Amazon Web Service Offers Try-Before-You-Buy
It looks like Amazon Web Service (AWS) is taking a cue from Amazon.com. The cloud service platform announced that it is offering a new online marketplace. According to ComputerWorld, AWS's new one-stop shop is set to offer software and services from a variety of vendors, including Microsoft, IBM, CA, and SAP Technologies. It will also provide open source products from MediaWiki, Drupal, and Wordpress. While many of these vendors allowed customers to operate their products through Amazon's cloud, this more streamlined approach could make the experience easier for midsize businesses.
The new marketplace is offering its goods at an hourly or monthly rate through the cloud infrastructure platform, essentially allowing midsize businesses to "try out" options before they fully invest in them. ComputerWorld also reports that some of the services and software are even available for no charge other than the amount of Amazon computing and storage the customer is using. As is the case with Amazon.com, all the billing is through AWS rather than directly through the vendors. This makes the transaction simpler for everyone involved.
The benefits are pretty straightforward. Software can come at a hefty price, especially commercial applications. While many products offer trial periods, this can involve having to locally install the hardware. If IT is unsure of whether or not the software is a right fit, they can test it out for an open-ended period of time through the AWS cloud platform without having to tie up any resources or investing a hefty chunk of change.
The downside to using software on a trial basis through the AWS marketplace is that if it goes on the fritz and has an outage, without a local install your software is useless to you until Amazon has the cloud platform up and running again. Although, truth be told, that is the risk you take with any cloud storage provider.
That said, Amazon Web Service is in no way hurting. It has consistently been rated as one of the top service providers. According to Infoworld, one-third of all Internet users access Amazon's cloud at least once a day. The findings were provided by DeepField Networks, a brand new cloud intelligence company. DeepField CEO and co-founder Greg Labovitz also stated that one percent of all Internet traffic in North America goes to Amazon's cloud.
Regardless of the Amazon cloud's current standing, it is not surprising that AWS made this leap. With the cloud computing market getting increasingly more crowded, each individual service platform needs to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Being a marketplace for a variety of vendors is what Amazon does best-just look at the success of Amazon.com. It will be interesting to see if the AWS's new online venture for businesses bodes as well.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.