I’ve been thinking more about AWS since Jeff Bezos’s talk yesterday. Whenever infrastructure outsourcing comes up, the question of standards is not far away.
Amazon can wait for its services to become de facto standards or they can lead with a standardization effort of S3, EC2 and SQS APIs. OASIS will be a good organization to go through. There are pros and cons, of course, but Amazon shouldn’t fear standards–the real IP is in the backend infrastructure and knowing how to scale cost-effectively, which is not easy to do. Buying power is an important part of the equation.
Who can compete with AWS? Certainly GOOG + MS can and will eventually do it across all services. IBM can do it also but will likely be a late entrant since they won’t see service up-sell opportunities. Sun also has a managed services business and the SW infrastructure to get in the game. Y! has great storage infrastructure (they are NetApps’s largest customer) but offering that as SaaS doesn’t jive with their vision. Photobucket can go after the S3 customers but has no technology to compete with SQS and EC2. In short, right now Amazon is in a pretty good spot.
I’d be much more inclined to have startups consider using AWS if the APIs were somewhat standard–it would mean lower costs of switching should there be a reason to more away from AWS.