The AWS Explosion

But that is too little avail. AWS dominates the IaaS space, or so says market sage Gartner. “Market momentum has strongly favored Amazon Web Services. Many organizations have now had projects on AWS for several years, even if they hadn’t considered themselves to have “done anything serious” on AWS. Thus, as those organizations get serious about cloud computing, AWS is their incumbent provider — there are relatively few truly greenfield opportunities in cloud IaaS now. Many Gartner clients now actually have multiple incumbent providers (the most common combination is AWS and Terremark), but nearly all such customers tell us that the balance of new projects are going to AWS, not the other providers,” Gartner argued.

A combination of Amazon and third party tools has strengthened the AWS position. “Little by little, AWS has systematically addressed the barriers to “mainstream”, enterprise adoption. While it’s still far from everything that it could be, and it has some specific and significant weaknesses, that steady improvement over the last couple of years has brought it to the “good enough” point. We still hear plenty of interest in competitors, but AWS is overwhelmingly the dominant vendor,” Gartner says.

In Gartner’s latest ‘Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service’, AWS far outstripped all its rivals. “AWS is the overwhelming market share leader, with more than five times the compute capacity in use than the aggregate total of the other fourteen providers in this Magic Quadrant. It is a thought leader; it is extraordinarily innovative, exceptionally agile and very responsive to the market. It has the richest IaaS product portfolio, and is constantly expanding its service offerings and reducing its prices. It has by far the largest pool of capacity, which makes its service one of the few suitable for batch computing, especially for workloads that require short-term provisioning of hundreds of servers at a time,” the research house said.

AWS: A Dominant Force

So why is AWS so dominant? It comes from real world experience. AWS wasn’t orginally built to sell to others, but to sell billions of books to millions of customers. Amazon ended up building a massive server farm that worked as a private cloud. Since it worked so well, all Amazon had to do was to scale it for excess capacity it could then sell to others. Talk about a proven technology!

Amazon Partner Network

Just as Microsoft has an elaborate partner program, AWS has the equally impressive and faster growing Amazon Partner Network (APN).

There are three main types of partners. Technology partners are those who build tools that exploit AWS.

Service providers are another form of partner.

There are also consulting partners who are a form of reseller/integrator.

Every year Amazon puts on the re:Invent show for AWS partners. This show brings in some 12,000 attendees, and it one of the largest technology events today.

Here is how Amazon describes APN. “The growth of the AWS Partner Network and AWS Marketplace continues to accelerate as customers actively seek partners with the products and expertise to help them take advantage of the AWS cloud,” said Terry Wise, Director, Worldwide Partner Ecosystem, AWS. “Our partners are critical to helping customers run their applications on AWS, and we will continue to invest in delivering the programs, tools and training to help our partners grow their cloud businesses, differentiate their offerings, and drive success for our joint customers.”

At last count APN had over 8,000 technology and consulting partners as members. And last year, the AWS Marketplace has increased its number of offerings 71 percent to over 1,100 preconfigured bits of software, and the usage hours of customers grew seven-fold.

The AWS ecosystem has grown out of AWS’ success and is now adding to it. “AWS has a very large technology partner ecosystem. Many software vendors have specially licensed and packaged their software to run on EC2, either independently or via the AWS Marketplace, which eases deployment and eliminates some of the challenges associated with licensing software to run in the cloud,” Gartner says.

Here are some newer aspects of APN.

  • “APN Advanced Channel Program provides high-performing AWS channel partners with a new, “Advanced Channel Partner” designation that gives them access to expanded technical support and content.
  • APN SaaS Accelerate Program provides specialized technical content and support for ISVs who are running SaaS applications on AWS.
  • APN Partner Leads is a new pilot program thatwill provide leads and opportunities to a select number of APN’s top consulting partners.
  • APN Business Development Training Series is designed to provide partners with the training and information they need to engage on business development opportunities with their partners.
  • APN Market Development Funding enables select technology and consulting partners to apply for funding to support their market development activities
  • APN Partner Support Center programmatically connects partners with the AWS staff to answer questions and help them gain a better understanding of APN’s benefits and resources.
  • Expansion of APN Reference Implementations & Test Drives makes it easier for partners to provide test software for customers and deploy popular software into production.”

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