Amazon Web Services: The Big MSP Disconnect

Talk about two extremes: Yesterday, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth (the guy behind Ubuntu Linux) said Amazon Web Services has emerged as a de facto cloud standard until open, vendor-neutral cloud standards can be developed. Yet only three percent of MSPs leverage Amazon's cloud, according to our ongoing MSPmentor 100 survey. What's behind the disconnect? Here are some thoughts.

Admittedly, I've taken some heat in recent months from a few readers who think I spend too much time focused on Amazon Web Services, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). But I'm sticking to my guns because I think leading-edge VARs and MSPs are building bridges between on-premise systems and cloud services -- particularly Amazon's web services. Two examples include Levementum and OpenBI, two integrators that have been launching customer applications in Amazon's cloud throughout 2009.

Also of note: MSP software providers -- from Nimsoft to Vembu -- are either integrating with Amazon's cloud or monitoring services in that cloud. (If you're doing integration work, too, feel free to post a comment.)

Do MSPs Care About Amazon?

Still, we're early in the cloud game. A key indicator: Only 2.6 percent of MSPmentor 100 survey participants say they're leveraging Amazon's cloud. The survey, which runs through Dec. 11, 2009, will allow us to spot and track the world's 100 most progressive managed service providers. And the Amazon figure could certainly rise or fall since the survey is ongoing.

But who's right:
  • An outspoken Linux guru (Mark Shuttleworth) and a blogger (me), who think Amazon is a cloud that MSPs can't afford to ignore?
  • Leading MSPs, 97.4 of which says they have yet to touch or leverage Amazon's cloud services in any way.
I'm a pretty stubborn guy. I still think Amazon and competing big-vendor clouds can't be ignored. But readers also remind me that up-and-coming cloud efforts (such as 6Fusion and Channel Cloud) deserve equal time on MSPmentor.

We'll try our best to offer up that equal time. But I can't imagine ignoring Amazon... ...

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