What Walmart’s Move from the Amazon Cloud Means for You.

It was recently revealed that Walmart is putting significant pressure on some of its technology vendors by informing them that if they want to do business with Walmart, they will not be able to run applications on the cloud computing service of Walmart’s arch rival, Amazon.com.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the leader in on-demand, web-based computing power and storage which has put competitors like Walmart and Netflix in the dubious position of having to depend on a direct competitor as they shift to the cloud. Although Walmart stores most of its data on its own servers and uses services from the number two player in the public cloud, Microsoft Azure, they are still using some cloud applications that run on AWS. Other large retailers are also requesting that their service providers transition from Amazon’s cloud solution.

We believe companies of all sizes should have the right and choice in selecting the vendors and partners they want to work with. We are not surprised that Walmart is taking this stance nor are we shocked that Amazon is complaining about it. We find it ironic that Amazon, who is known to drive change and kill competitors (Barnes & Noble, Blockbuster, etc.), is complaining when its business interests and ethics are challenged. Microsoft was once touted as the “evil empire” and Google’s motto was “don’t be evil”. Yesterday’s underdogs become today’s tyrants. The good thing about computing is that it goes in cycles.

This posturing for which public cloud solution to choose makes it appear like an either/or choice is required by businesses looking to move to the cloud – AWS or Azure. Which one should you choose? Whether your company is a small business or a large enterprise, it is important to know that this does not have to be an “all or nothing” or a “one or the other” choice for you.

When Amazon first delivered its AWS public cloud offering back in 2007, small businesses jumped on board embracing the cost savings and enterprise-grade benefits it delivered. Enterprises, however, questioning Amazon’s expertise in IT and cloud computing, were less eager to sign up and opted instead for Microsoft which had a solid reputation, long history in technology and established personal relationships with enterprise CIOs.

Over time, the landscape has changed. Microsoft’s reputation as the technology provider of choice has shifted as Amazon has proved its expertise and the true value of cloud computing has come into view.

The cloud has enabled all businesses to work on their terms – using the specific devices and applications which are uniquely suited for them to improve productivity, increase efficiencies, and reduce costs across their whole organization. And, the competitive nature of both Amazon and Microsoft have been a benefit to us all, driving innovation as well as new features and functionality. However, both systems tend to be homogeneous in that you get locked into their system and migration from one to the other is difficult and cumbersome.

At Evocative, we embrace competition and innovation, providing both Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure public cloud solutions. We are the guardians of our clients’ Internet infrastructure and, as a trusted advisor, we believe in providing the right solution for the right need which may mean using both AWS and Azure at the same time for different applications. In some cases, the best decision an IT manager can make is to look at the facts and figures before deciding on a technology fad. Many times, the right solution might be colocation or private cloud hosting.

Don’t let the news of Walmart’s cloud transition make you question which public cloud solution is better and which you should choose for your IT needs. It doesn’t have to be a mutually exclusive choice.