AWS’s softening stance on multi cloud

By Van Diamandakis, Jan 07, 2021

Andy Jassy’s marathon three-hour keynote speech to kickoff AWS Re:Invent, which wrapped up last week, covered many product announcements and if you are so inclined, you can watch the whole presentation. One of the things we found most interesting, however, was what Jassy did not talk about—namely multi cloud. At the end of his keynote, he discussed new AWS on-prem solutions that can also work in the cloud, but the word “multi cloud” was never to be heard.

It’s understandable to a degree. Going all-in on multi cloud would mean a radical change in the company’s egress charge policy—how much it costs to move data out of AWS and into other clouds. Full support of multi cloud demands an equalization of ingress and egress charges, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.

That said, there was a softening of AWS’s previous hardline anti-multi cloud stance. Jassy introduced two new services, ECS Anywhere and EKS Anywhere, two new versions of AWS's managed containers and managed Kubernetes services which are designed for customer data centers that can work on any infrastructure. That means these two services can be used to manage applications running on Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. So while there wasn’t an overt promotion for AWS users to use multi clouds, the move marks a shift in direction.

In truth, there wasn’t really another option. Customers are actively seeking cloud solutions today that are vendor-neutral and remain wary of vendor lock-in. A huge percentage of Microsoft and Google’s cloud customers already have a relationship with AWS, and recognize that multi cloud is a way to try to catch up to the market leader. Microsoft developed Azure Arc while Google Cloud introduced Anthos to give customers a way to manage applications running on multiple clouds and their own data centers. ECS Anywhere and EKS Anywhere wouldn’t likely offer the same degree of support for multi cloud deployments but we have noticed a desire within AWS to allow partial data migration to an alternative cloud, while maintaining data in the existing AWS cloud.

AWS has stayed at the top of the cloud services market by adapting to change, and this change will ultimately be no different. While multi cloud might be a word that is never said by AWS, their actions speak louder about their direction and their recognition of what customers want.



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