AWS Dominance Finally at and End
"There seems to be an issue on our side. Let me investigate and get back to you." That was the last response from the AWS helpdesk after debugging with them for weeks. I came in one morning to find alarms ringing on a data migration services (DMS) job. That happens from time to time so I kicked off a restart. The restart fails. Now I have a real issue. I start combing logs, open a support ticket and start recreating a new DMS instance and job to take over. No log errors to speak of. The new instance and job fails and so I am stuck with the helpdesk.
I had noticed we were on a newer DMS version but skipped over that for the time being. After trouble shooting for more than half a day with the helpdesk, I decided to revisit it. I tried recreating the job on the old DMS version but the new DMS instance always started as the newest version, no matter what version I selected. Great, I open another ticket. Luckily, the AWS team was quick to identify the issue: if you select automatic upgrades (selected by default), it doesn't matter the version of the DMS instance you pick. It'll always launch the most recent version. So, one problem solved. I spin up an old version of the DMS job and, go figure, it works.
Now I'm waiting on a response from AWS helpdesk on the real issue with the upgrade. Why is the new version failing? This isn't uncommon in my dealings with them. On multiple occasions, I've had to explain simple programming practices to their dev team (who I eventually get to in the support system). It's simple things like:
- Why are critical errors only present in debug logs?
- Why would an automated minor version upgrade take down an entire system?
- Why are system settings not documented properly?
I've had to inform the AWS dev team on the system setting limits and misconfigurations on their own system. Logs critical to debugging an error were only available in logs AWS staff had access to. It's only been getting worse in the last few years. The quality and stability of AWS' cloud offerings is on the decline, based on my observations. This once dominant leader is falling behind its rivals like Microsoft and Google. Even up and comers, like Digital Ocean, are better platforms in many cases.
AWS, which constitutes 15% of Amazon's total revenue but represents a significant portion of its operating profit, has seen a slowdown in revenue growth??. This slowdown is in part due to market conditions affecting its primary customer base, including internet growth companies, eCommerce retailers, and SaaS enterprises. Many of these companies are start-ups or not highly profitable and depend on stock market and venture capital financing. With the market slowdown, particularly harsh on tech growth stocks, these companies face challenges in raising funds, leading to reduced spending on cloud services??????. But, that is only part of the story.
AWS offers over 200 services, creating a new challenge in managing this complexity for both AWS and its customers. As the platform expands, simplifying the user experience and offering more transparent pricing and usage analytics becomes crucial. This is where AWS is falling behind. Take Azure, each product works well within the ecosystem. In AWS, I'll use a core product, like EC2, without issue because of it's digital maturity. I jump into another product like DMS and I feel like I'm using an entirely different company's services.
Current trends indicates that while AWS continues to be a leading player in the cloud market, it faces significant challenges that could impact its future dominance. The company needs to navigate economic conditions, enhance its hybrid cloud offerings, simplify its service management, and maintain robust security measures to retain its market position. Failure to address these challenges effectively will lead to a loss of market share in the highly competitive cloud services industry. We may be on the edge of major market shift in cloud dominance.