The AWS re:Invent conference now taking place in Las Vegas has a record 50,000+ attendees. AWS had a 7-year head start in building a public cloud, and intends to hold on to its dominant 33% share of this market. The 2nd biggest cloud provider, Microsoft Azure, has about a 15% share.
A few significant announcements at this re:Invent could impact the future of some companies discussed here. In particular:
AWS services will be able to run in any data center by Q4 2019. Yes, you read that right. The company that invented the public cloud will be delivering it on prem as well. This potentially impacts Nutanix and Pivotal, both of which are trying to build cloud-agnostic platforms that operate in hybrid environments.
You’ve heard of Lambda, the AWS platform that allows you to build “serverless” apps as event-driven functions (with no need to manage servers)? Well, AWS is open sourcing the code for Firecracker, the virtualization technology that makes Lambda possible. This will encourage developers to build Lambda-like services on non-AWS platforms.
DynamoDB, which is AWS’s NoSQL database, now supports atomic (ACID) transactions. So it’s being positioned to compete better with MongoDB.
AWS has developed a custom machine learning chip, called Inferentia. This accelerates computations done by Sagemaker, which is Amazon’s machine learning service. So Amazon is getting into Nvidia’s space.
Where does all this put us? I’ve made a list of AWS services below, together with some competitors for each service that have been discussed on this board. In some cases, the competitor is ahead in features and market share (like Okta vs Cognito), but in other cases, AWS is ahead. In many cases, the “competitor” is also an AWS Partner, e.g., VMware. Note that I’ve omitted the other public cloud providers in the Competitors list.
Product AWS Service Competitors ------- ----------- ------------ Virtual machine EC2 VMware, Nutanix Object storage S3 ? Network-attached storage EBS VMware, Nutanix Containerization ECS/Fargate, EKS Pivotal NoSQL Database DynamoDB MongoDB User auth. and SSO Cognito Okta Data warehouse Redshift Snowflake Map reduce / Hadoop EMR Hortonworks / Cloudera Text searching AWS ElasticSearch ElasticSearch Performance monitoring Cloudwatch New Relic Call center service Amazon Connect Twilio Data visualization AWS Quicksight Alteryx, Tableau ETL AWS Glue Talend Machine Learning Sagemaker Databricks IoT AWS IoT ?
The competitors can continue to succeed if they provide enough differentiation and deliver excellent customer service to retain their existing customers. But AWS is a behemoth that bears watching.