July 23, 2012, 2:06 PM — Most of AWS's competition-companies such as Terremark, Savvis, Bluelock and their global brethren-pursue an enterprise strategy. Enterprise CSPs implement "enterprise-grade" infrastructure from Cisco, EMC, HP and their top-end competitors, and they boast about it, implying that its reliability outstrips AWS.
Generally speaking, these CSPs implement a VMware-based software infrastructure. In terms of the customer-facing offering, the vast majority eschew direct signup in favor of a high-touch sales approach. In contrast to AWS publicly available, rock-bottom pricing, enterprise cloud service providers typically pursue large-scale, multi-year deals that can run into seven figures. It's no secret that they dismiss AWS rather sniffily, implying that a mere bookseller can't really be viewed as a serious technology provider.
Commentary: CIOs' Cloud Strategy Must Include Public Cloud Services
As of the end of May, it was AWS, the commodity cloud provider, vs. the rest of the CSP world, the enterprise crowd.
Without examining the merits of these two perspectives, the past 30 days have seen developments certain to shake this established dynamic and bring enormous change to it. Competition has come to the commodity end of the market, and it's going to disrupt every participant in the market-CSPs, software vendors and users alike.
Google, Microsoft Announce IaaS Initiatives
This is obviously a big shift for Microsoft, which previously offered a .NET Framework-flavored set of interfaces. For Google, however, how big a change this shift represents cannot be overstated.
Unlike Microsoft, Google has no history of offering virtualization or operating system-based services. It previously implied that forcing developers to work at the OS level and self-manage scale and elasticity was an obsolescent approach that could now be relegated to the ash heap of computing history. For Google to shift gears and offer a virtualization-based IaaS service is enormous. Given Google's technical certainty (arrogance, some might say), it probably was the result of a soul-searching decision-although given that it's Google, it was probably a metrics-driven soul search.