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Senior Editor

Amazon isn’t eating all of its own cloud dog food

Aug 05, 20152 mins
Cloud Computing

Wall Street Journal exposes cloud providers not using their own clouds for everything

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The Wall Street Journal today takes a critical eye toward IaaS cloud providers like Amazon and Google who admit they are hosting some of their companies most sensitive workloads in private servers and not in their much-touted public cloud platforms.

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Executives with cloud vendors like Amazon Web Services have for years been attempting to make the case that their cloud platforms are ready for any and all workloads. They trot out customers at their conferences who have closed their last data centers. But that’s not the norm. While many organizations have warmed to the idea of using the public cloud, there’s still a hesitancy to lift and shift all workloads into the cloud.

Even the teams that run the ecommerce site and some of Google’s most valuable applications feel the same way.

The WSJ spoke with a former Amazon executive who said that back-end databases with confidential data on them do not run in AWS’s cloud. An AWS spokesperson told the WSJ that “the vast majority of runs in AWS.” But not everything. (In the tech sector, a company using its own products and services is referred to as eating your own dog food.)

AWS executives seem to have changed their tone on this topic in recent years. In the past AWS executives derided private clouds, but during a recent conversation with Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, he conceded that for the foreseeable future customers will still run applications behind their own firewall.

Clearly the cloud is not a panacea.

Although in Gartner’s latest IaaS Magic Quadrant the research firm reported that “Cloud IaaS is now used for virtually all use cases that can be reasonably hosted on virtualized x86- based servers.” Just because something can be hosted in the cloud doesn’t mean it should be though.

It’s prudent for IT professionals to consider their workloads and which fit best in an IaaS public cloud environment. Others may work better in their own data centers. Others may be more suited for a managed hosted environment, or a hosted private cloud. There are lots of options for users of where to host applications. Even the biggest cloud providers know that.

Senior Editor

Senior Editor Brandon Butler covers the cloud computing industry for Network World by focusing on the advancements of major players in the industry, tracking end user deployments and keeping tabs on the hottest new startups. He contributes to and is the author of the Cloud Chronicles blog. Before starting at Network World in January 2012, he worked for a daily newspaper in Massachusetts and the Worcester Business Journal, where he was a senior reporter and editor of MetroWest 495 Biz. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @BButlerNWW.

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