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Making virtualization, reality

The Gift That Keeps On Giving: How Amazon Web Services Continually Improves

Once your transition to Amazon is complete, the real fun begins. Some companies assume that after handling the tricky transition period, everything will stay at the status quo from here on out. But Amazon releases plenty of new services, upgrades and tools every week—too many to count, really—to the point that buying in to Amazon Web Services becomes more like a club membership than a one-time purchase. And once you’re in, you’re in.

Bring In The Apps

Amazon is quickly developing a vast arsenal of applications for its Workspaces and Web Services clients. Take Zocalo for example—announced in summer 2014, the cloud storage software is geared towards Amazon’s business clients, and has piqued the interest of IT managers with its encrypted connections and finely-tuned access controls.

It’s too early to tell whether Zocalo poses a bigger threat to smaller startups like Dropbox and Box, or whether this just adds to the heft of Amazon Web Services’ status as a cloud industry leader. But the bottom line is clear: it’s a viable, competitive application that Amazon Web Services users are perfectly poised to take advantage of.

Flexible Payment Options For Long Term

Amazon offers a few different—and unique—¬¬payment options, which allows for unusual flexibility in this field. In addition to three standard packages—those being pay-per-hour, whereby you buy an instance and pay for however many hours you use; a year-long subscription, which comes with a certain number of virtual CPUs and memory at a cheaper cost; and a three-year subscription, which is even more discounted in the per-hour scheme. Clearly, Amazon is anticipating a long-term relationship with its clients.

But there is another option, carried over from the stock market, which makes a long-term relationship even more interesting. It’s called “spot-pricing”, whereby users pay the lowest price possible per instance, but are liable to pay more if those prices inflate, based on Amazon’s total usage. Resources might be sold off cheaper if a large number of people start to use it, which causes inflation. It’s a clever little option, and should be interesting to watch how it unfolds.

The Amazon Monopoly Over The Market

It’s easy to talk up Amazon Web Services as a contender in the cloud playing field, but the fact is that soon the conversation may not need to exist. Competition is slowly disappearing. One need not look past Rackspace, which used to be a major hosting provider, but which conceded selling virtual CPUs per-hour to Amazon in mid-2014. The fact is, it simply couldn’t keep up.

Among the millions of providers out there, Amazon is slowly climbing its way to become king of the virtual castle. The only way they can survive is by offering something Amazon can’t—but with Amazon’s ever-evolving status, finding something they don’t do will only get harder.

Trent Dilkie

Trent Dilkie

Trent Dilkie has come a long way in the last 30 plus years, from engineering student at the University of New Brunswick to VP Strategic Initiatives & CSO at Gibraltar Solutions. Today, Trent is an important part of the Gibraltar team, as his expertise in security has allowed him to be involved in ethical hacking and building computer security assessments and new security practices. He has also developed solutions for mobile device integration into corporate IT, Bring Your Own Computer programs and Mac@Work programs.

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