantly to support a Web-only, noncritical application?

    I don't think it's pointless for a large enough company to build a private cloud. Even in medium size organizations, providing servers, storage, rack space and network is a long process. And projects change so fast that you end up having a lot of unused capacity when something gets killed, just waiting around to be redeployed.

    I'm a little tired of the "old guard" remarks from the Pinterests, Twitters, and Facebooks of the world. There is a huge difference between a disposable playtime app and the stuff that a business relies on to keep the books, process customer orders, etc. For testing, I'm a serious fan of AWS and others. I can build and rip up whatever I want as long as I have the credit card to pay for it, and don't have to spend a dime on lab equipment except for things that I really don't want to host. For's headed that way, but businesses are probably going to prefer the traditional ASP or hosting model rather than the public cloud route, or they'll go hybrid which in my mind is the right thing to do.

  8. Captain DaFt


    "It's not cost effective, it's arcane – it's not the way the world is moving."

    What is your and your business's security worth?

    Arcane: known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret.

    Sounds like what the doctor ordered for data storage!

    Some people don't like the way the world is currently moving, away from privacy and information security.

    (Walks off humming "Ain't Nobody's Business", and meaning it!)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Original sin ..

    We might be from the year 2000 but we're not a US cloud, so the world will be our oyster and AWS will be left to fight over the domestic market and the international clueless.

  10. Tom 35

    The thing that gets me

    Is companies taking something that people have been doing for years and saying. Oh it has a network port on it, it's cloud. It's connected to the internet in some way, it's cloud. It's a real life Dilbert cartoon.

  11. despairing citizen

    One Size Fits All... or not

    yet again the magic bean salesman states our magic bullet one size fits all solution is the answer to all your needs!

    Economies of Scale?.. if you're a small company, yes AWS is probably going to be a better bang per buck than DIY, but I seriously doubt Amazon can buy tins cheaper than any other large company.

    No company that I have seen has put on it's annual report words to the effect that, "by the way chaps, if our cloud provider does an Enron or Lehman's, we are out of business the day after, and your shares will be worth less than marconi stock"

    Which kind of shows that the senior managers responsible for taking these decisions in publically listed companies have either (a) decided to deliberately aviod making the appropriate corporate risk statements, or (b) have no bloody clue as to what they are signing for, but the vendor supplied spread sheet and PPT looks good for my next quaterly bonus.

    1. Nate Amsden

      Re: One Size Fits All... or not

      How small is small?

      Is 1 server small enough? As a geek myself I run a 1U server in a local colo for $200/mo. Server was roughly $3k (4 cores 16GB 4x2TB disks hardware RAID 10). Free vSphere on top, 6-8 VMs, 100mbit unlimited bandwidth(on a backbone with multiple 10G connections). If it breaks I can fix it, don't have to worry about it vanishing. Worst case if the network is down (hasn't happened in 2 years) I can drive to the server in 45 minutes and investigate with on site assistance.

      The company I work for is small too - combined our internet operations is roughly two racks (excluding internal IT etc) - ROI for doing that in house vs EC2 was something around 8-10 months. I've seen larger operations have similar or less ROI. I've yet to really see an ROI for doing things in house at greater than about a year. Running around 450 VMs at the moment, doing something similar in EC2 maybe looking at $150k/mo, and you'll be losing sleep at night waiting for the time that something just goes *poof* and causes a big outage.

      I'm the first one to be happy to pay a premium for a good service, but today's IaaS clouds don't provide that. They charge a premium for very poor service for the most part (from what I heard the enterprise cloud players are similar - I talked with one sales guy a couple years back who used to try to sell enterprise cloud DR - after he left the company he admitted they were constantly struggling to get the service to work).

      1. despairing citizen

        Re: One Size Fits All... or not

        450 VM is not a small it operation, even if your company only has a few employees, anything over the 200 mark puts you into the medium category (i.e. one UK £330m/pa cashflow organisation I know had around 270 machines and 4k+ employees, although they could have condensed that if they planned a bit better, and had less "budget code bun fights")

        The other issue is around the ROI calculations, many organisations do not match like for like, very frequently by accident and not design, and very few even consider the risk management implications. IaaS and SaaS have real effects to the corporate risk profile, and frequently the Risk Manager is not even informed let alone consulted when a mission critical chunk of the business is bet on somebody elses kit.

        As a PM I have used IaaS and SaaS on occasion, for example a useful but non-mission critcal web system that I (and the network and security managers) did seriously not wnat inside our network perimeter (if i'm loading this kit on to a comercial cloud to ensure it is a barge pole away, just think about what unsavoury characters might be doing with malice afore throught!)

        My point was that like all tools invented for IT, they have their uses, it's why it was invented in the first place what really annoys me, is that every time a new tool comes out it gets presented as the only and absolute solution to all IT needs.

  12. Nate Amsden

    Party like it's 1999

    Is what the AWS cloud is like. Too much cookie cutter stuff on the IaaS side.. PaaS is more flexible.

    I remember meeting Andy and his "chief scientist" (forgot his name) a few years ago at their HQ where we politely vented our complaints about their shitty cloud. And got back the typical answers "yes we know that..and that..that will be fixed in the near future/next version" over and over.. the folks I was with said it wasn't their first visit(though I think it was the last) - and they had gotten the same excuses before. The CTO of my company after the meeting about shit himself saying he'll never take me back there again - I told him I was holding back, I really was, I was fighting the urge to just go full porno on the whole topic but I did not. My boss who was there too agreed he said he could see me constraining myself from unleashing the real honesty.

    To this day they have not addressed pretty much any of the concerns we raised time and time again more than three years ago now.

