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Partners: AWS Outage Puts Spotlight On Private Cloud Advantages

Strategic service providers say the AWS outage is a case study in why customers need to look closely at the security and cost benefits of private cloud as they build out their cloud computing IT strategies.

An Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 outage on Tuesday that wreaked havoc on cloud service providers is shining the spotlight on the advantages of private cloud computing backed up by trusted advisors.

"This is a reminder that the public cloud is not the answer to all things," said Mike Strohl, CEO of Concord, Calif.-based Entisys360, one of the top cloud solution providers in the country. "It isn’t impervious to outages and shouldn't be considered impervious to security breaches. It means that customers need to have a total cloud strategy – public cloud included. Nothing should be considered the answer for all things public cloud included."

[Related: AWS Storage Outage Wreaking Havoc On Web Services Providers]

An "any cloud and every cloud" approach is one of the driving principles behind Entisys360's new CloudWorkspace product - a fully managed, subscription-based Citrix VDI workspace that runs on any public or private cloud. "Outages like the one with AWS create a loss of productivity for users," said Strohl. "Our any cloud and every cloud solution creates scenarios that protect against that." There are also cost advantages to the Entisys360 CloudWorkspace, since desktop resources in a public cloud are static – resulting in a high consumption public cloud expense, said Strohl.

Problems with the AWS S3 storage service in the Eastern U.S. region affected a range of cloud services, including Slack, Quora, and Trello, according to reports on Twitter. Based on customer tweets the problems started around 9:40 am PST.

The AWS status page reported at that time "increased error rates" among S3 in the U.S. Eastern region. Applications dependent on S3 will continue experiencing problems, the cloud provider said, adding it's working to remediate the outage.

An AWS update at 2:08 pm PST stated that the AWS service was back up and running. "As of 1:49 PM PST, we are fully recovered for operations for adding new objects in S3, which was our last operation showing a high error rate," AWS reported. "The Amazon S3 service is operating normally."

One alternative to an AWS-only strategy from Entisys360 is a hosted private cloud aimed at providing customers with the ability to move from IT as a capital expenditure to the subscription-based operating expense-based model. "That model enables the customer to go from capex to opex without the additional costs associated with moving to a public cloud," said Strohl.

Strohl stressed that he does not view public clouds like AWS as competitors. "They are simply one component of a customer strategy that if built right drives great value and saves money," he said.

As for whether the outage will cause a long term change, Strohl said he does not believe it will. But it does, he said, provide "talking points that create a level of awareness and education for customer cloud workshops."


Raymond Tuchman, CEO of Experis Technology Group, a fast-growing Potomac, Md.-based HPE private cloud powerhouse with its 80,000 square-foot cloud services data center, said the AWS outage is a case study in the advantage of private cloud versus a public cloud model. "The educated customers are starting to understand the inherent risks of being in a public cloud and are moving to private clouds to minimize risk, have better security and lower costs," he said.

The AWS outage demonstates the need for customers to be "educated on what they are buying in terms of cloud services," said Tuchman. "There are risks on public and private clouds. Customers need to understand those risks and make the proper business decisions."

Customers also need to be acutely aware of the cost of private vs. public cloud, said Tuchman. A recent proposal with a cost analysis done by a CFO customer put the cost of AWS at $159,000 per month versus $60,000 a month for a private cloud, he said.

Another big advantage for Experis customers is the "personalized" services the company provides – a sharp contrast to the online only support provided by AWS, said Tuchman.

"We offer a personalized service to each and every client," said Tuchman. "They are able to get to me or any of our executives to handle any and all issues. With Experis, you are not just a number getting information from an IP address."

Kelly Ireland, founder and CEO of Orange, Calif.-based CB Technologies (CBT), an HPE enterprise software partner, said the AWS outage is a chance for CB Technologies to showcase the simplicity and power of its enterprise CLOUD@scale private cloud provided a cost below public cloud.

"With CB Technologies you are not depending on whatever is behind the magic curtain," said Ireland. "What we do with CLOUD@scale is not cookie cutter. We make sure our customer's data is protected in the fashion it should be and is available when it should be."

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