Amazon Muscles Up in the Cloud with New Partner Program

by Sam Dean - Apr. 19, 2012Comments (0)

As reported here yesterday, proprietary cloud computing players VMware and Amazon are hearing footsteps at their back from emerging open source cloud computing platforms. Citrix's CloudStack, OpenStack and Eucalyptus Systems are developing into flexible, well supported alternatives to proprietary platforms. And now Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is undoubtedly the 800-pound gorilla in terms of cloud platforms, has announced a beta version of its AWS Partner Program. The move to build out a large ecosystem of partners is being widely interpreted as an answer to OpenStack, which has gathered more than 150 high-profile partners around its cloud platform.

According to Amazon's announcement: 

"The AWS Partner* Network (APN) is a new global program that provides partners with the technical information and sales and marketing support they need to accelerate their business on AWS. APN is currently in Beta but we are inviting partners to pre-qualify for the program by completing the APN Upgrade Form. To download the new APN Frequently-Asked-Questions document click here."

Amazon, of course, is not new to having partners on board with its AWS cloud effort. Eucalyputs Systems just recently announced a broad partnership with Amazon that can benefit both companies. But OpenStack's ecosystem of muscular partners is so big now, that Amazon is wise to build out a more significant partner program around AWS.

As Talkin' Cloud notes:

"Given the sharper competitive climate now facing AWS, and the timing of the news — arriving during the OpenStack Design Summit — is it too far-fetched to ask whether this is Amazon’s countermeasure to OpenStack’s momentum?...We still don’t know whether any one platform can dominate in the cloud era, as has happened with technology in ages past (think Microsoft in the PC era)."

Indeed, the jury remains out on whether one dominant cloud platform will move forward the way Microsoft's did during the rise of the PC era, but we've noted before that there is room for many winners in cloud computing. We may see a healthy ecosystem of ongoing competition between open source platforms and proprietary ones. 

GigaOM has a good breakdown of existing partners that AWS already has.  "What’s new now is Amazon is making those partnerships programmatic," the site reports. Exactly, and that is a wise move for Amazon, especially as we all wait to see whether one cloud platform can crowd out nearly all competition or not.

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