AWS Offers Multicloud Services Without Fanfare

January 21, 2021

One problem with cloud offerings is when a service does not sold for one operating system, but not another. AWS usually brags about its accomplishments, but Protocol said, “AWS Quietly Enters The Multicloud Era.”

AWS has two new versions of its managed containers and managed Kubernetes services, EKS Anywhere and ECS Anywhere, that can run on both Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. AWS confirmed that its new software will manage workloads running on other cloud providers. AWS does not like to play with other cloud services, however, its customers do, so they caved.

Google and Microsoft were late to the multicloud game too. When their customers demanded software management on multiple cloud infrastructures, they realized many used AWS. It was also a good way to make their customers happy and possibly more money.

AWS lacks support, though:

“It does not appear that ECS Anywhere and EKS Anywhere offer the same degree of support for multicloud deployments as Azure Arc or Google Anthos, which were designed to be user-friendly multicloud tools. And according to the ECS Anywhere launch blog post, ‘the supportability of ECS Anywhere scenarios at the time of general availability may be artificially limited due to other constraints.’”

That stinks for the moment, but give it awhile and the AWS team will offer more support as demand for service grows.

Whitney Grace, January 21, 2021

Clouds Hide a Basic Truth: Rebuilding Mandatory

December 10, 2020

I read “There Must Be a Better Way to Build on AWS.”

Here’s the passage I noted:

The real cost of going with AWS is its complexity. There is hardly anything more important to an early-stage startup than moving fast, but this is exactly where AWS fails startup founders. It is hard to set up and manage, which is the opposite of fast.

The article spells out a truth which gets modest coverage in the zip zip world of headline feeds:

So startup founders are forced to choose whether to bite the bullet with AWS, or to move fast and pay a premium for tools like Firebase — only to have to rebuild from scratch later anyway.

I think this is an interesting observation. Amazon AWS has several “hooks” to lure innovators. These must be factored into the Bezos bulldozer’s operations manual:

  1. Lock in. Amazon has generated a 21st century version of the IBM lock in model.
  2. Radar pings. Innovators on Amazon can get a financial break. Amazon gets an opportunity to see what works.
  3. A stealthy bulldozer. Innovators may not hear Amazon coming. Why? The old school corporate machines ran on noisy diesel engines. Amazon’s bulldozer is electric, thus, it is quiet unless one hears the sound of objects being crushed.

Net net: Useful article with a great punch line. Build on Amazon only to rebuild another way. Efficient? Sure, do the work twice.

Stephen E Arnold, December 10, 2020

Cloud Management: Who Is Responsible When Something Goes Wrong?

December 4, 2020

I read “Deloitte Helps Build Evolving Kinetic Enterprises by Powering SAP on AWS.” Wow, I have a collection of buzzwords which I use for inspiration or for a good laugh. I love the idea of “evolving kinetic enterprises.” Let’s see. Many businesses are busy reacting to the global pandemic, social unrest, and financial discontinuities. But kinetic enterprises!

The write up explains via a quote from a consultant:

“The future, though, is all about built-to-evolve. And that’s exactly what the kinetic enterprises are. It’s really how we’re helping our clients [to] create the right technology infrastructures that evolve with their business.”

Okay, let’s put aside the reacting part of running a business today. These organizations are supposed to be “kinetic.” The word means in the military a thing that has kinetic energy like a bomb, a bullet, or a directed energy beam. Kinetic suggests motion, either forward or backward.

The kinetic enterprise is supposed to move, do killer stuff? Obviously companies do not want to terminate with extreme prejudice their customers. Hold that thought. Most don’t I assume although social media sparking street violence may be a trivial, secondary consequence. So, let’s go with most of the time.

Set the craziness of the phrase aside. Ignore the wonky consultant spin, the IBM-inspired SAP software maze, and the role of Amazon AWS. What about this question:

When this cloud management soufflé collapses down, who is responsible?

Am I correct in recalling that Deloitte had a slight brush with Autonomy. AWS went offline last week. And SAP, well, just ask a former Westinghouse executive how that SAP implementation worked out.

The message in the story is that:

  1. No consultant on earth will willingly accept responsibility for making a suggest that leads to a massive financial problem for a client. That’s why those reports include options. Clients decide what poison to sprinkle on their Insecure Burger.
  2. SAP has been dodging irate users and customers for while, since 1972. How is your TREX search system working? What about those automated roll up reports?
  3. Amazon AWS is a wonderful outfit. Sure there are thousands of functions, features, and options. When one goes off the rails, how does that problem get remediated? Does Mr. Bezos jump in?

The situation set forth in the article makes clear that each of these big outfits (Deloitte, AWS, and SAP) will direct the customer with a problem to some one else.

This is charmingly chracterized as a “No throat to choke” situation.

