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.

Comments

  1. I like your sense of drama. Sans the grandeur in your introduction, what they do, will be done by many (if not already being done in a small scale!).

    But kudos to introducing them here, you do such a fine job :).

  2. I like your sense of drama. Sans the grandeur in your introduction, what they do, will be done by many (if not already being done in a small scale!).

    But kudos to introducing them here, you do such a fine job :).

  3. Karthick: the problem with “everyone doing it” is that Amazon is getting trusted by a large range of businesses. Those businesses aren’t likely to move. That creates a ton of developers who are expert at integrating those Web Services. And when those join new companies? You think they are gonna recommend services from Google or Microsoft or someone else that they haven’t tested and don’t trust? Yeah, right.

    Worse than that, Amazon’s going to outrun the others. It isn’t easy to build data centers. Microsoft and Google can do that. But if you don’t have the customer base in place to pay for the things you can’t keep updating your data centers. Your investors won’t allow it.

    So, again, can anyone stop Jeff Barr?

  4. Karthick: the problem with “everyone doing it” is that Amazon is getting trusted by a large range of businesses. Those businesses aren’t likely to move. That creates a ton of developers who are expert at integrating those Web Services. And when those join new companies? You think they are gonna recommend services from Google or Microsoft or someone else that they haven’t tested and don’t trust? Yeah, right.

    Worse than that, Amazon’s going to outrun the others. It isn’t easy to build data centers. Microsoft and Google can do that. But if you don’t have the customer base in place to pay for the things you can’t keep updating your data centers. Your investors won’t allow it.

    So, again, can anyone stop Jeff Barr?

  5. I don’t buy it.
    I can see some businesses doing it. But mostly smaller ones like SmugMug. Large enterprises are not going to put all their eggs in some other companies basket. Can you imagine the CTO of Citibank annoucing that they have outsourced their entire information infrastructure to Barnes and Noble? (It sounds absurd, but should I remind you what Amazon’s primary business is?) As for amazon’s supposed unsurpassable lead, there is no such thing in tech. And it’s especially silly to be saying such things so early in the game. Java has been in the marketplace for several years before .Net came out. There is an army of engineers who are experts at creating J2EE applications both here and abroad. Does that mean that .Net has no chance of gaining traction in the enterprise space? Does that mean that no new technology will ever be able to surpass it?

  6. I don’t buy it.
    I can see some businesses doing it. But mostly smaller ones like SmugMug. Large enterprises are not going to put all their eggs in some other companies basket. Can you imagine the CTO of Citibank annoucing that they have outsourced their entire information infrastructure to Barnes and Noble? (It sounds absurd, but should I remind you what Amazon’s primary business is?) As for amazon’s supposed unsurpassable lead, there is no such thing in tech. And it’s especially silly to be saying such things so early in the game. Java has been in the marketplace for several years before .Net came out. There is an army of engineers who are experts at creating J2EE applications both here and abroad. Does that mean that .Net has no chance of gaining traction in the enterprise space? Does that mean that no new technology will ever be able to surpass it?

  7. jb: Microsoft has already proven you wrong. They have an online version of Exchange which hosts many big-company’s data on it (or did, as of three years ago). Big companies are getting over their fears of hosting data on other company’s servers pretty quickly.

    Sure, other companies can get into this space, and maybe even do well, but the longer they wait, the higher the barrier to entry will be.

    .NET didn’t do away with Java, for instance.

  8. jb: Microsoft has already proven you wrong. They have an online version of Exchange which hosts many big-company’s data on it (or did, as of three years ago). Big companies are getting over their fears of hosting data on other company’s servers pretty quickly.

    Sure, other companies can get into this space, and maybe even do well, but the longer they wait, the higher the barrier to entry will be.

    .NET didn’t do away with Java, for instance.

  9. competitive advantage in the web services space will also be determined, in part, due to switching costs. the interfaces that front ec2/s3/sqs aren’t all that difficult — the back-end services and their associated problems (availability/scalability/metering/pricing models) is where the hard problems are, but msft/goog/ibm won’t be far behind here. Once they figure it out, releasing a version of “microsoft s3″ or “google s3″ and convincing developers to change the endpoints of their application layers won’t be difficult if proposed (ie: pricing) properly. Amazon needs to build out value more quickly in its enterprise/web services offering to get the stickiness to fend off competitors.

