No, this is not yet another post about Amazon’s new VPC announcement. Christian has already done a great job from the technical angle. This is about the chatter that came out from Clouderati immediately after the announcement from Amazon. During Cloud Connect 2011, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels went extra mile to emphasize how ecosystem is important for them and immediately after that they announced the new VPC which was seen by many in the Cloud punditry, including me, as a direct assault on the ecosystem players like CloudSwitch and CohesiveFT.
I had a chance to talk about it with both CloudSwitch and CohesiveFT. Neither of them see this move as an immediate threat to their business. In fact, Amazon seems to have done a good job by involving these ecosystem players from early on and giving them an early look at their new offering. This not only gave the ecosystem players some confidence on Amazon’s commitment but it also gave them time to plan ahead for further differentiation. Both CloudSwitch and CohesiveFT see this move as further validating their business and opening up newer vistas to explore.
According to CohesiveFT, the new VPC opens up more layer 2 network interaction – via a number of mechanisms; including new security group capabilities and new routing capabilities/permissions. Also the (enterprise) user controlled layer 3 network to integrate more cleanly and efficiently with the VPC. In fact, they have taken advantage of the newer VPC features and have already released a newer product, VPN-Cubed vpcPLUS Edition.
Similarly, CloudSwitch is also confident that they still enhance the Amazon’s networking with their enterprise grade product that takes advantage of network bridge. CloudSwitch feel that Amazon VPC still doesn’t offer some of the features already offered by CloudSwitch. For example:
- CloudSwitch offers an isolation layer which addresses security concerns by providing a single integrated environment that allows workloads to run in the cloud with the same protection and control available internally
- CloudSwitch’s use of network bridge allows enterprises to use their own MAC address inside the Amazon Cloud which is not supported by VPC
- CloudSwitch offers full encryption of data both at rest and on transit. Amazon doesn’t offer such comprehensive encryption yet but other ecosystem players like enStratus already offer such encryption
I still don’t believe that Amazon will avoid poaching their ecosystem. However, this is a different ball game. Unlike other areas like management, etc., Amazon is in a weak position when it comes to meeting the enterprise security requirements in their cloud. They realize their limitation very well and they also understand how they need ecosystem players to beef up Amazon’s enterprise strategy. I think this is the reason why Amazon took a “neat approach” with the ecosystem players like CloudSwitch and CohesiveFT. But I wouldn’t expect them to play clean on other areas of their ecosystem. What do you think?
- A New Approach to Amazon EC2 Networking (aws.typepad.com)
- Amazon Gives Virtual Private Clouds Internet Access (java.sys-con.com)
- Amazon Web Services Upgrades Virtual Private Cloud With Internet Access (techcrunch.com)
- AWS – A Wonka Surprise ? (cloudave.com)
- 1-2-3 easy as V-P-C (cloudave.com)
- Amazon Web Services upgrades VPC to look more like traditional network asset (zdnet.com)
- Amazon Web Services Announces Virtual Private Cloud Wizard and Other Updates (readwriteweb.com)
- Networking features make Amazon’s private clouds more useful (infoworld.com)