A cloud rebellion’s afoot, according to Packet and Wasabi. Enterprises are — or should be — rising up against Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the other major cloud providers and demanding better performing and cheaper cloud services. And to that end, the two companies have joined forces to provide cloud compute (on Packet’s bare-metal cloud) and cloud storage (via Wasabi) by integrating their two platforms.
“Amazon has 100-some-odd cloud services,” said Wasabi CEO David Friend. “They do everything, but they don’t do anything particularly well. They’ve got one big integrated environment. But if you want the best content delivery network, Amazon doesn’t have it. If you want the best storage, Amazon doesn’t have it.”
In contrast to this be-everything-to-everybody approach, Packet and Wasabi are taking a more limited scope. With their cloud offering they are focusing (at least for now) exclusively on cloud storage and compute.
“How can we create an experience for enterprise buyers that gives the best of both worlds: the best, low-cost storage option and the best compute, but at the same time not with a lower experience for the developer?” asked Packet CEO Zac Smith. “We’re not trying to solve this from a technology standpoint. We’re trying to solve this from an operations and business standpoint.”
Wasabi’s cloud storage is 80 percent cheaper and six-times faster than Amazon S3 storage, Friend said. It also boasts 100 percent data immutability protection and no data egress fees.
Packet’s bare-metal cloud is available in more than 18 global locations and supports more than 60,000 bare metal installs each month. Its cloud automation platform enables bare metal installations in under 60 seconds, the company claims.
Integrated Consoles, APIs
Together, Packet and Wasabi will provide joint services through their respective infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) management consoles and APIs. This should be available in the first quarter of 2019, they say.
The integrated console will allow Packet compute customers to use Wasabi storage and Wasabi customers to use Packet compute resources. The joint cloud services will connect over a high-capacity, low-latency fiber network with no transfer fees between compute and storage elements. And customers will receive a single bill for storage and compute.
Some customers in media and entertainment, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and big data have already signed on for early access in January, Smith said. “Some really cool use cases so far include remote medical imaging (massive scale data and need for bare metal compute), rendering (movies, games, etc.) and SaaS companies with growing data pools for things like machine learning.”
The product will give customers a public cloud experience with better performance, scalability, and affordability compared to specialist vendors, the partners say. It also allows them to bring their choice of software and tools to the cloud.
“Nobody gets to keep a lock on cloud computing,” Friend said. “As much as Amazon would like to, it’s going to be a multi-cloud world, and people who are building serious enterprise-level applications are not going to spend five-times as much to be in Amazon’s cloud as they would in Wasabi’s cloud. And they are not going to spend five-times as much on compute running software they don’t really want to use in Amazon’s cloud.”
Packet and Wasabi first connected while working on the Bandwidth Alliance. The newly formed group, led by Cloudflare, wants to reduce data transfer fees. Other members include Microsoft, IBM, Digital Ocean, Vapor IO, Automattic, BackBlaze, DreamHost, Linode, and Scaleway. Notably, AWS and Google are not members.
Friend and Smith say they want to take a similar, collaborative approach to their cloud offerings. That would include bringing in content delivery network and SaaS companies, as well as machine learning and analytics providers.
While today’s announcement is between Packet and Wasabi, “we absolutely want to do that,” Smith said.
Added Friend, “we have done the industry a disservice by not forming consortiums.”