  10. competitive advantage in the web services space will also be determined, in part, due to switching costs. the interfaces that front ec2/s3/sqs aren’t all that difficult — the back-end services and their associated problems (availability/scalability/metering/pricing models) is where the hard problems are, but msft/goog/ibm won’t be far behind here. Once they figure it out, releasing a version of “microsoft s3″ or “google s3″ and convincing developers to change the endpoints of their application layers won’t be difficult if proposed (ie: pricing) properly. Amazon needs to build out value more quickly in its enterprise/web services offering to get the stickiness to fend off competitors.

  11. I sincerely hope that any Company hosting it’s data at a third party has carried out some research and due diligence activity. Just because it’s Amazon does not mean it’s infallible.

    A well run Company would be interested in their Disaster Recovery Plans, Business Continuity, my previous employer (a Fortune 500) Company would also have wished to carry out a physical site review of Amazon Data Centre to ensure it met our Security requirements. This would include such items as access control, security of building, CCTV, vetting of staff recruited to work at Centre and many more areas.

    I do hope people aren’t just assuming that “it’ll all be OK” because it’s Amazon?

    Mike Ashworth
    Business Coaching and Consultancy
    Brighton and Hove, Sussex, UK

  12. I sincerely hope that any Company hosting it’s data at a third party has carried out some research and due diligence activity. Just because it’s Amazon does not mean it’s infallible.

    A well run Company would be interested in their Disaster Recovery Plans, Business Continuity, my previous employer (a Fortune 500) Company would also have wished to carry out a physical site review of Amazon Data Centre to ensure it met our Security requirements. This would include such items as access control, security of building, CCTV, vetting of staff recruited to work at Centre and many more areas.

    I do hope people aren’t just assuming that “it’ll all be OK” because it’s Amazon?

    Mike Ashworth
    Business Coaching and Consultancy
    Brighton and Hove, Sussex, UK

  13. Mike: I asked some of those kinds of questions in my interview. They won’t let me into their datacenters, though. Maybe you can get access. Would love to know what you find!

  14. Mike: I asked some of those kinds of questions in my interview. They won’t let me into their datacenters, though. Maybe you can get access. Would love to know what you find!

  15. Robert: I have never even heard of Microsoft hosted exchange. It doesn’t seem like it has become a popular option among fortune 500 companies. But even then, the notion that a large company would entrust Microsoft to run it’s Exchange based email is far less far-fetched than the notion that a major company would entrust an online book seller to run their entire server infrastructure.

  16. Robert: I have never even heard of Microsoft hosted exchange. It doesn’t seem like it has become a popular option among fortune 500 companies. But even then, the notion that a large company would entrust Microsoft to run it’s Exchange based email is far less far-fetched than the notion that a major company would entrust an online book seller to run their entire server infrastructure.

  17. Earlier this afternoon I was literally chatting up Jeff Barr to the Executive Director of a not for profit. Said NFP hosts scientific journals for an aggregate of publishers kind of like (but not) Ingenta or BioOne. Their biggest asset is the DATA they host for others and it’s not adequately safeguarded for disaster recovery.

    Hope he contacted Jeff ahead of the tsunami of people you sent that direction.

    Also some of the popular FTP clients have been supporting S3 for a while which makes it very convenient to use. That’s what did it for me.

    Looking forward to the March 3 debut. I’ll be travelling to the Middle East that week. So, we’ll see if you’re as blocked over there as Twitter was last time. :)

  18. Earlier this afternoon I was literally chatting up Jeff Barr to the Executive Director of a not for profit. Said NFP hosts scientific journals for an aggregate of publishers kind of like (but not) Ingenta or BioOne. Their biggest asset is the DATA they host for others and it’s not adequately safeguarded for disaster recovery.

