You Can’t Knock AWS, But Where Aren’t They Great?

ATLANTA, GA – Cloud. Colo. On-Prem. The three Musketeers of compute go hand in hand whenever you have a conversation about the biggest trends in the data center arena. And that’s why the relationship – and misunderstandings – between them are often a hallmark of CapRE’s Data Center Summits. Case in point – CapRE’s Greater Atlanta Data Center Summit in August featured a panel titled, “The Mindset of the Enterprise End-User: Evaluating the Options within Hybrid IT” that honed in on the role that the big guys – most notably, AWS – play, and where they’re not quite up to snuff.

Began Moderator Brandon Peccoralo, General Manager at DataBank, Ltd.: “To get things started, we’ve covered a lot of things today, obviously the market trends and technology, but I really want to drill down to the end-user. A lot of us here are in sales or offering something to an IT professional. And so I want a thinktank up here about the mindset of the customer — the mindset of the manager of IT, the CTO, the CIO, the CEO, and the CFO.”

“I think it’s pretty obvious that we’ve got Cloud, we’ve got colocation, and we’ve got on-prem,” he continued. “And with the Cloud, you’ve got some giants in the space – AWS is the 800 pound gorilla. You’ve got Microsoft and Google and SoftLayer and RackSpace to fill in some of the gaps. But there is a space in between. You’ve got on-prem, you’ve got colo, and then you’ve got the big Cloud. Well what’s in between? Because you have Hybrid Cloud, you’ve got somewhat Public Cloud with private vendors, and then you have dedicated servers, dedicated services, managed services, like what [panelist] Emil [Sayegh]’s company [Hostway Services] offers and such.”

“So I think my question to the panel, to start things off, is, Amazon is great. Microsoft Azure is great. You can’t knock them. But where aren’t they great?” he asked to his panel of three colleagues. “And maybe where is it fit for someone who has a home-grown app that’s maybe just not as mobile as they thought?”

Dan Thompson, Senior Analyst for 451 Research

Dan Thompson, Senior Analyst for 451 Research chimed in first. “Let’s jump into some of the data that I brought with us today. I hope that the data center providers in the room find this particularly poignant,” he began. “Recently as part of our managed services product — so this is a bit of background, we run various products that are called “Voice of the Enterprise.” These are surveys out to enterprise leaders, either at the very top of the management chain or Executives — we were talking to the managed services peoples and they want data center providers to offer services beyond colocation into service providers.”

“And what I found personally interesting is that data center providers are more likely to say that they compete with the Public Cloud,” continued Thompson. “And I think this a fundamental error in thinking. Data center providers do not compete with the Public Cloud. You just simply offer a different product.”

data center summitAccording to Thompson, that raises another question. “So the question then becomes, if they’re not competitors, and I can’t think of them as partners…where do I fit in? Where does my colocation product fit in? Or if I have a Cloud product and I’m positioned next to the Public Cloud, where does that fit?”

“What I thought would be interesting would be to show you what our respondents said doesn’t work in the Public Cloud, and potentially works in Private Cloud or even colocation,” he shared. “The biggest response was custom applications developed uniquely for my business – businesses and enterprises are finding that those specifically just do not work well in Amazon or Azure for whatever reason. Also, data warehousing and data repository.”

Stay tuned to CapRE’s Insider Reports for conclusion to Thompson’s remarks.