AWS Blinked

TL:DR — while this may give additional short term revenue to AWS, it screws customers and that’s not a good idea long term.

Update: This may not be such a bad deal for VMware. Not convinced this was a wise thing to do for AWS, thus the title and rest of the post.

I am a fan of VMware for their customer commitment and the quality of their products. I am a fan of AWS for their discipline and leading the world towards Cloud. When they both came together today, I threw up a little.

Today, VMware and the bookseller came together to announce a new partnership. They allow customers to buy bare metal from AWS to run software they might have already bought from VMware. They threw around several words like hybrid cloud, customer benefit etc.

The surprise here is AWS. AWS is not like other vendors when it comes to announcements. They display tremendous discipline in staying focused on solving customer pain. Nothing about this announcement shows that discipline. My opinion is that AWS has blinked. Perhaps, they are feeling the pressure from Microsoft Azure or the intense campaign been run by Diane Green at Google. Definitely not a sign of a vendor staying laser focused on customer pain points.

This is not the first time AWS blinked — previous examples include their experiment with Workspaces, which I wrote about before. But, its generally rare.

So, in any case, why I do think this is a bad thing?

  • Confuses AWS message — AWS has always been about how Cloud is the new way to run your workloads and it wasn’t about slow migration. It was about leveraging Cloud capabilities fully.
  • If you are looking for a path that allows you to keep your data center and move slowly to Cloud, Azure is probably the best choice, so AWS just made a case for customers to goto Azure.
  • Apparently, these VMware customers will be in a dedicated area of AWS, like that special CIA cloud that AWS built. So, these customers will go to Cloud, but its really a glorified co-lo.
  • Customers that buy into this partnership will end up wasting money and time and will not be moving to Cloud, while paying the Cloud premium. This is “screw your customer” model that never works in the long run.
  • AWS should be encouraging customers to develop their workloads to take advantage of Cloud ( microservices, serverless etc ) and not delay it further.

If I were Microsoft , I would remind the world that Azure is the best Cloud if you have workloads in both data centers and Cloud and you want co-existence,comfortable migration etc. If I were Google, I would remind the world about their ability to run Cloud Native apps using Cloud Foundry and other such platforms on Google Cloud.

If I were AWS, I would silently realize the mistake, may be do couple of Vodka shots, go back to being disciplined.

Some might argue whats wrong with AWS making some quick bucks — well, its the opportunity cost and by helping those customers fail in the market place, they would lose them forever.

These are my quick thoughts — feel free to disagree/comment away here or on Twitter.