    Hope he contacted Jeff ahead of the tsunami of people you sent that direction.

    Also some of the popular FTP clients have been supporting S3 for a while which makes it very convenient to use. That’s what did it for me.

    Looking forward to the March 3 debut. I’ll be travelling to the Middle East that week. So, we’ll see if you’re as blocked over there as Twitter was last time. :)

  19. Ironically, I read this just as my favorite service (tumblr) notified me that all AWS is experiencing a complete outage.

    Talk about bad timing.

  20. Ironically, I read this just as my favorite service (tumblr) notified me that all AWS is experiencing a complete outage.

    Talk about bad timing.

  21. If Amazon’s goal is to get companies to “turn off their data centers”, then they will fall far short. If their goal is to get companies to leverage the adavantages of S3 where it makes sense, then they will stand a good chance and making serious inroads.

    I looked at S3 (and other services) and they didn’t meet my needs: fast access for a large number of servers to over 50TB of databases. There is no enterprise-level database capabilities with Amazon.

    I have databases which have 1B records inserted per month. That data needs to have complex business logic applied for data extraction. I saw virtually no capabilities with S3 to do that.

    My second need is storage of 150TB of content which can be delivered to millions of clients. The costs to use S3 were far, far greater than building it myself (and after I did build it myself that proved itself to be accurate, evne when factoring in opportunity cost).

    I do think S3 has some great uses, but it’s not for everyone and it is certainly not the complete solution for anyone- even SmugMug (who only hosts content there, not their main databases).

    I’d highly recommend S3 to a startup for their content storage- don’t waste time building the 100% solution when S3 gives you 80%. You can build v2 if the idea takes hold and roll your own if necessary. THAT’S where S3 rocks- but it’s also not where Microsoft is making their money. They make it from folks like me who have 3000 servers and dozens of SQL Server Enterprise licenses.

    Microsoft continues to make advances in the enterprise areas that are most lucrative- at the expense of the lower-end. Sure, S3 is chipping away at the low-end, but Microsoft is growing their big $$ market at the top-end at a far greater rate than they are losing the low-end.

    If Amazon cut their bandwidth and storage rates by 2/3, they would start to get price competitive and would be worth another look. But for the time it takes to build the same thing (a distributed hosted network with full redundnacy) within the context of a given need (about 3 days), their rates don’t cut it.

    S3 is a good starter solution, but when your product/service grows up, it’s more cost effective to build your own. That’s what I’ve seen, anyway.

  22. There’s also the PATRIOT act problem for global companies hosting customer data on US soil. That data, when it pertains to non-U.S. citizens is exposed to the risk of seizure by the US government with recourse, notice or judicial oversight. This exposes global companies to either violate US law or the Laws of protection of privacy / consumer data of the countries where their customers are resident.

    Amazon should host some data in centers outside the U.S. Canada would be a good choice.

  23. There’s also the PATRIOT act problem for global companies hosting customer data on US soil. That data, when it pertains to non-U.S. citizens is exposed to the risk of seizure by the US government with recourse, notice or judicial oversight. This exposes global companies to either violate US law or the Laws of protection of privacy / consumer data of the countries where their customers are resident.

    Amazon should host some data in centers outside the U.S. Canada would be a good choice.

  24. If Amazon’s goal is to get companies to “turn off their data centers”, then they will fall far short. If their goal is to get companies to leverage the adavantages of S3 where it makes sense, then they will stand a good chance and making serious inroads.

    I looked at S3 (and other services) and they didn’t meet my needs: fast access for a large number of servers to over 50TB of databases. There is no enterprise-level database capabilities with Amazon.

    I have databases which have 1B records inserted per month. That data needs to have complex business logic applied for data extraction. I saw virtually no capabilities with S3 to do that.

    My second need is storage of 150TB of content which can be delivered to millions of clients. The costs to use S3 were far, far greater than building it myself (and after I did build it myself that proved itself to be accurate, evne when factoring in opportunity cost).

    I do think S3 has some great uses, but it’s not for everyone and it is certainly not the complete solution for anyone- even SmugMug (who only hosts content there, not their main databases).