Stephen E Arnold, December 4, 2020

Security: A Happy Illusion Like Free Chocolate Chip Cookies at a Hotel Desk

November 12, 2020

Hotels.com, Expedia Provider Exposed Data for Millions of Guests” contains a couple of interesting statements.

  • A company called Prestige Software provides the hotel reservation systems for Hotels.com, Booking.com, and Expedia.com.
  • Data for bookings were stored on Amazon AWS S3. The system contained credit card data for millions of people.

The article points out that the incident “does illustrate the dangers of a heavy reliance on third party providers for platforms.”

The article does not ask the question, “Prestige Software, what’s your approach to AWS S3 security?”

Stephen E Arnold, November 12, 2020

The Amazon Digital Zeus: One Bezosverse with Many Clouds

November 3, 2020

I read “AWS Hearts Multi-Cloud? It’s Gonna Happen” because of the words “hearts” and “gonna.” Interesting. The main point of the write up is that Amazon has a digital planet. There will be one sky over the planet, and Amazon will provide the air conditioning and heating to make life comfortable.

The write up includes some nifty lingo; for example:

  • Any cloud
  • Cross cloud
  • Multi cloud
  • Poly cloud.

Consultants repurposing themselves from failed Covid and pandemic gigs are in business. The opportunities for analyses, studies, and reports are plentiful.

The write up contains an interesting factoid, which I have not been able to verify. Here it is in its naked glory:

In fact, when we [Cloud Irregular] surveyed 26,000 cloud builders this summer at A Cloud Guru, about 75% of them identified AWS as their company’s primary cloud. But basically the same number said they also have some workloads running on Azure or GCP. Again, nobody is doing this as a strategic choice, it’s just reality. 3 out of 4 cloud shops are cheating on AWS.

That is a heck of a sample: 26,000 developers!

Amazon wants to be the center of the Bezosverse, which makes sense from Mr. Bezos’ point of view I assume. The write up notes:

They are the velociraptors of cloud, and as long as they are willing to cannibalize their own offerings in the pursuit of customer value, they will remain hard to beat.

But is the future secure for the Bezosverse? The write up concludes with this Delphic observation:

“Multi-cloud is the killer value prop AWS just can’t compete with” is no longer the only safe bet in startup land. Every dinosaur in the virtual re:Invent expo hall is just asking to get hit with an asteroid. Brace for impact.

I am braced.

Stephen E Arnold, November 3, 2020

Gartner Heads for the Clouds with Silver Linings

October 5, 2020

Organizations are offloading their computing, because it saves on expenses and allows them to have endless storage space, maintenance, upgrades, and customer service. At least cloud computing is supposed to be the end all solution. The Register reported on a recent Gartner review of cloud computing services, “Gartner On Cloud Contenders: AWS Fails To Lower Its Prices, Microsoft ‘Cannot Guarantee Capacity’, Google Has ‘Devastating’ Network Outages.”

Gartner’s review faced criticism from the start, because it only covered seven cloud infrastructure and platform services, because they fit the definition of “hyper scale cloud providers.” The biggest players are not surprising: Google, Microsoft, and AWS. The other companies are smaller but specialize in niches: Alibaba, Oracle, IBM, and Tencent. Gartner separated its review criteria into magic quadrants, but failed to identify any movers or shakers.

AWS soars to the top of the report and Gartner warns Amazon wants to own more parts of the value chain that delivers cloud computing services. Microsoft placed second, because it is a good service for Microsoft-based systems and company has a good approach to open source.

Readers of the article were unhappy with it, because:

“It’s not random speculation, it’s paid propaganda.

In 2011 Gartner “predicted” that windows phone would leap ahead of iOS in market share by 2015…

Back in 2003 they said that windows mobile would dominate the smartphone market.

Microsoft paid Gartner for this “analysis”.

Other observations included:

  • There are some people who actually consider Gartner reports to be worth something, and this did result in a few companies standardizing on Microsoft mobile devices for a time based on reading the Gartner reports – only to be forced to quickly move to android or ios devices when the devices they were using got dropped.
  • They don’t actually use or test the products/services they write about, information published by Gartner is supplied by the vendors themselves – ie it’s “best case” marketing material and doesn’t reflect real world experience where advertised functionality is almost never as good as the marketing literature claims it to be.
  • At most what they do, is compare the claimed feature sets of vendors… Only many vendors will exaggerate their claims, they may have features X Y and Z on paper but that doesn’t mean you as a potential customer would need or want those features, nor does it mean that they actually perform as expected.

When it comes to choosing products or services, there really is no substitute for actual experience. There are people who have used a product extensively and know its individual strengths and weaknesses. Every product/service has its own strengths and weaknesses, but which set is best for your individual use case can vary.

Ah, marketing.

