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Comment Re:Amazon I think may fall down a bit... (Score 1) 250

Cloudformation is piss poor compared to Resource Groups in Azure. The idea is similar but you can deploy 'stacks' of things with permissions for role based access as well, very easy administration.

As for the Lambda stuff -- that's WebJobs in Azure, and far more powerful (takes in .exe, .sh, .bat. cmd, etc) whereas Lambda does .zip and .js only. Beanstalk integration into .NET environments (which is what we are primarily) is very bad compared to WebApps, and MapReduce is pretty commonly usable on either cloud. If you use SQL the SQL Azure is a better offering than RDS, but if you're on PostGres/MySQL then definitely a point in the RDS favor. Dynamo is also available on Azure in another form, as well as API aggregation, mobile integration, etc.

Long story short is that I don't think that one is better than the other outright -- it's about choosing the tools that make sense for your environment and developers. For us that seems to be Azure given a heavy SQL/.NET platform and developer base. For others it may be AWS for other reasons. I just think that as Azure expands its capabilities, and some of the things they wind up doing a lot better than AWS, as well as the stuff they do that AWS can't do at all (ie micro services architecture support in Service Fabric, Machine Learning that is far beyond AWS' capabilities, etc), then AWS gets into a race to the bottom. Not to mention the segregated storage in AWS that they are working on consolidating (ie, the S3/Glacier/EBS/etc) whereas in Azure it's one storage platform that can be called by API for different purposes (like block store, drives, etc).

Right now Amazon's primary problem is the talent keeps leaving, and they don't pay enough, nor do they have the perks to keep people motivated to stay. They take existing open source projects and expand upon them and provide you a managed service primarily on the IaaS side, but nothing is really developed net new; it's all a rehash of things already made. And that's where MS is making strides... all of their software is a reimagining of what cloud should be, rather than taking their existing products and making them "cloud ready". In time I think MS will do very well, but the poor marketing as well as MS' poor image from years and years doesn't help them. That said... AWS can only stay in people's good graces so long until they just can't keep up the level of innovation that not only MS, but Google are doing in the Cloud space. And truth be told... if MS has to worry about anybody in Cloud, it's not Amazon -- it's Google.

Comment Re:Amazon I think may fall down a bit... (Score 1) 250

AWS has a lot more features than Azure? No, not really... if you want to talk about IaaS components, Azure matches them almost 1 for 1. There are things that AWS has like Kinesis, or OpsWorks that don't exist in Azure so I'll agree to a point, but there are things in Azure like Service Bus, Service Fabric, WebApps, etc that don't exist in AWS. It's a different set of features and if you are IaaS heavy, the nod is definitely in AWS' favor.

However when you think about operational overhead, the amount of time you have to spend 'managing' the platform, the cost is far higher on AWS. It's primarily IaaS and therefore while you have elasticity and scaling, you still have to manage a hell of a lot of stuff. And Microsoft hasn't given you the flexibility or customization on this stuff, but as an organization you have to ask yourself -- do you need it? I'm sure on Slashdot everybody wants 100% control of everything and for that reason I can't tell you Azure is better than AWS, when AWS offers more finely grained control. However where Azure's benefit is, is in the PaaS offerings that allow you to focus on code development and product development, and less time on operational overhead. I have had conversations with some Netflix engineers and they LOVE AWS, but the amount of operational stuff they do to maintain the platform is well... huge. But it's part of their business now so it's not a big deal, and they've automated a lot of that though their own code. For organizations who have no foot in either cloud, the easier one to maintain is Azure over the long term.

And finding articles that say "AWS is better than Azure" are a dime a dozen, but it takes some real work to find out whether it's right for your organization. If you can tell me what you can do with AWS (outside of Kinesis and a few other services) that you can't do in Azure, then it will make sense for you to say that. But I can give you a LOT more I can do with Azure that I cannot possibly do in AWS. Not to mention, all of what I do in Azure can be taken back in house and run on my own servers; with AWS it's a one way street and if they screw you on the service or price... you are basically fucked. Microsoft plays that strength very well.

Comment Re:Amazon I think may fall down a bit... (Score 1) 250

I am a happy AWS user as well, and have been for years. But they exist in the IaaS space (which is why you saying Softlayer is kind of apt), and their developer tooling pretty much sucks. I've found this out only over time, but they have a very narrow way of doing things for developers where MS seems to be giving a lot more options. For Lambda for example, you really only have a few ways of inputting a script, and it only goes against AWS resources. Azure WebJobs (much less sexy a name) is far more powerful with a lot more options for code than Lambda has.

AWS has a lot of options in terms of IaaS deployment, and you can customize a lot. But Azure meets most needs on the IaaS side (and even some moreso with things like resource manager which are far more elegant than CloudFormation) and blows them out of the water in the PaaS space. In terms of future development for my team, we are shifting from spending almost 100% AWS to migrating into Azure. I think operationally the costs will be lower and the barrier of entry is a lot faster and easier.

Comment Re:Amazon I think may fall down a bit... (Score 1) 250

I was also at ReInvent but that's like saying that there's a lot of people excited about baking at this cupcake convention... it's not a surprise.

As for the account reps well... MS has always been great in the enterprise space in general, so not sure if it's a $ issue or your existing relationship with them, but for any EA holding customers, they are basically on call 24/7 for anything you need. Granted I don't work for them, so fuck if I know... but guess you know better than me :)

Comment Amazon I think may fall down a bit... (Score 3, Insightful) 250

I have friends who work and who have worked there.... the job climate is basically ridiculous. Lots of hours, the pay not as great as their neighbor in Seattle (Microsoft), the advancement not very good either. Not to mention, Amazon is basically falling down in the enterprise space. They have made a lot of gains with CIOs/CTOs who are infrastructure focused and have a mission to "cut costs," so they have companies like GE and the like moving over to use their IaaS, but their platform services are a joke.

