Top Cloud Computing News: December 2018

01.09.19
Jackson Lucas
Cloud Tech Journalist

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If you’re anything like me, your attempt to start 2019 as a new person means you’ve inevitably tried to forget 2018 even happened. Let’s recap the top cloud news of December so we can finally put this past year behind us…

I make way too many jokes in an attempt to explain how a Mom-and-Pop cloud shop is trying to disrupt the market, Oracle decides to take Amazon and the United States Department of Defense to court, and AWS continues to not play by the rules (a win for customers, but ultimately a loss for competitors).

 
 
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The real problem here is the Pentagon’s insistence on awarding the contract to a single bidder, which many critics have said both restricts innovation and poses a massive security risk.

Can you pass me that Packet of Wasabi please?

CloudTech reported (and I’m literally quoting here) “Cloud and edge computing infrastructure provider Packet, and hot cloud storage firm Wasabi...” (I couldn’t write a better joke if I tried) announced plans to integrate their respective platforms to offer customers cloud computing and storage services for pennies on the dollar compared to industry leader AWS.

David Friend, CEO of Wasabi, claims their cloud storage is 80% cheaper and six times faster than Amazon S3 storage, which, if we’re taking at face value, is sort of incredible. Packet and Wasabi’s seasoning, I mean reasoning (sorry), is a simple one: AWS offers customers a lot of cloud services (some say too many), and while they claim to do ‘everything’, they don’t necessarily do anything particularly well.

Packet and Wasabi aren’t claiming to offer anywhere near the breadth of services as AWS. In fact, they pride themselves on doing the exact opposite. Their integration focuses on doing fewer things (e.g. cloud storage) extremely well. This tactic might start to catch on as smaller organizations looking to capitalize on the growing cloud market struggle to carve out their piece of the pie against the biggest providers in the game.

Have Packet and Wasabi discovered AWS’ achilles heel? I’m not too sure…I respect their tenacity, but they’re facing a Goliath even bigger than the OG Goliath himself—and that bite of wasabi might be too big for even them to swallow.

Oracle looks to build out their legal team in 2019

Just last month Oracle filed a complaint in the United States Court of Federal Claims alleging that the Pentagon’s decade-long, $10 billion JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Initiative) RFP process unfairly favored Amazon. The complaint goes further to claim that the single-vendor decision violates federal procurement rules and that two members of the JEDI team involved with the RFP process had a conflict of interest because of previous affiliations with AWS.

While Oracle isn’t the only sore loser in this game (IBM and Google also raised similar concerns, with IBM choosing to file an official protest alongside Oracle with the US Government Accountability Office), they are the only pursuing legal action to this degree (I wouldn’t be so quick to write them off…they’ve had a history of long, successful court battles).

In all fairness to Amazon, they have long been considered the likely winner of the JEDI contract, as they are one of the only cloud providers with the infrastructure, funds, and security clearances to meet all requirements of the Pentagon’s RFP. The real problem here is the Pentagon’s insistence on awarding the contract to a single bidder, which many critics have said both restricts innovation and poses a massive security risk.

Amazon just signed on to defend itself against Oracle’s lawsuit which means the gloves are officially coming out. And if My Cousin Vinny and Legally Blonde have taught me anything, it’s that anything can go down in a courtroom.

AWS’ product roadmap harder to guess than Hitchcock plot

One of the biggest announcements from AWS re:Invent 2018 was that of AWS Outpost, an incredible new service that will allow AWS users to run AWS infrastructure on-premises to deliver a “truly consistent” hybrid experience. Unlike Azure Stack, which is offered via integrated systems from vendors such as Cisco or Dell EMC rather than Microsoft directly, AWS Outpost’s infrastructure is fully managed and maintained directly by AWS.

This announcement is another clear sign that AWS is continuing their commitment to be customer-driven in their product roadmap. Customers were looking for a hardware-software bundle that allowed them to bridge their on-premise infrastructure with a cloud-based managed service, and that’s exactly was AWS delivered. Amazon’s focus on the customer is a trait that oftentimes makes it difficult to predict where their big announcements are headed next, and that is slowly becoming the new normal for the cloud giant.

As the market leader, an announcement like that already has everyone else playing catch up. We’re likely going to see hybrid-cloud services become a major theme in 2019 and into 2020 as others scramble to stay competitive, which unfortunately for many smaller cloud providers was hard enough already.

That wraps up the top cloud computing news in December 2018! Join me next month for the latest and greatest happenings in all things cloud computing.


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