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How credible is EC2’s competition?

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Amazon’s Elastic Computing Cloud (ec2) is offering over 1500 AMI’s (virtual appliances). It’s recent foray into Europe highlights its aggressive pursuit of a land grab strategy. So, what has its competition in the US been up to? Every major web hosting vendor has announced a cloud initiative:

Amazon’s ec2 is nearly three years old now (Mar 2006) and competition has started appearing on the horizon just over the past year. If you look at the timescale of announcements,

  • Rackspace’s Mosso is just over a year old (Feb 2008),
  • Terremark’s cloud is nine months old (June 2008),
  • AT&T’s cloud is seven months old (Aug 2008),
  • IBM’s AMI launch on ec2 and Savvis’ cloud is three weeks old (Feb 2009).

Since ec2 was first to market, the Rackspace, AT&T and Savvis cloud offerings have a “me too” feel to them. However, unlike other vendors, Rackspace has published pricing on the Web and it appears to be very competitive with ec2. 

Unlike Amazon, Savvis and AT&T are going the buy versus build route to get fast time to market. They are initially launching their service using VMWare technology put together using Professional Services instead of following Amazon’s approach of building a proprietary infrastructure using Open Source software as its foundation. In fact, this may be the preferred route amongst the upper echelons of cloud service providers. There is optimism that providing cloud services is a growth business. I am noticing startups like Enomaly (“Build your own private elastic cloud”) and VMOps (“launch ec2 today”, aka public cloud) offering cloud infrastrcture products.

In conclusion, credible competition is emerging and there are real alternatives to ec2 available today. However, given the state of the economy, I think the market will begin to form by 2010 and should reach critical mass by 2011-2012.

2 Responses

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  1. Nice post. One correction – Mosso started in February 2006, not 2008. Our (now called Cloud Sites) offering has been online and available for over three years 🙂

    Thanks,

    Rob

    Rob La Gesse

    March 10, 2009 at 10:05 am

  2. Hi Rob,

    Thank you for visiting and providing more detail. Mosso may have been founded in Feb 2006 for web developers who wanted a reliable platform for their applications and email – without being the ones responsible for all the technology. However, as far as I have been able to establish, it seems to have become a a cloud services provider using virtualization only last year.

    The first reference to the use of virtualization by Rackspace appears in the following press release in jan 2008

    http://ir.rackspace.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=221673&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1181652&highlight=

    followed by this announcement on TechCrunch on Feb 19, 2008

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/02/19/rackspace-offers-cloud-computing-with-mosso/

    Paul

    paule1s

    March 10, 2009 at 12:57 pm


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