Apple, Schmapple: Here's Why AWS Partners Aren't Worried About Losing Cloud Business To Google

Amazon Web Services may have lost a chunk of Apple's cloud business to Google, but AWS partners aren't worried that other large enterprises might decide to follow suit.

As , Apple has signed up as a Google Cloud Platform customer in a deal that may be worth as much as $400 million to $600 million. Apple has simultaneously reduced its reliance on Amazon Web Services, which uses it primarily for iCloud storage, according to CRN's sources.

Landing Apple is certainly a big win for Google, which has been aggressively pursuing enterprise customers and partnerships since bringing in VMware co-founder Diane Greene to run its cloud business last fall. Google has also added Spotify as a customer, and sources told CRN last month it was .

Yet Google still has a long way to go. AWS has around 31 percent of the public market, compared with 4 percent for Google, according to Synergy Research. Google also trails AWS by a wide margin in data center capacity, and is planning to open new ones in Oregon and Japan in the coming months, .

AWS' multi-year head start in the cloud market, and its collection of enterprise and developer-focused services, will be tough for Google to match, AWS partners told CRN.

"’AWS’ leadership of the market shows no signs of abating; in fact, it seems to be accelerating into more sophisticated enterprise class workloads," said Jason Deck, vice president of strategic development at Logicworks, a New York-based AWS partner.

Deck said Logicworks has moved beyond compute and storage into Lambda, an AWS service that automates server and storage provisioning for developers, thereby speeding the app-building process. Another example is AWS Database Migration Service, which migrates on-premises Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL production databases to the AWS cloud.

Enterprises are increasingly migrating to AWS for the vendor’s ever-growing set of higher-level services, said Carla Cole, senior vice president of sales and marketing at 47Lining, a Boulder, Colo.-based AWS partner. ’Other cloud infrastructure providers are years behind in offering these more business-centric services,’ she said.

47Lining has a well-developed big data business, and Cole said the company uses AWS' Redshift (data warehouse), Kinesis (real-time streaming data), DynamoDB (NoSQL database), Machine Learning and Elastic MapReduce (Hadoop) to build what she described as ’data machines’ for customers.

’These ’data machines’ are essentially data pipelines for repeatable and continuous ingestion and analysis,’ Cole said. ’They serve a wide range of operational and consumer-centric processes, like establishing supply chain delivery expectations, preventing customer churn and identifying future consumer credit behaviors.’

Google, despite creating many of the key technologies that make cloud computing possible, hasn’t been able to parlay that experience into a flood of business just yet. Some industry watchers believe Google is losing money on the Apple and Spotify accounts in order to bring in high-profile customers.

It’s true, to be partially powered by . But will take a year & unlikely to be profitable. lost $ from iCloud.

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While Apple now has relationships with AWS, Microsoft and Google, it’s not clear that it signed on with Google just to get advantageous pricing, as has been widely speculated. Venturebeat reported last week that in loading photos and videos onto users’ iOS devices.

Robert Groat, executive vice president of technology and strategy at Smartronix, a Washington, D.C.-based AWS partner, told CRN he doesn’t think performance is an issue.

"I have never heard of a customer leaving AWS for better or higher performing services,’ Groat told CRN. ’Our AWS business has more than doubled in the last 12 months and continues to grow.’

Patrick McClory, senior vice president of platform engineering and delivery services at Datapipe, Jersey City, N.J., claims no direct knowledge of the Apple-Google deal, but said it would be logical for any large enterprise to consider buying cloud services from multiple providers.

’There is always a fit-for-purpose discussion to be had in the cloud market,’ McClory said. ’I don’t think this is a winner-take-all situation, nor will it mean less business for AWS.’

McClory said AWS and Google each have their own strengths in the public cloud market. ’Google been running compute at scale for a very long time. AWS has put a lot of work into making common cloud services easy to use,’ he said.

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