Originally posted on Gigaom:
With news that Google(s goog) and Microsoft(s msft) plan to take on the Amazon Web Services(s amzn) monolith with infrastructure services of their own, you have to ask: How many clouds do we need?
This Google-Microsoft news, broken this week by Derrick Harris, proves to anyone who didn’t already realize it that Amazon is the biggest cloud computing force (by far) and, as such, wears a big fat target on its back. With the success of Amazon cloud services, which started out as plain vanilla infrastructure but has evolved to include workflow and storage gateways to enterprise data centers, Amazon’s got everyone — including big enterprise players like Microsoft, IBM(s ibm) and HP(s hp) — worried. Very worried.
These vendors are betting big that they can give Amazon a run for its money and that their cloud services will help them retain existing customers and (knock wood) win some newbies. Microsoft built Azure as a full-fledged platform as a service, but in the face of Amazon’s success had to tack to offer IaaS-type services, including VM Roles, which has been in beta for more than a year.