    They just operate so differently, they don't know/care how most of the rest of the world operates - if your not doing things the same way they are then in their eyes your doing it wrong. It's sad they are so arrogant about such things. Built to fail puts an inordinate amount of pressure on the customer that need not be there with the technology that we have today.

    I tell people now using EC2 for anything other than this one use case:

    * Highly dynamic environment (constantly scaling up and down on a daily or even hourly basis)

    * Highly resilient application that can work in a built to fail environment.

    Then your using EC2 for the wrong stuff. You may still be able to get it to work -- (the counter example I give is using HP 3PAR arrays for Hadoop storage), but it likely won't be pretty, cheap, or easy to use. At least using 3PAR storage for Hadoop while it won't be cheap - at least it'll be pretty, and easy to use. (I know a customer that uses HDS/BlueArc for Hadoop storage after having a terrible experiences with hardware failures on whitebox they went the other extreme with enterprise storage - so there are folks out there that do it!). Hell you could go full blades + vmware +3PAR storage with hadoop. It'll be costly - but it'll be easy to manage(as in fully redundant), and it'll perform pretty well too (probably not to bare metal performance but it won't be bad either). Not saying it's the right solution for something like Hadoop - but it's easier to make that work, than it is to make EC2 "work" for just about anything else.

    The last two companies I have worked at both deployed their apps from day 1 in EC2 cloud (current company moved out 18 months ago) and in neither case did the application support built to fail, nor was the scale constantly changing(end result = drive me to the brink of insanity). Things were static for months basically.

    Companies before that even before using EC2 situation was the same - no built to fail, no constant changing scale requirements. Static load for months (except for growth etc). Same goes back over a half dozen companies and a decade+ of experiences both personal and from friends. . situation is very common.

    The use case that is best for EC2 is the .001% use case.

    I talk to companies on a regular basis that either have moved out (of EC2 or other clouds though obviously EC2 is the dominant player), are planning on moving out, or want to move out and don't know how. Unfortunately stories like this rarely make the's always people moving "into cloud" not the other way around.. really REALLY frustrating. The reasons why are somewhat obvious - high costs, poor performance, poor quality, bad support. They(management folk) don't realize what they are getting into when they sign up.

  13. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    There's no compression algorithm for experience

    I have to agree with that statement, but experience dictates that company data is confidential and more than important to the company.

    All this cloud hoopla cannot convince me that companies are going to converge en masse and send their customer contact list, contract details and contract prices to some 3rd party that is under NSA scrutiny. Not to mention their production procedures and industrial secrets.

    We've already heard that NSA used its powers to scuttle a private commercial agreement. It pains me to think that there are CEOs that are actually going to disregard that little piece of news and go ahead and put all their essential company details in a cloud anyway.

    Oh well, it will become a good cautionary tale when said companies fold because their confidential data was splashed all over the web.

    1. John Sanders

      Re: There's no compression algorithm for experience

      """It pains me to think that there are CEOs that are actually going to disregard that little piece of news and go ahead and put all their essential company details in a cloud anyway."""

      To most CEOs the only difference between having the files locally stored or having them on the NSA servers is essentially none.

      Do they see or have an idea of the IT infrastructure they command? Nope, do they see the NSA one? Nope.

      Do they care? Nope, after all they are not in the IT business sector, so they think technology is not important to them.

    2. despairing citizen
      Big Brother

      Re: There's no compression algorithm for experience

      Since US inteligence services have been caught giving US companies assisatnce, I would be very nevrous putting commercial data on kit that they can rift through and give to their buddies, whether this is officially sanctioned or via the "old boys" network.

      For example one can imagine a theoretical situation where that certain information held by BP may be useful to Haliburton in pursuing legal action to the detrement of BP, Haliburton has strong ties to the DC machinery, it would therfore be prudent to expected that leaks will happen.

  14. fLaMePrOoF

    I was there yesterday, and while I accept these quotes and references are accurate, I have to say this story is straining out a gnat...

    While the event lasted a full day with several keynote speakers and sessions from AWS partners, this whole article is based on a couple of minutes from Andy Jassy's presentation which charted the growth of AWS since 2007.

    AWS boasting about their dominant market position? Definitely and rightly so. Tanks on the lawn? Hardly.

  15. Den

    Silly debate

    Like all IT debates, this one is silly.

    The Cloud is growing rapidly, and the server market continues to decline - as fast as the PC one really. These are the facts (as reported by numerous analysts and the Register)

    All companies that have bashed Public Cloud before have launched their offerings since.

    In a few years it will all be over. Like it was for mainframes and numerous other technologies since.

    ROI on the cloud is clear, and it is far cheaper than build - the reason for discrepancy is that no IT person counts it properly - they always leave out massive chunks (most frequently themselves), but also space, redeployment, power costs, you name it.

    Ultimately, the reason why all companies, not just SMB, but large ones, public sector choose AWS, is very simple: got to market and as a vendor to quote for 1) build your own (you manage) 2) colo, and build - they manage, or 3) private cloud - then compare to AWS. Having helped companies (as independent client representative) to make the choice, it was always AWS...

    Final point. For vast vast majority of businesses, NSA / GCHQ is completely irrelevant. Unsurprisingly, most companies globally do simple things - build houses, make chairs, cars and vacuum cleaners. Sell travel, or insurance, or feed people. The dont have trade secrets beyond their budgets and forecasts, and dont care if spooks see them. Public Sector too. Does it really matter that NSA has a list of school kids in Fyfe? Really matter? Worth paying 10 times over what your "local DYI" ICT provider charges you?

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