If you could spend $1 to make $10, you’d do it, right? By the same token, if you could spend $9 billion to make $90 billion, you’d do that, too, right? With hundreds of billions at stake in cloud computing, and winner-takes-most economics in play, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google spent $35 billion last year—and roughly $10 billion in the first quarter of 2018—to earn the right to take home multiples of that later. “The cloud isn’t cheap,” rightly reasons Geekwire’s Tom Krazit. Failure in cloud, however, is much more expensive. Given the rise of serverless computing, it’s getting ever more costly, with some signs that AWS could turn its early lead into long-term dominance.

What all that cloud infrastructure money buys

As cloud pundit Bernard Golden highlights, the copious quantities of cash that AWS, Microsoft, and Google are plowing into datacenters reflects the magnitude of the payoff for winning: “This investment pattern reflects the realities of the cloud computing market: It’s a platform-based industry with enormous network effects that requires sufficient capacity to support exploding, spiky demand—much of which can emanate from geographies that require local infrastructure. That’s a recipe for needing to plow huge amounts of money into the business.” When does it make sense to move applications and data to the public cloud? What exactly should be moved? What are the potential and actual cost benefits? Business and technology leaders at many organizations are likely asking these questions on a regular basis as more and more cloud services emerge. The answers are not always clear, despite the ongoing hype about everything related to the cloud To plunge headlong into a cloud migration without having a clear business case and a long-term cloud strategy is to risk losing money and wasting time. On the flip side, building a strong use case and executing on a coherent strategy can deliver significant benefits. If you could spend $1 to make $10, you’d do it, right? By the same token, if you could spend $9 billion to make $90 billion, you’d do that, too, right? With hundreds of billions at stake in cloud computing, and winner-takes-most economics in play, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google spent $35 billion last year—and roughly $10 billion in the first quarter of 2018—to earn the right to take home multiples of that later. “The cloud isn’t cheap,” rightly reasons Geekwire’s Tom Krazit. Failure in cloud, however, is much more expensive. Given the rise of serverless computing, it’s getting ever more costly, with some signs that AWS could turn its early lead into long-term dominance. Earlier this week, Docker pushed Docker for AWS into public beta. Originally announced earlier this year, the offering lets users “quickly set up and configure a working Docker 1.13 swarm-mode install on Amazon Web Services and on Azure,” according to official documentation. This is not the first time that Docker-powered container solutions have found their way onto Amazon—some are from Amazon’s own branded services, such as Amazon EC2 Container Service and Amazon Elastic Beanstalk. But what does Docker’s solution have that the others don’t?

In formation 

Docker for AWS uses one of Amazon’s infrastructure services, CloudFormation, to provision a set of autoscaling EC2 instances that run a Docker Swarm cluster. The setup process also provisions other AWS-related resources related to the cluster: networking, load balancing, message-queuing services, access management controls, CloudWatch logging, and so on. Failure in cloud, however, is much more expensive. Given the rise of serverless computing, it’s getting ever more costly, with some signs that AWS could turn its early lead into long-term dominance. Earlier this week, Docker pushed Docker for AWS into public beta. Originally announced earlier this year, the offering lets users “quickly set up and configure a working Docker 1.13 swarm-mode install on Amazon Web Services and on Azure,” according to official documentation. This is not the first time that Docker-powered container solutions have found their way onto Amazon—some are from Amazon’s own branded services, such as Amazon EC2 Container Service and Amazon Elastic Beanstalk. But what does Docker’s solution have that the others don’t?