There is no doubt that cloud computing has revolutionised the IT industry and is one of the largest technology shifts in the history of IT. There is also no doubt that Amazon AWS has been the pioneer of public cloud computing and is the undisputed leader in this arena. However, there is a doubt whether Amazon AWS will maintain its leadership in the long-run or not.
Amazon AWS cloud ecosystem is rich of innovative yet robust and production-ready services, creative technologies are continuously being added, and it keeps growing ubiquitously around the globe. However, it is totally based on public cloud computing.
Why invest in a private cloud if a public cloud is more cost-effective, more reliable, more agile, more capable, and available immediately with no upfront CapEx investment? Because of regulations? This could be applicable only to few organisations like health and governmental organisations. Because of location? This could be applicable to developing countries where there is no presence of public cloud providers. To avoid vendor lock-in? Invest in dual public cloud (e.g. AWS and Azure). To protect and capitalise on existing data centre investments? Amazon believes that existing infrastructure can be maintained but should not be invested in, investment should rather be redirected to a public cloud migration and minimise the footprint of the on-premises infrastructure as much as possible.
Amazon AWS top senior management, particularly AWS Senior Vice President Andy Jassy does not believe in private cloud computing. He made it clear in AWS re:Invent 2013 that running a private cloud does not make sense economically, as you still need to invest and run a data centre. He basically implied that old-guard IT companies (e.g. IBM) are behind the private cloud concept. In the same event he announced about the availability of AWS Workspaces which is a virtual desktop solution.
Andy Jassy’s keynote speech in AWS re:Invent 2014 and letting Eucalyptus which is a private cloud platform that is compatible with Amazon AWS API to be acquired by HP which is an OpenStack private cloud supporter have clearly indicated that Amazon AWS is not planning to invest in private cloud computing.
However, it has been over a year since AWS chief announced AWS Workspaces virtual desktop solution, how popular has it been? I don’t know if AWS chief realises that ADSL, VPN, VOIP, instant messaging, and video conferencing technologies have been around for many years, yet most companies still run expensive physical offices, and their employees must commute to work in order to carry out their duties which can be done from home. True, old-guard IT companies prefer private cloud over public cloud in order to sell more hardware and software but most companies are still run by old-guard managers too, and a private cloud offers more tangible control and protection to existing investment than public clouds. Hence, old-guard managers will invest in private cloud solutions.
The bottom line is private cloud computing will grow, and the hybrid cloud model is the safest cloud option for most CIOs and senior IT managers of large enterprises. In addition, more private cloud implementations means more demand for public cloud integration, and if AWS does not invest in private cloud solutions other public cloud providers especially Microsoft Azure will do, and eventually AWS will lose its competitive edge as the top and preferred public cloud provider.