Amazon Web Services alternatives

Amazon Web Services
Access a reliable, on-demand infrastructure to power your applications, from hosted internal applications to SaaS offerings. Scale to meet your application demands, whether one server or a large cluster. Leverage scalable database solutions. Utilize cost-effective solutions for storing and retrieving any amount of data, any time, anywhere.
Amazon Web Services alternatives are:
Rackspace, Windows Azure, Google App Engine, Heroku, OpenStack
Here are the latest news about Amazon Web Services:

2014 AWS now supports Docker containers

Amazon announced the preview availability of EC2 Container Services – the new service for managing Docker containers that boosts Amazon Web Services support for hybrid cloud. This bring the benefits of easy development management, portability between environments, lower risk in deployments, smoother maintenance and management of application components, and the ability for it all to work together. AWS isn’t the first cloud provider to offer Docker’s open source engine support. Google has extended its support for Docker containers with its new Google Container Engine powered by its own Kubernetes, announced just last week during the Google Cloud Platform Live event. And, back in August, Microsoft announced its support for Kubernetes in managing Docker containers in Azure.

2014 Don't like cloud pricing? Wait a minute

According to the latest news, you need to wait just around 5 days before prices of cloud computing services will substantially drop. On March 26 Google announced price cut for Google Compute Engine (by 32%)  and Google App Engine (by 30%). And the cost of Google's cloud storage was reduced by as much as 68% (up to $0,026 per month per 1 GB). In 24 hours, Amazon responded - reduced the price of EC2 virtual machines by 30-40%, and the cost of S3 data storage - by 60% (down to $0,024 per gigabyte). Microsoft was very busy in recent days, so it reacted only after 5 days. Microsoft cut Windows Azure prices so that they were either identical or slightly lower than Amazon's. These three providers (Amazon, Microsoft and Google) reduce the cloud pricing so often that other players (IBM, Oracle, Rackspace, HP) simply can't take part in this cloud arms race, and the open cloud platform OpenStack also can't get the considerable market share.

2014 Amazon and Microsoft drop cloud prices

Cloud computing is becoming cheaper and cheaper. So, if you once (for example, a year ago) calculated whether it was cost-effective to migrate your IT infrastructure to the cloud and decided that it was still expensive, then recalculate again. Since then, cloud platform reduced prices two or three times. Another round of happening now. Since tomorrow  Amazon S3 cloud storage pricing will decrease by 6-22 % (depending on the used space), and the cost of cloud server hard drives (Amazon EBS) will fall by 50%. And a month later Microsoft's cloud platform Windows Azure  will reduce its prices by 20% to keep them a little lower than Amazon's. So think once again, why buy an in-house server if the cost of the cloud tends to zero.

2012 Top 5 Enterprise 2.0 stories of 2012

What are the most memorable trends on the Enterprise market in 2012? Have our 2011 forecasts come true? Here are the top 5 most important (in our opinion) Enterprise 2.0 events and trends of 2012:

1. Windows 8 didn't fly
When a brand-new product hits a market people say: "Fly or Die". The new Windows 8, which was strenuously pushed by Microsoft - is not flying, at least. But such a monster will hardly die quickly. Perhaps, Microsoft will bring a hoisting crane and slowly lift it into the sky.

2. Office Wars: MS Office vs Google Apps
The second (by importance) Microsoft's product - Office - also has to survive and play catch up with Google. Microsoft added collaborative editing, Google added mobile collaborative editing. Microsoft launched (to compete with GMail), Google launched Google Drive (to compete with SkyDrive). Microsoft acquired Yammer, Google acquired QuickOffice. Microsoft pulled Skype to Office, Google - pulled Hangouts. Microsoft signed Toyota, Google signed General Motors.

3. Amazon, Google, Microsoft against the Soviet Union
This year clarified the state of thing in the cloud platforms sphere. OpenStak, the open-source cloud platform was launched and it's ruled by the bunch of IT giants, reminding the Soviet Union. They want to create the standard of cloud infrastructure, which will give customers the freedom of choosing provider. In opposition to this project - Amazon, Microsoft and Google are developing their proprietary platforms and attracting customers by constantly lowering prices.

4. Mobile Wars: Apple vs Samsung
Microsoft is experiencing high pressure on OS, Office and Cloud markets. But on the Mobile market it only dreams of being in real competition, even having launched own tablet Windows Surface and Windows Phone 8. Here, on the Mobile market, Apple and Samsung (that is representing Android) are fighting. Apple won the Patent War Cup, and Samsung won the Global phone market and is the new Mobile king.

5. LinkedIn rise
With the background of Facebook failures, LinkedIn, the business social network, has rapidly gained popularity in 2012. Constant updates, new features, new advertising tools, active marketing, attracting business leaders allowed LinkedIn to turn from the job-search service into the communication spot.

2012 Google and Amazon reduce cloud storage prices. Launch new cloud services

Competition - is good for customers. On Monday, Google reduced prices for its Google Cloud Storage by over 20%, and today, in response, Amazon has reduced prices for its S3 storage by 25%. Obviously, in the near future, Microsoft will also reduce prices for Windows Azure, to bring them to the competitive level - about $0.09/month per GB. The same story occured in March when Amazon lowered prices, and then Microsoft and Google aligned their pricing with Amazon. Because on the cloud platforms market the price is no longer a competitive advantage, but your pricing is higher than the competition - is't a big disadvantage. Some experts already doubt that Amazon and the contenders are earning something on selling gigabytes and gigahertzs. Like in case with the mobile market, the main task of cloud vendors - is to hook up large companies and SaaS-providers to their platforms, even if they should sell computing resources at a loss.

All the talks about open cloud platforms, open cloud standards and free migration between clouds - most likely will remain just talks. OpenStack is trying to build the communism in the Cloud, but with its communist-like business organization, it will hardly succeed. Meanwhile, Amazon, Google, Microsoft are build cloud platforms with their own standards, with unique features, and can afford to reduce prices for computer resources. They can afford because customers will remain and pay for additional features. Migrating to another platform will be very difficult.

In addition to new pricing, Google and Amazon introduced the new cloud services. Google launched the clone of Amazon's Glacier - Durable Reduced Availability Storage (cheap storage for very large amounts of data with slow data access). And Amazon played its muscles. It's new service Redshift allow to host databases the size of which is measured in petabytes. It's difficult to say about the demand for such a service, but it should definitely make a positive impact on Amazon's reputation. If they can play with petabyte-databases, than your little project will work on Amazon without a hitch.