Cloud Storage Shakeup
Google, Amazon, GoGrid, Rackspace (MOSSO), and now Microsoft (to name a few) all offer (or will offer soon) cloud-based storage solutions. It’s always great to have choices, but with so many choices out there, developers may have a tough time deciding which vendors to select. It will probably come down to a combination of several key factors:
- Programming Libraries and other Desired Services
- Perceived Longevity & Commitment
- and, again, Price.
Amazon has a head start. It pioneered cloud storage with S3 and is currently the dominant player. I’d like to stop and applaud Amazon for their forward-thinking strategies. What they’ve done for application developers is nothing short of game-changing. Unfortunately, as more players enter the market, I can see my interest and dollars moving elsewhere. As a .NET developer, while it’s never been difficult to use Amazon S3, it sure would be nice to have a set of libraries that are more tightly integrated with the .NET environment. This is one area where Amazon could have focused to improve developer loyalty. Yes, the libraries exist, but developers are still faced with implementing specific code for a particular environment in a do-it-yourself fashion.
One area in which GoGrid and MOSSO could beat Microsoft, Google, and Amazon is by bundling storage with server hosting plans. It will take awhile for Microsoft to rollout the big services that it has planned. There will still be a major need for traditional and virtual web hosting. The developers who pay for the hosting services would benefit greatly from inexpensive cloud-based storage, and why wouldn’t you select your own host’s services if they were well-supported and bundled with your existing server plan?
How long will it take for all of this to shake out? For some vendors such as GoGrid and MOSSO, I think we’ll see some major accomplishments this year. They have the smaller, more nimble teams, and are able to push the envelope. The larger services will likely have an advantage down the road, but the goals are so huge that it may take awhile before speed and reliability are up to par. In the short term, I’d say it’s anybody’s game, and a few vendors will come out ahead by cultivating developer loyalty through better support and pricing.
data-text=”Cloud Storage Shakeup (Shannon Whitley)”