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Why use one cloud, when you can use any cloud? No, seriously, why would we just use one cloud? Let’s stop for a moment and think about what has happened over the course of the last few years in public cloud computing and the hypervisor wars on-premises. VMware has largely dominated the data center, but we are seeing a strong push from Microsoft on the hypervisor front. KVM and Xen continue to grow in popularity for certain sectors, and all across the spectrum we see lots of folks running more than one hypervisor.
The cloud is no different. The reason that we are all seeking the “AWS killer” just like the elusive “iPhone killer” is that there is some bizarre need to locate a winner of the platform war. Like my favorite show, The Wire, quoted, “You can’t even call this s$%t a war. Wars end.”
This isn’t a zero-sum game. The real shift in our industry is the broad acceptance of multiple platforms inside every IT portfolio. We jumped right past the cloud to the multi-cloud.
Technology is not the problem, it’s the solution. Business challenges are being answered by technology which is what really matters. So, why would we run more than one cloud? The reason is a technological one usually. Certain features, APIs, and architectures may be supported on one more than another. There are raw economics involved as well. There are overall availability concerns which drive businesses to disperse their IT across multiple data centres, so why not do the same in the cloud?
The reason that AWS and OpenStack are often pitted against each other is that there are capabilities to enable AWS API access within the OpenStack platform. This is something that Randy Bias and many in the community fought for over the last few years. The reason that it becomes important is that we see the huge adoption of AWS, and being able to take the same workloads and move them to OpenStack using the same API calls and interactions would be a massive win for OpenStack as a platform.
If we stick to strictly public cloud providers, we can start with what we would call the Big 3: AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform. Among those three, we see a lot of parrying as we see features and pricing updates happening regularly.