Everything at AWS is rehashed open source that is made to fit into a 'cloud' world... nothing wrong with this of course, but most of the basis of their products never really was meant for humungously distributed systems. Microsoft on the other hand (love them or hate them), made a totally new stack for cloud and the development community is embracing it on the enterprise side. This is Amazon's game to lose, but given the way their storage is segregated, their platform is one-way (come to us, no migration path anywhere else!), and their costs are nothing to write home about (because everybody price matches the IaaS pricing now).... I dunno, it's not going to be great for them going into the future. Of course I could be wrong, but right now I think given their human resource problems, their platform issues, and their inability to focus on developers (since they cater more to the ITPro crowd with IaaS solutions), it doesn't look good long term for them.

Comment Re:It's a trap! (Score 1) 141

That's because other organizations have gotten smarter about this, like Google:

There are things that Microsoft didn't do back then (ie, lobby heavily) that other organizations do HEAVILY now (even RedHat, surprise surprise) that landed them in a lot of hot water. The idea that Google is a fair and balanced organization that wouldn't have antitrust issues for promoting their own services is ridiculous if you look at it from the lens of what happened to Microsoft a decade ago.

I know it's popular to hate Microsoft at Slashdot but a bit of perspective seems in order.

Comment Re:Who is going to use it? (Score 1) 94

Regulated ones. Archaic ones. Ones with a lot of legal issues. There are plenty of use cases, though most of them will be solved through contractual obligations at some point and everybody will migrate to the cloud.

There really isn't a market for IT Pros as much any more... everybody is turning more and more into a developer, and that's what will be needed to manage this type of stuff; DevOps and Developers. IT Admins are now a commodity.

Comment Re:AWS' problem is not the infrastructure... (Score 1, Interesting) 76

It's a matter of risk vs reward. Yes, I might be locked into a platform but at the level I develop, MS and other enterprise cloud vendors can't just arbitrarily raise the price. There are enterprise agreements that have liabilities, timelines, penalties and a lot more in order to ensure that there aren't runaway costs. I know, because I've negotiated them with both AWS and Microsoft. Funny thing is, AWS does not agree to terms for large organizations that are any different for a startup, and that's great for small startups as well as AWS to keep their legal costs down (and those get expensive), but for large enterprises with a lot to risk it's not appealing to do business with them on that front because of the fear of arbitrary price raises for any platform type services they provide.

They are getting better since Azure is growing at a faster rate than AWS and they are keenly aware of competition, but I don't think that AWS will provide the flexibility an enterprise needs in terms of the legal and compliance aspect. Thus far since they are relegated to IaaS for the most part, it's a non-issue because competition exists to combat them on price, but as PaaS comes along as well as lock-in... it is much less appetizing.

Comment Re:AWS' problem is not the infrastructure... (Score 1) 76

I think that AWS' IaaS picture is more complete than Microsoft's, no doubt... as for deprecating APIs well, I'll have to put my tin foil hat on that because since .NET 1.0 they have managed somehow, to maintain most of their APIs with little deprecation. I don't imagine it would bode well for their business if they deprecated it for Azure, but you're free to believe that. On the point of PaaS being far from mature enough, I'd likely agree; except if you look at modern startups, most of those are written in microservice type architecture, that doesn't work on AWS at all. It works however, on Heroku and that's where SalesForce is making a killing (overpriced as it may be).

As for the Novell analogy well... I think you've got a little baggage with regards to MS that I'll try to let you deal with on your own. I don't care much for the organization who makes the software, I care about the right tool for the job. And currently, for most of what I do I use and am happy to use AWS. I'll continue using them. However for new development efforts where we look to write in a microservice architecture, then AWS is simply not an option and I'm looking at Apache Mesos, Heroku, Service Fabric and AppEngine. Now you may disagree with that and that's all well and good, but from the tone of your post I'll gather you're the "I hate MS at all costs" type of person that is rather common around Slashdot, in the 15+ years I've been here. Hey, that's cool. I've been in some extremes in my career and as I've evolved I've looked to see it for what it is, a hammer and a nail type of situation. Which hammer do I need? Depends on the nail and what I'm driving it into.

Comment AWS' problem is not the infrastructure... (Score 1, Informative) 76

It's the fact that they only focus on infrastructure. IaaS is their bread and butter and it's what keeps them running and going with companies that don't know anything better than servers and storage, to migrate their workloads (the peaks and valleys kind) into the cloud to save money and be agile.

The next generation is a step beyond that, and it's what Microsoft, SalesForce and Google are building for -- PaaS. The idea that you manage fleets of servers is an archaic one, and the next generation will be writing against an API that manages all of that for you. Azure's Service Fabric, Google's AppEngine, SalesForce's Heroku -- those are the future of cloud computing. It's also a future that AWS doesn't have represented at all.

I am a fan of AWS technologies in their current state and the problem they solve for. But it's a problem that takes EXISTING methodologies and infrastructure and merely replaces them. It does not help prepare for the next generation of developers who grow up with the idea that this is all a commodity and they just want their code to work and execute, and have a smart engine behind it figure out all the needs for their app (be it data, network, power, cooling, memory, etc).

In that sense, Microsoft is far, far ahead of the others and as developers start to change their tune in their practices, we'll see that uptick for Azure happen. In the meanwhile, AWS is a decent place to put your existing servers and storage type of needs.

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