Whitney Grace, October 5, 2020

Amazon and Halliburton: A Tie Up to Watch? Yep

September 11, 2020

DarkCyber noted “Explor, Halliburton, AWS Collaborate to Achieve Breakthrough with Seismic Data Processing in the Cloud.” The write up explains that crunching massive seismic data sets works. Among the benchmarks reported by the online bookstore and the environmentally-aware engineering and services companies are:

  • An 85% decrease in CDP sort order times: Tested by sorting 308 million traces comprising of 1.72 TB from shot domain to CDP domain, completing the flow in an hour.
  • An 88% decrease in CDP FK Filtering times: Tested with a 57 million-trace subset of the data comprising 318 GB, completing the flow in less than 6 minutes.
  • An 82% decrease in pre-stack time migration times: Tested on the full 165 million-trace dataset comprising of 922GB, completing the flow in 54 minutes.

What do these data suggest? Better, faster, and cheaper processing?

We noted this paragraph in the write up:

“The collaboration with AWS and Explor demonstrates the power of digital investments that Halliburton is making, in this instance to bring high-density surveys to market faster and more economically than ever before.  By working with industry thought leaders like Explor and AWS, we have been able to demonstrate that digital transformation can deliver step-change improvements in the seismic processing market.” – Philip Norlund, Geophysics Domain Manager, Halliburton, Landmark

Keep in mind that these data are slightly more difficult to manipulate than a couple hundred thousand tweets.

Stephen E Arnold, September 11, 2020

No Return of the JEDI for Amazon

August 31, 2020

i read “Conflict of Interest? We’ve Heard of It. AWS on Selection Panel to Choose UK.gov’s Chief Digi [sic] Officer.” The main point of the article, which I assume is accurate, is that AWS UK top dog Doug Gurr will sit on a committee responsible for choosing the UK’s next chief digital officer. The Register article provides links and contextual information. Helpful.

However, the write up does not address what DarkCyber’s research team is the reason for the SugarDaddy.com approach to providing input. Is it possible that Amazon’s top dogs remember the significant and somewhat humiliating defeat delivered right between the eyes of the tag team of Jeff Bezos and Teresa Carlson, world’s richest human and former head of Microsoft governmental sales respectively?

Losing that work has already had a negative impact on Amazon’s policeware business and dims its hoped for incursions into adjacent services; for example, processing IRS tax returns to identify possibly fraudulent claims. Microsoft has had the original idea of stepping up competitive pressure in Middle Eastern countries which AWS has worked hard to move to these nation states’ technological futures. Yikes.

Net net: Amazon is doing what it can to make sure there will be no return of the JEDI.

Stephen E Arnold, August 31, 2020

Cloud Data: Clear with Rain Predicted for On Premises Hardware

August 21, 2020

I like surveys which provides some information about sample size. “Survey: How the Pandemic Is Shaking Up the Network Market” says that 2,400 information technology decision makers participated. How were these individuals selected? How was the survey conducted? When was the survey conducted? are questions not answered. Nevertheless, some of the findings seemed interesting.

One of the surprising factoids was the shift from a license for a period of time to a “subscription.” How many outfits are subscribing to cloud services? The write up reports:

The average proportion of IT services consumed via subscription will accelerate by 38% in the next two years, from 34% of the total today to 46% in 2022, and the share of organizations that consume a majority (over 50%) of their IT solutions ‘as a service’ will increase by approximately 72% in that time.

Automatic monthly payments and probably tricky cancellation policies will be part of the subscription business, but that’s just a hunch, not a survey finding.

Other items of interest included these factoids:

77% [of those responding to the survey] said that investments in networking projects had been postponed or delayed since the onset of COVID-19, and 28% indicated that projects had been cancelled altogether.

35% of ITDMs globally are planning to increase their investment in AI-based networking technologies, with the APAC region leading the charge at 44% (including 60% of ITDMs [the acronym which few probably know means “IT decision-makers”]  in India and 54% in Hong Kong).

just 8% [of the sample] globally plan to continue with only CapEx investments.

Net net: Pricing and curtailing capital expenditures may be trends. If these data are accurate, the data suggest that companies targeting on premises sales of hardware may face some headwinds. Of course, I believe everything I read on the Internet, particularly objective surveys.

Stephen E Arnold, August 21, 2020

Which Cloud Is Better?

August 20, 2020

DarkCyber noted “AWS Vs. Azure: Key Differences and Business Benefits.” This is a free analysis. The write up offers some interesting points, and we suggest that you consult the original for the nuances and additional details.

Key points we noted:

  • A cloud is mostly neutral. The developer and tech team’s experience and knowledge make the difference.
  • Migration is easier if the technology professional has experience with a particular cloud.
  • More advanced cloud features cost more money; for instance, machine learning.
  • Prices are about the same regardless of cloud vendor.
  • AWS is better with open source technology.
  • Cloud providers are becoming adept at matching other cloud vendors’ offerings. But in the hybrid cloud game, Microsoft is number one.

The write up includes a league table. What’s interesting is that the Alibaba cloud business is within spitting distance of Google’s market share.

Stephen E Arnold, August 20, 2020

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