Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Zynga and the cost of agility

This article from RW was interesting.  I remember I did a double-take when hearing that Zynga was leaving AWS but there was general agreement at the time that you could save money by hosting it yourself (as well as some flexibility) if your environment aligned to that model, but it wasn't clear what the formula was. To me it's clear that AWS has an advantage when the use case is not static environments.  When your needs change, you aren't dragging the ball and chain of past decision around.  This is especially true for big-data efforts and emerging businesses.
But what is static these days?  Businesses come and go.  Product lines change.  Customers needs change.  State of the art in compute and architecture changes.  Its' difficult to find the use case where change isn't a persistent march.  Where change is slower, SaaS product prevail by taking a mature service and cost-optimizing it for their customers (ala CRM, email, etc.).  Here is a small quote from the article.

    As the company tried to make the shift to mobile, however, its infrastructure did it no favors. As Amazon Web Services data science chief Matt Wood told me in an interview:
    Those that go out and buy expensive infrastructure find that the problem scope and domain shift really quickly. By the time they get around to answering the original question, the business has moved on.

    While Wood was speaking of solving tough data science problems, the same principles apply to IT infrastructure, generally. When you build out a data center to solve particular problems, you're stuck with infrastructure that may not suit itself to new business challenges that arise.

There are a lot of advantages of cloud computing, but this is might be a really good example of the agility advantage.
-- Chris Claborne

Monday, January 26, 2015

Why The Snake Oil IBM?

When I was at the 2014 AWS re:Invent, IBM plastered busses with advertisements that their cloud business had surpassed Amazon’s.  People laughed but in my opinion, IBM has tarnished their esteemed position in industry and eroded trust.  I didn’t buy the IBM cloud biz was bigger but I didn’t have the data.  According to ReadWrite, they do.

IBM The World's Largest Cloud? Not Even Close

What’s wrong with IBM?  Why have they become a “snake oil salesman”?  IBM’s history is viewed by me as a trusted advisor to business.  They were professional and welcomed to the bidding when it came to tech and services.  By doing this, they close doors and raise the big question mark. Why?

-- Chris Claborne

Sunday, January 25, 2015

AWS re:Invent 2014

Although I'm getting this out a bit late, here is my annual review of the AWS re:Invent love-in cloud.  I was excited to see what this year’s annual conference in Las Vegas would bring.  I attend the conference for several reasons.  I wanted to see what’s announced at the show, but more importantly, I wanted to find out what the theme and core messaging and trends are.  By attending, you pick up on the theme and cantor of AWS by listening to all of the presenters.  This applies not only the AWS employees at the show, but their customer presenters.  AWS curates their presenters and topics to align to their marketing vector.  

AWS continues to be the leader of the pack by a wide margin, taking their planetary scale to the next level year after year.  What follows are some of my thoughts about AWS as influenced by re:Invent.