back to article Attack! Run. WTF? A decade of enterprise class fear and uncertainty with AWS

Ten years ago, Oracle was mid-snack, taking a break between swallowing PeopleSoft for $10bn and Sun Microsystems for $8.5bn. Microsoft had settled a long-running feud with Sun over something petty involving Java for $20m and had begun designing its vision of how the internet should be programmed with its new BFF, IBM. …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazon is the Walmart of the IT world

    Destroying everything in its path until there is no competition.

    What happens when Jeff B gets tired of AWS?

    Walmart is closing stores all over the USA. The result is that there are virtually no stores for tens/hundreds of miles around. In walks Amazon home delivery.

    Simple really.

    1. Sil

      Re: Amazon is the Walmart of the IT world

      Walmart is no Amazon, but you shouldn't underestimate it, even in the e-commerce space.

      1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Re: Amazon is the Walmart of the IT world

        We can do IT for you Wholesale and then retail IT. What is stopping Walmart opening up it's shops to sell wracked space in empty spaces?

        I imagine that there are plenty of fit young lads with empty pick ups looking for work.

        And what is it about Amazon anyway that makes them so attractive to IT workers. I worked for them once and they were fucking shit. I don't think that it would take very much for any company to instil pride and financial compensation to anyone that has initiative when the only competition is Amazon.

        Am I wrong?

  2. Sil

    IMO, Microsoft is tremendously undervalued in the cloud space, and still seen as an AWS-Mee-too trying to defend its software business.

    The pace of innovation of Azure, the willingness to work with competitors services, softwares, programming langages and platforms are often ignored or minimized. Arguably, it has an open source stack (.NET) that no one can rival and that will, sooner than later, cause a lot of pain to Java even and especially in the enterprise space, because Oracle did nothing interesting with Java.

    So yes, AWS is the king, and sure, Microsoft can still improve its offerings in many ways. Nobody will be fired for signing with AWS, but some may regret ignoring the Redmond giant in the future.

    Also for all the brilliance of Amazon, it isn't a strong company financially. It hasn't by far the deep pockets of Microsoft, Oracle or IBM for acquisitions or other investments. Ideally, AWS should become independent from Amazon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      .NET is not open source. Just a "core" subset of it. Mono didn't go far.

      MS approach of " Yes, .NET core works on platform X, but if you want feature Y it's only available on Windows" or "Yes, SQL Sever core is available on platform X, but if you want feature Z it's available only on Windows" may not help too much.

      Oracle and Java are far more platform agnostic, but they have a huge burned of excessive costs, and "design by committee" and so-so implementations issue.

      IBM that should have understood "the cloud is the new leased mainframe" business model better than others, is still stuck into its corporate ice era.

    2. sysconfig


      Microsoft is tremendously undervalued in the cloud space

      Microsoft Azure, in my opinion (based on working with a huge global client at the moment), has two major flaws:

      - not the best publicity with regards to stability in the last 12-18 months

      - too expensive, specifically for Windows instances

      Let me expand on the second item. All instances are more expensive than in AWS, regardless of them being Windows or Linux instances, except for A0, which is almost useless for Windows Server with its 0.75GB RAM.

      Now, if they don't want to or can't compete on price for Linux instances, I understand. But for Windows I absolutely don't, because they could decide to significantly reduce the margin they take for the licenses within Azure, if they wanted to, while other cloud providers would have to pay the full price.

      They could over night destroy all other clouds on pricing for anything related to Windows and bring in a lot of Windows shops. The question is, why don't they? It seems the obvious thing to do. In the meantime, many Windows shops will consider Azure, realise that they don't offer a lot in comparison to AWS, and are even more expensive for Windows instances... so guess what they are doing? They stay where they are.

      In other words, Microsoft are for one reason or another not willing to bring in a lot of customers they could easily convince. My guess is that they are more comfortable selling licenses to AWS and others and at the same time milking the hell out of the customers who are willing to pay for much more expensive instances (which really is mostly down to the licences if you compare the pricing between Windows and Linux instances across clouds).

      1. pixl97

        Re: @Sil

        >Now, if they don't want to or can't compete on price for Linux instances, I understand.

        From my understanding this is the point of the Windows 'Nano' edition they are working on for Windows 10 Server.

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge


      "The pace of innovation of Azure, the willingness to work with competitors services, softwares, programming langages and platforms are often ignored or minimized. "

      3 little words.

      Enfold, extend, extinguish.

      Anyone who knows a little bit of history won't trust MS.

      For a very good reason.

  3. Aitor 1

    Too expensive.. but not for startups

    Cloud computing is very very expensive.. but if you have a startuo, you can concentrate on delivering the product and pay more for a service that "just works".

    As for a big CO using a public cloud.. well, it speaks volumes about their mismanagement.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AWS was NOT launched using excess capacity

    "when the firm began selling excess capacity"

    Seems like the old excess capacity myth will never die.

