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AWS says private clouds are vaporware

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) Adam Selipsky has told an event in Sydney, Australia, that private clouds aren't really clouds.

There's an element of “of course he would say that, wouldn't he” about Selipsky's remarks, which were made at an AWS Summit at which he preached to the choir by reciting AWS' well-worn mantra about low capital expenditure and elasticity as being very desirable qualities for information infrastructure.

After nearly an hour of such droning, however, Selipsky slipped in a quick and vicious dig at private clouds, which he said are founded on the idea that “you can do the cloud in a non-cloud place.”

“You don't get the benefits of the cloud without the cloud,” he continued. “If you are buying gear, it is clearly capital expenditure and is likely still expensive. If you buy at enterprise level you have to guess at capacity and you don't get speed and agility.”

Selipsky then cited Forrester research that found few private cloud users have implemented self service dashboards, automation or chargeback.

“There is a lot of talk about private cloud,” he said. “If the thing I am using has these benefits it is cloud. If not it is something else.” Selipsky also announced that AWS has opened a support centre in Sydney, Australia, but won't say how many people work in it or which markets the serve.

What we do know is that the new facility is part of the cloudy company's premium support service, an offering that promises 15-minute support from named personnel for those willing to stump up the required levels of cash, and lesser support for others. AWS also told us it was opened in response to customer demand from 14,000 local customers.

What we don't know is whether those users have been burning up support lines to other AWS support centres, and doing so at times they probably don't appreciate having to work. Australia's business day currently coincides with the USA's evening to wee hours and all of Europe's night, hardly times AWS staff in those locations will be at their best on the phone.

Without knowing how many people work in the centre or which markets they serve beyond Australia and New Zealand, it's hard to know just how significant the centre is. If we assume it's intended mainly for local customers, it represents some capacity that could ease the load for after hours support staff in other AWS facilities.

If we assume the new support team is part of AWS' global efforts, the fact Australia's language is English means more native English speakers are now available around the clock … AWS if customers beyond the antipodes can decipher the Australian accent.

AWS also announced that its software marketplace is now available in Australia and New Zealand, delivered from the Sydney data centre it plonked down in an Equinix facility last year. MongoDB, aiCache, Citrix Netscaler, F5, Jaspersoft and Microstrategy are among the applications now available for cloudy consumption, presumably after sorting out local licensing legals. ®

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