    I’d highly recommend S3 to a startup for their content storage- don’t waste time building the 100% solution when S3 gives you 80%. You can build v2 if the idea takes hold and roll your own if necessary. THAT’S where S3 rocks- but it’s also not where Microsoft is making their money. They make it from folks like me who have 3000 servers and dozens of SQL Server Enterprise licenses.

    Microsoft continues to make advances in the enterprise areas that are most lucrative- at the expense of the lower-end. Sure, S3 is chipping away at the low-end, but Microsoft is growing their big $$ market at the top-end at a far greater rate than they are losing the low-end.

    If Amazon cut their bandwidth and storage rates by 2/3, they would start to get price competitive and would be worth another look. But for the time it takes to build the same thing (a distributed hosted network with full redundnacy) within the context of a given need (about 3 days), their rates don’t cut it.

    S3 is a good starter solution, but when your product/service grows up, it’s more cost effective to build your own. That’s what I’ve seen, anyway.

  25. In my mind this is exactly to the sort of outsourcing that smart companies should be doing. Don’t outsource your core product development – that’s just stupid. Do outsource stuff that’s essentially commodity. If someone out there can build a “server” for you the seamlessly adds capacity as needed and “just works” then you’d be a fool not to use it.

    I just find it surprising that it’s a book seller that did it. Though I think Scoble is right and it’s too late for anyone else to takeover the space. Amazon has won.

  26. In my mind this is exactly to the sort of outsourcing that smart companies should be doing. Don’t outsource your core product development – that’s just stupid. Do outsource stuff that’s essentially commodity. If someone out there can build a “server” for you the seamlessly adds capacity as needed and “just works” then you’d be a fool not to use it.

    I just find it surprising that it’s a book seller that did it. Though I think Scoble is right and it’s too late for anyone else to takeover the space. Amazon has won.

  27. Funny. S3 is experiencing major outages this morning.
    This is why enterprises wont be outsourcing their IT infrastructure any time soon. It’s not that they can necessarily do better… but at least when something happens they can’t do something besides sit on their hands and hope that amazon fixes everything soon.

  28. Funny. S3 is experiencing major outages this morning.
    This is why enterprises wont be outsourcing their IT infrastructure any time soon. It’s not that they can necessarily do better… but at least when something happens they can’t do something besides sit on their hands and hope that amazon fixes everything soon.

  29. There are more cons than pros to outsorcing your data center.

    If a suitably motivated attacker wanted to, they could take down any data data center, potentially rendering a large swathe of the Internet’s most valuable assets unreachable. Don’t think it can’t happen? Think again. I used to work for one of the largest ISPs in the world. They had hosted data centers, among the first to do virtualization. They had great security processes in place. But… They were attacked many times by foreign idiots flooding the pipes (we’re talking OC-192s here) with bot net traffic, DDoS, cracking, etc. No one is immune from this stuff. Yes, you can do null routing (blackhole routing), set up filters, conduct traffic shaping, have distributed assets, push fresh DNS entries all the time, but all of the eggs in one basket is creepy from a security standpoint.

    What with merging data centers, there is also the problem of rogue DNS, routers all having to broadcast the IP space for all the hosted players, etc. It gets tricky very quickly.

    Another issue is not having your data where you can get to it should the WWW go down for any length of time. It’s just a matter of time before we start seeing cyber warfare. It’s an inevitability with all the idiots out there intent on doing idiotic things.

    While I’m sure there are some great reasons to outsource your data center (costs, people, etc.), the overarching problem is that this takes jobs away from people all in the name of saving money. I’ve always been against outsourcing servers unless the company in question is just a handful of people and they need to host somewhere because they don’t have the time or money to focus on data center management and coming up with, and launching new ideas. Any company of size needs to watch their own henhouse as it were.

    Having data centers creates/maintains jobs for people. Having fewer of them means fewer jobs. Anyone can see how… I have always been opposed to outsourcing jobs, even to other Americans. There are exceptions to this need, but they are few and far between.

