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Amazon gingerly embraces the hybrid cloud

Brandon Butler | Nov. 14, 2014
AWS wants to make it easier to bridge you data center to its cloud.

The AWS hybrid cloud approach is very different from competitors' efforts. Hybrid cloud is a central tenant of both Microsoft and VMware's cloud strategies, which is no surprise given their heritage inside corporate data centers. Microsoft offers a platform that combines its Azure public cloud with its Systems Center and Windows Server private cloud tools. VMware, meanwhile, has its vRealize private cloud, which includes vSphere and the ESX hypervisor, and the company's new vCloud Air public offering.

AWS notably does not have a private cloud management platform that is based on the same technology as its public cloud. "That's where they leave room for everyone else in the market to fill in," says Adrian Sanabria, 451 Research's security analyst. A variety of companies, including NetApp and Ravello, offer AWS hybrid cloud connectivity services.

Cloud consultant David Linthicum says AWS's unwillingness to more fully embrace hybrid clouds, and more specifically private clouds, has been a schism for some customers. "AWS has certainly heard from some of their customers that they would like them to support a private cloud, as part of an all-AWS hybrid cloud solution," he said. "However, they have been pushing back on private clouds as something that won't fit their view of the emerging cloud computing world."

AWS's model is to be the do-it-yourself public cloud provider. It will provide tools to connect to its public cloud and will rely on partners to provide integrations, Sanabria said.

If customers want more hands-on attention, AWS can provide that too. During a Q&A with press after his keynote, Jassy said that AWS has consultants who will work with customers to integrate their existing workloads into its cloud. Premium support packages provide hands-on help to integrate existing systems with AWS's cloud. AWS still believes the public cloud is where most workloads will end up. But, to get there it's realized it needs to provide some integrations with customers existing on-premises systems too.


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