The typical life-cycle of a start-up: You start with good intentions, rush out of the gates to conquer the world, then you either crumble, because there is only cash running out but never coming back in, you get exhausted, you fold. Probably happens to 1 out 10 start-ups (I’m optimistic): Which should not keep you from starting-up – as 1 in a million is becoming facebook and 1 in 10.000 is bought by amazon.
There has obviously something missing to AWS from the very start. It was to low-level for most developers: Unless you invested seriously in setting up, monitoring and managing the eco-system around a typical EC2-machine, AWS is not much more than overpriced VM-ware that runs in the back of a bookshop.
So, basically everybody did just that and used some heavy artillery composed of chef-script, installed god or monit or whatever and kept a close eye on these machines. Or went to one of the thousand „Service“-companies that started surrounding the AWS-ecosystem like a swarm of Bluestreak cleaner wrasse a Potato cod (ok, excuse me, this comparison is probably a bit far fetched…).
First there was EngineYard , pretty quickly the companies that promised to ease the pain of running real-world apps in the cloud came in all forms and variations: Range from the one-git-push-heaven of Heroku to the late-to-the-party-but-jee-can-dance-too of OpenShift they come with all sorts of price-tags and feature-sets. It was just a question of time, until the shake-down happens: The market for these kinds of services is obviously big, but I doubt that it is this big too keep all these companies working profitable in the long run. Sooner or later, companies will start to disappear again and the consolidation will leave probably only a handful of players on the field.
Peritor/Scalarium has always been an exceptional player in this game: First of all, they come from germany – I’ll give them a patriotic bonus for that, given the fact the Germany is not exactly known for its startup-culture. And they were just plain good: The things you want, a mix of a great, usable GUI, but also very easy to script&customize with some simple chef they hit the right mix between the no-tool-approach of raw-AWS and the very closed and shielded way that heroku was going at that time.
And now the got bought by Amazon. Granted, the timing of the announcement has morally not been the greatest, as amazon is currently entangled a scandal surrounding the working-conditions for their warehousers – but nonetheless this is something we can congratulate all involved parties upon:
- amazon: as they have obviously realized this gap and are trying to close it with the help of what has now become OpsWorks
- peritor: For building a great product and cashing in rightfully so. And they obviously continue to build this thing, as amazon is now searching very actively for engineers to expand OpsWorks – and it certainly is a great opportunity for them: They now have the cash and the backup and the market-exposure to be real contenders to the big fishs like EngineYard.
- us: As things suddenly got very much cheaper. Amazon suddenly comes with great management-tools right out of the box.
The only loosers here: Heroku, EngineYard, etc. – you have to really, really make a good case to convince people, that you need EngineYard+amazon instead of just amazon.