The Cloud Grows Up

The cloud is growing up. Its rite of passage comes this morning with the announcement that Amazon Web Services will now provide support for users of its Simple Storage Solution, Elastic Compute Cloud and Simple Queue Services products. Amazon, with its launch last week of persistent storage, was clearly wooing enterprise users, and the offer to provide support signals a formal courtship.

This is a romance that’s been played out across technology for decades, most recently in the open-source market. New technology gets launched and academics, hobbyists, and other early adopters play with them. Eventually businesses start wondering if they might be able to play, too. But downtime, glitches and the sense that you’re on your own are big turnoffs for corporate buyers.

Amazon Web Services has decided it’s time to grow up and play nice with business. It’s offering two different service levels: One starting at $100 a month and the other, at $400. While smaller companies such as Nirvanix already offer support and better usability for business users, the Amazon brand will bring cachet to its offerings, no matter what else is out there.