  5. TaabuTheCat

    Not quite

    ":Jeff Bezos' web services unit delivered not just a technology platform but way of consuming business tech: paying for what you consume..."

    As Nate keeps pointing out (and rightfully so), no, you don't pay for what you consume, you pay for what you provision. Ignore that distinction at your own financial peril.

    1. sysconfig

      Re: Not quite

      you don't pay for what you consume, you pay for what you provision

      That's only true for some of the resources. EC2 instances cost you nothing, if they are in stopped state, for example. What does cost you is the attached volume. That is, however, just a tiny fraction in comparison to compute resource costs, and if you can engineer your application to not use any fixed storage on the instance, you can do with the volatile so-called instance storage, which is also free regardless of whether or not the instance is running.

      And then there are examples to the contrary, where you pay if you do not use them, and only then. Such as Elastic IPs, which cost you if you have them allocated but not associated with any of your resources (to avoid people hoarding IPs).

      Other service are merely usage based: S3 charges you for actual storage used and transactions. You can create tens of empty buckets and don't pay a dime.

      Well, all this just proves how complicated and unpredictable moving to the cloud can be. It can be cheaper, but most of the time it's not, especially if applications have to be re-engineered to leverage all the bells and whistles.

      For most other clouds I have seen (Rackspace, Softlayer/IBM, pretty much anything OpenStack based) you're absolutely right though. They don't distinguish between running or stopped state as far as costs are concerned. But this article was mainly about AWS and its 10th anniversary.

  6. nilfs2

    IT dinosaurs...

    ...are what is holding the cloud's expansion from going faster, not just the "cloud unfriendly" IT vendors injecting FUD to customers, but IT people not liking other people doing it's job, usually better and cheaper, just like hipsters whining that books are better than ebooks and refusing to change.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    don't forget office 365

    Microsoft put their main cash-cow, Office, into the cloud, and that's doing very well.

    And, of course, large companies will use Express Route to connect to Office 365.

    Once that Infrastructure is in place, Azure (which can share Express Route connections) becomes a very viable option.

    And Google? A whole article about cloud, and they didn't get a single mention!

    It's a new world indeed.

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      And Google? A whole article about cloud, and they didn't get a single mention!

      I can remember Open Office when it used to connect directly to Google Docs. I presume that has changed since I moved onto Libre Office. I notice for one thing that the direct import export tool on Libre Office doesn't have a Google connection. Any ideas why that is?

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    In truth I thought IBM would get the idea cloud --> Remote IT services --Big mainframe

    IOW their mainframe business should be leading their work because they get the issues.

    But apparently not.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Extending the metaphor until it breaks

    The 1914 metaphor is a good one, in so far as it highlights the folly of the "generals" using cavalry tactics against a industrialized, mass-produced war machine. Only in this case the generals are not sending their men to destroy one another with the self-same tools. Perhaps attempting to get SQL Server to run on Google Compute might be such an attempt, I don't know.

    I'm very interested in why it is that alternatives to AWS have not coalesced. We all know that any one of IBM, MSFT or GOOG are quite capable of running bit barns. We all know that they have the programming chops to make provisioning, billing, running VMs or containers easy for the end user. and we know that the savvier CIOs are well aware that trading vendor lockin by HPE, IBM and CIsco for cloud lockin by AWS is not a very smart thing to do. So why aren't AWS's competitors feverishly working on a set of cloud standards that let workloads truly move between clouds without any stickiness? Right now the choice is AWS, and sign away my rights, or OpenStack, and never sleep a full night again.

  10. CPU

    Vision: Is knowing when to change, not necessarily how

    Oracle's problem is that is has, and continues to be, very hostile to any environment that is not on-premis i.e. ask Oracle about a license for a virtual environment and then go have a stiff drink while you recover. As such Oracle continues to be in denial about Cloud\ virtual stuff, maybe if it keeps the doors closed and curtain drawn that bad thing will go away?

    IBM: LOL, really, "...ass with both hands" is a phrase that springs to mind. Their standard approach to any sitruation is buy a company, eat some of the assets, then forget they even own an office full of talents, thus leaving it on the shelf to be closed out at a later date (because they forgot what they had).

    Microsoft: I'm surprised the boys from Redmond got with the program so quickly and are doing it so well, not AWS well, but certainly well enough. They are beginning to utilise a key adavantage- licenses. If you can't get a much cheaper solution off Azure for Microsoft products, then something isn't right. This also fits in with MS long held dream of everyone renting their software ( ala Adobe ). Subscription' is the key: MS needs to stop porting their their insanley complicated licensing into Cloud, and just focus on how insanley cheap it could be for users to join on a monthly sub basis.

    AWS continues to make me go WOW! And it can only get better.

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