Amazon Rocks The House with New EC2 Features

Amazon announced three new features for EC2 today:

  • CloudWatch – monitoring your instances
  • AutoScaling – automagically scale/shrink your instances
  • Elastic Load Balancing – balance traffic across instances, including geo-distributed clusters (nice!)

There are a lot of conversations going on about the new features. Looks like Amazon has significantly extended their lead in cloud computing. Who'd a thunk it?

Several things jump to mind for me:

* BaconMarathon – we've been running our top3Clicks Facebook app in the EC2 cloud for more than a year now. Overall, the experience has been quite good, but there were a few things missing, most notably a scaling technology solution. I looked at RightScale, but their price point was not for us. Additionally, basic monitoring (disk space, CPU, RAM, app-level like HTTP GET) would have saved us from a few outages and the heartburn that comes with it.

* AMZN p/e - when does Amazon's p/e ratio begin to reflect the technical leadership/lead that they have established in cloud computing? Or has this already occurred since $AMZN is trading at a current p/e of 48.64 while GOOG is 29.02? I saw just today that AT&T was launching a cloud initiative with EMC; great that they are coming to the party, but they are pretty late. Amazon is grouped in Retail - when does this change/does Amazon need to spin this out into a separate company to realize the true forward looking value of the technology? Or, when does an IBM acquire Amazon for the technology and sell-off the retail business? Even more far-fetched, when does Amazon start acquiring technology companies in an Oracle-type rollup strategy?

Great comment from Matthew Snape on my Friendfeed post:

Dave AWS is so brilliant because it is a retail operation. They sell CPU time in exactly the same way they sell books or dvd's, all you need is a credit card. Compare that with the way IBM or Oracle operate. Perhaps it will be Amazon buying Oracle?

* Startups - We've all seen this movie before, but when startups build functionality on top of another company's APIs, things usually go something like this:

  • Startup sees APIs, builds cool/missing functionality to fill in the gaps. Ignores comments that they are "just a feature"
  • Startup secretly hopes API publisher sees value and acquires startup
  • API publisher sees that startup has validated model and builds out same functionality
  • API publisher launches new features; startup ends up being "just a feature" and closes down















Perhaps folks like RightScale will figure out how to add more value/build out their cloud support to other offerings like IBM, Google, Microsoft, etc.