Can anyone stop this man?

Amazon Web Services evangelist, Jeff Barr

Who is this?

It’s Jeff Barr. Amazon’s Web Services evangelist hanging out in front of Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington, USA. Here’s his blog.

So, why was FastCompany.tv over interviewing him today (my interview will be up on March 3)?

Because he’s asking enterprises to do something pretty darn revolutionary: turn off their data centers.

I can hear you now: “oh, Scoble, first you cry at Microsoft and now you have the gall to tell me that enterprises are going to move lots of their data from their own data centers and host it on Amazon’s services. You’ve really lost it this time.”

If you’re thinking this you’d be wrong. Not only are small companies like Mogulus and SmugMug moving their data onto Amazon’s services, but so are quite a few enterprises (Mogulus, in fact, stores all of its data on Amazon’s servers and brags that it doesn’t own a single server). I keep hearing about Amazon’s services being used in larger enterprises, but so far haven’t found too many that are willing to go on the record except for the New York Times, which used Amazon’s S3 to host its archives. But this movement is definitely underway.

Unfortunately getting Amazon to open up about how many companies are using Amazon’s Web Services is almost as hard as getting Steve Jobs to tell you about the next iPod.

There’s a good reason for this. Microsoft, Google, Sun Microsystems, IBM, and others are totally asleep and Jeff Bezos and Jeff Barr have no good reason to poke those other companies with a sharp stick so they wake up to what’s really going on here.

But it don’t matter anyway. It’s almost too late for the others to get into the game. It’s amazing (or maybe it should be “amazoning”) to me that Ray Ozzie over at Microsoft has let Amazon have so much runway.

So, I ask you, can anyone stop Jeff Barr and Amazon from totally taking over the corporate data infrastructure market?

UPDATE: Maybe Amazon has its own answer to my question. The Amazon Web Services were down for a few hours this morning for the first time I can remember.

73 thoughts on “Can anyone stop this man?

  1. Sonian is helping bring AWS,EC2, S3, etc. to the corporate masses. We have developed an enterprise email archiving and discovery service leverage the Amazon cloud. Jeff blogged about us recently at http://aws.typepad.com/aws/2008/01/sonian-networks.html. Corporate customers of all sizes are rapidly embracing this service and more importantly, the IT Decision Makers are embracing the Amazon cloud to satisfy this critical need to archive and rapidly retrieve email.

  2. Sonian is helping bring AWS,EC2, S3, etc. to the corporate masses. We have developed an enterprise email archiving and discovery service leverage the Amazon cloud. Jeff blogged about us recently at http://aws.typepad.com/aws/2008/01/sonian-networks.html. Corporate customers of all sizes are rapidly embracing this service and more importantly, the IT Decision Makers are embracing the Amazon cloud to satisfy this critical need to archive and rapidly retrieve email.

  3. To Commenter #4/jb and others who don’t buy this…

    “Can you imagine the CTO of Citibank annoucing that they have outsourced their entire information infrastructure?”

    Did you miss the huge outsourcing movement in the nineties to IBM, CSC, and EDS? Dupont did exactly this to the tune of $400 mm per year in Glass House Outsourcing to CSC, not to mention all the application development to Accenture. Okay they don’t sell books. So I agree Citibank is not going down anytime soon, but I would _not_ dismiss this as a bunch of SmugMugs. Amazon can probably way outperform a large number of mid-size companies. Give them time. http://www.radiowalker.com

  4. To Commenter #4/jb and others who don’t buy this…

    “Can you imagine the CTO of Citibank annoucing that they have outsourced their entire information infrastructure?”

    Did you miss the huge outsourcing movement in the nineties to IBM, CSC, and EDS? Dupont did exactly this to the tune of $400 mm per year in Glass House Outsourcing to CSC, not to mention all the application development to Accenture. Okay they don’t sell books. So I agree Citibank is not going down anytime soon, but I would _not_ dismiss this as a bunch of SmugMugs. Amazon can probably way outperform a large number of mid-size companies. Give them time. http://www.radiowalker.com

  5. @jb We’re in the infancy of companies outsoucing thier IT/information services to 3rd aprties but the world is going there simply b/c it will be most cost efficient. The uptime and security issues will be ironed out; they’ve valid concerns so I’m not disregarding them outright and it won’t be simple to solve all of these but these concerns will be solved.

    Imagine IT/information servies in the future becoming a commodity just like electricity. This is the premise of Nick Carr’s new book, The Big Switch, and he makes a compelling argument. We’re not there yet but you can’t fight the economics of it.

  6. @jb We’re in the infancy of companies outsoucing thier IT/information services to 3rd aprties but the world is going there simply b/c it will be most cost efficient. The uptime and security issues will be ironed out; they’ve valid concerns so I’m not disregarding them outright and it won’t be simple to solve all of these but these concerns will be solved.

    Imagine IT/information servies in the future becoming a commodity just like electricity. This is the premise of Nick Carr’s new book, The Big Switch, and he makes a compelling argument. We’re not there yet but you can’t fight the economics of it.

  7. Robert, I think you are overstating Amazon’s position. From Service Level Automation in the Datacenter:

    “By the way, Robert Scoble certainly believes Amazon has won the cloud market in its entirety already. He is way off, of course. Do you know how much datacenter capacity there is in corporate America alone? There is no way one company that is spending a fraction of the budget on building new data centers that Microsoft, Google and Yahoo are will create a barrier of entry that high. Amazon is a typical first enterant, ala Netscape. Hopefully the market is different enough, though, that they can build a survivor.”

  8. Robert, I think you are overstating Amazon’s position. From Service Level Automation in the Datacenter:

    “By the way, Robert Scoble certainly believes Amazon has won the cloud market in its entirety already. He is way off, of course. Do you know how much datacenter capacity there is in corporate America alone? There is no way one company that is spending a fraction of the budget on building new data centers that Microsoft, Google and Yahoo are will create a barrier of entry that high. Amazon is a typical first enterant, ala Netscape. Hopefully the market is different enough, though, that they can build a survivor.”

  9. Has the “Sports Illustrated Cover Story Curse” been replaced by the “Scoble Blog Post Curse”?

  10. Has the “Sports Illustrated Cover Story Curse” been replaced by the “Scoble Blog Post Curse”?

  11. Scoble,

    I took at look. Their service credit plan is pushing it a bit in favor of Amazon.

    From working in very large data centers, I can tell you from direct experience, that when a major customer goes down because of something to do with the data center, no matter who is at fault, people lose big money.

    I remember one time a firewall went down due to a config issue. Both of them (redundant firewalls). The customer was down for about 30 minutes. The manager’s phone was hot within about 10 seconds of the site being down. The SLA was worried over, and despite the “short” downtime, the customer (they were spending millions) was given 3 months free service, upgraded to “senior only” engineers, and treated like the King. This kind of wheeling and dealing happens all the time despite SLAs. SLAs are just basic terms. They get worked over in the background all of the time, usually to the customer’s advantage. No data center wants to lose a customer over breach of SLA, no matter how slight, espcecially if that customer spends millions annually on services.

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