    Quite a few large Internet sites were attacked not that long ago — major players. The “all your eggs in one basket” analogy is very scary. It’s profitable for for the data centers, but potentially damaging to those who close down their own data centers.

    Data centers now are much less expensive to run than they were even a few years ago. What with virtualization, cutting-edge hardware, and access to fast connections being the norm, costs have plummeted.

    Even with virtualization, most data centers are far more complicated than is needed. People tend to go overboard. I wonder why kind of guarantees Amazon is going to provide in terms of SLAs for data availability, uptime, security, etc.?

  30. There are more cons than pros to outsorcing your data center.

    If a suitably motivated attacker wanted to, they could take down any data data center, potentially rendering a large swathe of the Internet’s most valuable assets unreachable. Don’t think it can’t happen? Think again. I used to work for one of the largest ISPs in the world. They had hosted data centers, among the first to do virtualization. They had great security processes in place. But… They were attacked many times by foreign idiots flooding the pipes (we’re talking OC-192s here) with bot net traffic, DDoS, cracking, etc. No one is immune from this stuff. Yes, you can do null routing (blackhole routing), set up filters, conduct traffic shaping, have distributed assets, push fresh DNS entries all the time, but all of the eggs in one basket is creepy from a security standpoint.

    What with merging data centers, there is also the problem of rogue DNS, routers all having to broadcast the IP space for all the hosted players, etc. It gets tricky very quickly.

    Another issue is not having your data where you can get to it should the WWW go down for any length of time. It’s just a matter of time before we start seeing cyber warfare. It’s an inevitability with all the idiots out there intent on doing idiotic things.

    While I’m sure there are some great reasons to outsource your data center (costs, people, etc.), the overarching problem is that this takes jobs away from people all in the name of saving money. I’ve always been against outsourcing servers unless the company in question is just a handful of people and they need to host somewhere because they don’t have the time or money to focus on data center management and coming up with, and launching new ideas. Any company of size needs to watch their own henhouse as it were.

    Having data centers creates/maintains jobs for people. Having fewer of them means fewer jobs. Anyone can see how… I have always been opposed to outsourcing jobs, even to other Americans. There are exceptions to this need, but they are few and far between.

    Quite a few large Internet sites were attacked not that long ago — major players. The “all your eggs in one basket” analogy is very scary. It’s profitable for for the data centers, but potentially damaging to those who close down their own data centers.

    Data centers now are much less expensive to run than they were even a few years ago. What with virtualization, cutting-edge hardware, and access to fast connections being the norm, costs have plummeted.

    Even with virtualization, most data centers are far more complicated than is needed. People tend to go overboard. I wonder why kind of guarantees Amazon is going to provide in terms of SLAs for data availability, uptime, security, etc.?

  31. What you save in storage and computing, adds up as extra engineering effort to integrate/make it work with AWS. If the engineering is done right(non-trivial), the bonus is the app can scale, scale really well. This situation reduces applicability/attractiveness of AWS for many application situations ( read AWS not mainstream, mainstream ready yet)

    As mentioned in my ‘Amazon EC2 as Restaurant‘ AWS in its present state/form( codebase, skill base, functionality etc) is extremely attractive for apps with spikes in demand, or other skewed characteristics. IMO, the codebase and skillbase is yet to reach tipping point to make AWS mainstream.

    -Balaji S.
    Chennai.

  32. What you save in storage and computing, adds up as extra engineering effort to integrate/make it work with AWS. If the engineering is done right(non-trivial), the bonus is the app can scale, scale really well. This situation reduces applicability/attractiveness of AWS for many application situations ( read AWS not mainstream, mainstream ready yet)

    As mentioned in my ‘Amazon EC2 as Restaurant‘ AWS in its present state/form( codebase, skill base, functionality etc) is extremely attractive for apps with spikes in demand, or other skewed characteristics. IMO, the codebase and skillbase is yet to reach tipping point to make AWS mainstream.

    -Balaji S.
    Chennai.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

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

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

  37. 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.”

  38. 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.”

  39. @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.

  40. @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.

  41. 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

  42. 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

  43. 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.

  44. 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.