Welcome to the big cloud big top

Cloud rivals who might have worried that cash-flush Google might start flat-out buying customers may be seeing those fears realized. Sort of.

Last week [company]Google[/company] said it will  offer a whopping $100,000 worth of cloud resources to qualified startups to get going on Google Cloud Platform. [company]Amazon Web Services[/company], of course, wrote the book on using cloud credits to get startups aboard, to keep them coming back for more, and to make good on cloud snafus. Google Cloud SVP and Technical Fellow Urs Hölzle (pictured below) announced the news last week.

Urs Holzle at Structure 2014. (c) Jakub Mosur

Urs Holzle at Structure 2014. (c) Jakub Mosur

As Server Density CEO David Mytton said in comments on last week’s story, $100,000 is a “pretty impressive credit amount. AWS offers $25k plus a support contract on similar terms. Going after startups and developers is how I remember Google doing developer marketing in the old days. Amazon has shown how this is a great route to adoption and enterprise. MongoDB is another good example of the modern open source model.”

AWS does go for bigger credits in other offers. In its annual AWS Challenge for example, winners get $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in cloud credits. But that’s a contest with a limited number of winners. [company]Microsoft[/company] Azure offers $200 in credit to new customers and participants in its Bizspark program get $150 per month in credits, but I’m not aware of any bigger bucks promotions.

So all these programs to grease the skids for companies onto the Google (or Amazon or Microsoft)  cloud are fine and dandy. But if all they lead to is a ton of unused resources, I’m not really sure what the long-term benefit is for anyone. Microsoft, at any rate, is acutely aware of the shelfware problem that dogged it in the on-premises world and is working to minimize a repeat of that in cloud. That’s why its emphasis and incentives to its own sales people and its partners lie more in cloud utilization than in cloud sales.

Oh, and in other cloud news, Google scored quite a coup in recruiting former Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens to be its new VP of Cloud. That appointment should allay any doubt that Google is seeking enterprise adoption of its cloud. 

Structure Show: HP execs talk about the Eucalyptus buy

It may have been worth only $100 million (no one’s saying) but Hewlett-Packard’s acquisition of Eucalyptus made big news last week.

With Eucalyptus HP gets Mårten Mickos to head up its cloud effort — he’ll report to CEO Meg Whitman — some 70 or so Eucalytus employees (who will stay in sunny Santa Barbara, Calif. the lucky dogs), a wealth of knowledge in AWS “use patterns” and (perhaps) AWS cloud compatibility.  An HP spokesman said Saar Gillai, who is SVP and GM of HP’s Converged Cloud, will report to Mickos on cloud matters and to Fink on  HP NFV (Network Function Virtualization) efforts.  Gillai took over NFV when Bethany Mayer left HP to take the top job at Ixia last month


We’ll see how that all shakes out, but in the meantime take a listen as HP CTO Martin Fink, Mickos and HP CLOUD SVP Bill Hilf, SVP of product and service management,  say what they can about the deal. That discussion starts about 17 minutes in after Derrick Harris and I chat about our own take on this and other news of the week.

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Hosts: Barb Darrow and Derrick Harris

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Feature photo courtesy of  Flickr user libertygrace0