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Amazon Web Service exec on competing with Google and Microsoft

Brandon Butler | April 8, 2016
Plus, would AWS ever offer a private cloud? Do customers outgrow the cloud?

Do companies ever out-grow the cloud? Recently, I spoke with officials at Dropbox, who believe that they can run some of their applications more efficiently in a custom-built internal infrastructure stack compared to using the public cloud. The CTO of Bank of America told me they have found no economic reason to move to the cloud. Especially with open source initiatives like the Open Compute Project, is there a point where it’s more efficient to run some workloads on-premises compared to in the cloud?

Our stated mission and belief continues to be that in the fullness of time, most companies will not run their own data centers. We’ve seen that to be the case for startups that are going through enormous growth. Folks like Airbnb, Instacart and Tinder start on the cloud but then they remain on the platform as they go through that growth and stabilize. We’ve seen large-scale enterprises who have made the choice to make really key, strategic migrations to AWS.

When you see the CIO of GE – which is over a 100-year-old company – saying AWS is their technology platform for hopefully the next 100 years, that’s a good indicator of where large enterprises see things going. And they have a really strategic migration plan of moving 9,000 of their internal applications into AWS. We see large, highly-regulated entities like Capital One talk about how AWS is actually more secure – they were able to realize higher levels of security than they were on premises.

If you think about ‘private cloud,’ you can choose to make an investment of several million dollars and then you can maybe have a circa 2013 AWS service available to you. But that only goes so far because AWS is growing all the time, we’re adding functionality at a pretty strong clip – we’ve already added over 180 features this year – and we’re adding new services and capabilities and instance types. We’re broadening the platform while also deepening the functionality within that platform. It’s really hard to keep up if you’ve already had to make that big capital upfront investment, and then go ahead and try to keep up with the developers in your organization who want to move as quickly as they can but find themselves in this little box frozen in time.

By choosing AWS, you get to take advantage of that pace of innovation, you get to take advantage of the scale at which we operate. Time and again we see customers choosing AWS over on-premises infrastructure and even if sometimes customers experiment with their own infrastructure, they very frequently come back to AWS in the long-term.


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