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Amazon Web Services passes the enterprise duck test

Talks like, walks like, and has parasites just like a trad IT vendor

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

If it works like an enterprise piece of technology, has documentation like an enterprise piece of technology, and has enough ancillary costs to make it pound the wallet like an enterprise piece of technology, then it is probably ready for consumption by large companies.

After rolling out a certification program for Amazon Web Services, bidding on a custom cloud for the CIA, hiring a large number of enterprise-focused salespeople, and developing big biz technologies such as long-term "Glacier" storage and the "Redshift" data warehouse, Amazon is morphing into one of the staid, traditional vendors of enterprise IT.

On Monday, that transformation took another step, as IT training firm CBT Nuggets announced an online training series specifically for Amazon Web Services, indicating that firms think the AWS cloud has grown sufficiently complicated and in-demand that there's some good coin to be made from training.

"I think there's going to be a lot of corporations that say, 'We've got our services running in Amazon Web Services, is there a better way to do this?'" Jeremy Cioara, a CBT Nuggets trainer, tells El Reg. "The demand you're asking about is going to come directly from employers and technicians who can say, 'Now I can add some credentials to my name for all the time and effort I've been putting into AWS.'"

AWS introduced its certification scheme in April with the "AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Level" option, and further certs are planned for system administrators and developers throughout 2013.

Along with the certification, the company also offers training days in the cloud technology. So why on earth is a third-party firm getting into providing a service that AWS can and – if the past is any indication – will clone? The answer is as dull as it is predictable: money.

"When I flew up to LA, just to sit in a 3-day [Amazon] class was just $1800 for that class," Cioara said. CBT Nuggets, on the other hand, charges $99 a month for individuals to access all of its online training resources, including video courses like the AWS one. But won't Amazon surely introduce its own online video tutorials? "Will Amazon put out their own video-based training for this? I'm sure they will, but that's okay," Cioara says, noting that most corporate training tends to be very, very dull.

An earlier Amazon training series by CBT Nuggets ("AWS Foundations") was sold individually, and in its first 30 days shifted 640 subscriptions, the company tells us. Though not Cisco, Oracle, or IBM-scale numbers, this indicates that Amazon is broadening from its traditional audience of cloud-happy developers and making inroads into the more buttoned-down, process-oriented world of big business.

Now if only Amazon could fix its notoriously complicated set of control consoles... ®

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