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Can Linode Compete With AWS?


Blair Lyon, VP of Marketing at Linode demystifies some of the myths around cloud players like Linode.

Here is an edited transcript of the discussion

Swapnil: Do you want to address some of those myths that cloud providers like Linode can’t keep up with the scalability and efficiency of AWS?

Blair Lyon: That’s the whole thing. Because of the commoditization of the cloud there’s no difference in a lot of these capabilities. Both AWS and Linode use commodity hardware so the performance of the compute power is basically identical, if not, you know, just small variations.

The power of the network is if you have a global network setup, like we do, you are already scaling for big fortune 50 customers. So that’s not an issue. We have a huge advantage here. We’ve been around since 2003 and we’ve been able to create the necessary relationships and connections to be able to get anywhere in the world. If you have the necessary network and the peering relationships in place, you often have better performance than some of the some of the hyper scalars that are out there

The fact that you’re going to get better performing performance service from the big guys isn’t necessarily the case, unless you have some really unique workload issue that you think you need their capability.

So, I think, and that’s one of the big misconceptions, is that the hardware, the performance of the network is going to be different.

I think one of the other issues that often comes up is one thing we talked about before, which is, hey, I need to have this kind of specialized services that I can only get on Amazon. Well, in reality, most of the services are available through third parties. So, it’s pretty easy to be able to replicate everything that you would do on Amazon, often for much cheaper and without the lock in. People forget that they don’t have to go all in on these cloud providers despite what the marketing of these cloud provides would say. Don’t buy into it. Because then you’re going to end up locking yourself into their platform.

What happens when one of these clouds are not around anymore? A few weeks ago, Google probably said that if they are not number two, they would stop offering their cloud service. You know, these big companies have all kinds of ulterior motives, ulterior businesses, lots of other things, other shiny objects that they’re going to focus on, and whichever one they get the highest return is the one they’re going to invest in. Once they get less return, potentially, cloud computing, where the margins are going to become less things are going to become more commoditized.

Therefore, it’s not going to be as interesting from a shareholder value perspective than it currently is. So that’s one of the things that I think we need to watch out for as the market evolves.