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

Everybody else's cloud... 'looks like AWS circa 2008' – Jassy

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AWS Enterprise Summit 2013 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 tech companies were wrong to claim their private clouds offered the same benefits as AWS.

Speaking at the AWS Enterprise Summit in London, Jassy did not name names, but referred obliquely to on-premises providers that charge large licenses make fat margins.

Running your own cloud does not give you the cost savings of having Amazon's servers process and store your data and apps or give you access to a stream of new features, he argued.

"They say we will give you everything AWS give you but we will give it to you on-premises. That sounds good, but it doesn't give you any advantages," Jassy said of the unnamed "old guard".

"To build a private cloud from scratch now is ill-advised. It's not cost effective, it's arcane – it's not the way the world is moving."

Jassy is the architect of AWS – he handed the original proposal for Amazon's cloud to Jeff Bezos in 2003. AWS today stores two trillion objects in its S3 database with customers including News International, Lionsgate Films, Shell, Aviva and Funkypigeon.

The undisputed leader in cloud by volume of data, scale of transactions and numbers of customers tanks have begun to appear on Amazon's lawn.

Larry Ellison's Oracle this year launched its Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Ellison was a huge sceptic of cloud but execute a major U-turn as his company's growth has slowed while public cloud revenues have grown.

Hewlett-Packard sells its enterprise cloud, a managed private data-centre service plus a range of software tools and middleware to connect and manage your own cloud, while its rival Dell is selling consulting and installation of virtualised instances of software such as SAP on its hardware.

That's not to mention Microsoft's rival service, Windows Azure, which runs in Redmond's data centers, and HP's OpenStack-based public cloud.

We disrupted you... What are you still doing here?

Jassy dinged the old guard for running the kinds of high-margin software and hardware businesses he said Amazon's AWS had disrupted.

"In the early days of the cloud, those old-guard technology companies pooh-poohed the cloud - saying nobody would use the cloud," Jassy said.

"Well it's hard to fight gravity and after all the hand-waving as start ups and public sector began adopting the cloud really fast, the old school companies said you are right."

Jassy promised more enterprise AWS features to snatch even more customers from companies that could once be considered loyal to the old guard. With Amazon's conference held in the City of London, the heart of the Europe's financial services, the message was clear.

Jassy did not provide details but promised more features to connect existing data centres to Amazon servers and mange enterprise workloads across them as one. "We know many enterprise have data centres on premises, and they want a way to use the on-premises data centre footprint with AWS... that's we are doing and are providing," he told the Amazon conference.

"We are building features to make it easier and easier to use existing data centres with AWS. There are a number of features today [and] we will see more of them over time."

Jassy claimed 159 services had been rolled out on AWS in 2012 and that it was on track for more than 200 by the end of 2013 - that's compared to nine in 2007, the year AWS started.

Jassy flagged up three AWS services targeting big customers: RedShift, the data-warehouse-as-a-service released in February, which Jassy reckoned was the fastest-growing service in the history of AWS; Glacier, which is used to archive and back up data; and CloudHSM, which manages data encryption certificates and keys.

Overall AWS includes compute, networking, storage, database, application and management services.

Jassy said rivals lacked this breadth of features and the experience running of large-scale operations. "There's no compression algorithm for experience," he said.

"Everybody else is getting going... they look like AWS circa 2008, and we are iterating at a really fast rate. Even though what we have today is more advanced than seven-and-a-half years ago, we still think this is the beginning," he said. ®

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