Last week, my colleague Randy Bias, introduced the concept of the “cloudcenter” and it has gotten some good commentary, traction and feedback. Most basically put, a cloudcenter (e.g., GoGrid) is a “datacenter in the Cloud” with features, systems, processes and functionality that sysadmins and IT Operations folks are accustomed to. But I feel that the concept needs to be explored a bit more as well as from some different angles.
I attended a technology meetup on Tuesday night in San Francisco where GoGrid is a sponsor. People were packed elbow-to-elbow in the space and I had lots of time to talk about GoGrid and our vision of Cloud Computing to many. A few times, I was asked the common questions “How do you compare to Amazon EC2?” as well as “Are you a competitor to Amazon Web Services (AWS)?” To those people who asked, I gave the following answer (probably not as well articulated though):
Both Amazon and GoGrid are Cloud Infrastructure or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers. We both reside within the bottom layer of the Cloud Pyramid, a term I coined last year to help explain Cloud Computing in an “over simplified” way. Both of our companies do essentially the same thing: providing elastic and dynamically scalable computing resources and infrastructure that is consumed on a self-service basis billed by usage. But how this infrastructure is provided is nuanced differently.
This broad definition warrants further explanation. First, my answer to the “competition” question. Personally, I don’t view AWS exactly as a competitor. They have provided incredible space validation as well as attracted new users to the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model. In fact, I would almost go as far as to categorize them as a “soft partner.” Here are a few reasons why I think this:
- we share the same generalized space of Cloud Computing,
- we offer similar feature-sets and functionality within the Cloud, and,
- we are driving towards a common goal of moving IT infrastructure into a “greener,” more cost-effective and much more efficient environment.