A few days ago I wrote about the UK Government’s CloudStore, a central service where cloud service providers can register and sell their software and services to UK government. I have also recently posted several blog entries about Amazon AWS. Today I find myself posting about Amazon again as they release another new service but this time it’s a little different. They have announced AWS Marketplace, an online store for cloud software that is similar to CloudStore but for all software purchasers.
What excites me about AWS Marketplace is that as a software vendor myself, who deploys to Amazon AWS, is that this is an instant, easy marketing tool for our software. As a purchaser of software, I have a focus point to find relevant software that can be purchased on a pay-as-you-use basis with no worries about hosting, scaling, etc. The work of installing and running the enterprise class software on Amazon AWS has been completed by the vendors or solution providers. This, to me, is the future of software. The AWS Marketplace brings to software the same simple, secure, shopping experience that many of us enjoy on the Amazon e-commerce store.
Let’s take a look at AWS Marketplace in more detail. The current products are in three main categories:
In each of these categories there are many subcategories. Let’s take an example and look at the benefits of this service. My personal software company develops primarily Java-based enterprise applications. To host this, one option is IBM’s WebSphere. We recognise the power of this environment but due to costs we have not been able to deploy to this platform whilst remaining competitive to our customers. This has now changed. On AWS Marketplace we can now run WebSphere for between $0.79 and $1.49 per hour. This price include EC2 instance costs but not data transfer costs. This is incredibly cost effective and is just an example of how small and medium sized organisations can now access enterprise software that until now has been the privilege of large businesses. Other software organisations such as SAP and Sage also have products on the marketplace. The marketplace also offers a number of open source software configurations as well as commercial.
For software vendors, Amazon is a great place to sell products too. Amazon provides access to hundreds of thousands of potential customers in 190 countries and handles all the difficult things like billing and metering. To maintain quality, Amazon are careful who they let publish to the marketplace. Organisations must have a proven track record with a history of satisfied customers as well as stable products.
In summary, Amazon have released a new service that is sure to change not only the way we buy software, but also what software we use. For this I am extremely excited and grateful. They have provided me with access to software I could not use before.