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A rare AWS acquisition underscores the popularity of tools to ensure cloud workload reliability, and customers' drive toward hybrid and multi-cloud scenarios.
AWS has confirmed its purchase of Israel-based CloudEndure, a startup focused on public cloud workload migrations, disaster recovery and backup, after rumors leaked into Israeli media last week. CloudEndure's website proclaims it is now an AWS company, but continues to list Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and VMware as partners. VMware is also an investor in the company.
A large portion of cloud adoption is driven by enterprises that want to move on-premises applications onto the public cloud. AWS' cloud migration tools already cover the areas targeted by CloudEndure's technology, but the startup's capabilities will nonetheless bring benefits, said Deepak Mohan, an analyst at IDC.
"CloudEndure's big value proposition has been their low/no downtime migration into public cloud, making it easy for enterprises to start adopting public cloud in a backup and failover manner," he said.
CloudEndure's backup technology includes block-level replication that runs in the background and works in real time, with recovery point objectives of less than a second, according to the company. It also has automated virtual machine conversion capabilities to move VMs from one target infrastructure to another, as well as a workload orchestration engine.
Providers jostle to meet enterprises' cloud migration demands
One big question is the fate of CloudEndure's partnerships with other cloud providers and how that will affect its customers' cloud workloads.
AWS ultimately wants to move more workloads to its own infrastructure, rather than act as a middleman for multiple clouds. As AWS works on deeper integrations between its portfolio and CloudEndure, it could gain insights into how CloudEndure customers run cloud workloads elsewhere, and could illuminate ways to improve AWS' cloud migration competitiveness, Mohan said.
"Given the competition in this market, it's understandable that other providers may not want to work with an AWS-owned entity on their critical customer onboarding," Mohan said. "If the integration with AWS is strong and unfirewalled, I'd expect the other providers' reliance on CloudEndure to cool off over time."
Stephen Elliotanalyst, IDC
One exception to that might be VMware, which also has a prominent partnership with AWS. That most recently centered on support for Outposts, the upcoming on-premises hardware and software stack unveiled at re:Invent.
An AWS spokesperson declined to comment on the company's plans for CloudEndure.
Google, meanwhile, had offered CloudEndure's tools free of charge to customers interested in moving workloads to GCP. But in May 2018, it hedged its bets and acquired Velostrata, another Israeli startup. Velostrata's capabilities are similar to CloudEndure's, but CloudEndure has broader support for different types of data, on different platforms, to accommodate a customers' AWS cloud migration, IDC analyst Stephen Elliot said.
But overall, these types of acquisitions are no surprise in today's market. Besides CloudEndure, AWS has made a modest number of purchases in recent years. Others include Sqrrl, maker of a visual tool for big data analytics; mobile app and website testing software developer AppThwack; and cybersecurity vendor Harvest.ai.
"The reality is that public cloud providers have to make it easier for large customers to migrate data and workloads to their platform[s]," Elliot said. "It's an overhead cost that many executives are getting tired of paying."