News briefs: HP ends AWS EC2 support, SugarSync drops 'freemium' model

This week, HP ended its AWS EC2 support in its Public Cloud portfolio, while SugarSync dropped its freemium business model for a paid-only strategy.

HP ends Amazon EC2 support

Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced in its release notes of HP Public Cloud 13.5 that the company dropped support for Amazon Web Services' Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) application programming interface. The move comes from "significant input" from HP customers, according to Roger Levy, vice president of technical operations for HP Public Cloud. Levy told CRN that customers, developers and partners were afraid of being locked in to AWS like...

a "bug in a spider web."

The move is also a result in philosophical differences between HP and Amazon. Levy said AWS is committed to a public cloud-centric strategy, while HP is more focused on enabling hybrid cloud deployments.

While the lack of EC2 support isn't expected to be a huge loss for AWS, it could hurt HP's public cloud customers and developers who still rely on EC2, Talkin' Cloud reported. Ending EC2 support also drops support for private cloud Eucalyptus tools.

SugarSync drops 'freemium' model

Consumer cloud backup and sync provider SugarSync has dropped its "freemium" business model and will transition to a paid-only service by February 2014. CEO Mike Grossman said in a press release that the freemium model that is popular with backup and sync providers is "not viable in the long run" and that the paid-service model will allow SugarSync to "better serve loyal customers and expand our service offerings."

SugarSync's competitors are jumping on the news as an opportunity to attract potential customers who might be driven away by the announcement. In a blog post, IDrive CEO Raghu Kulkarni called out SugarSync's new business model as being on the "extreme" end of the market and positioned IDrive's freemium model as a more "sensible" option.

SugarSync customers will be asked to pay $7.49 per month for the 5 GB of storage they currently receive for free. It will cost $55 per month for customers to receive a terabyte of storage, live phone support, remote wipe capabilities and access for up to three other users, according to Business Cloud News.

Gartner predicts one in four cloud providers will be gone by 2015

Gartner analyst William Maurer estimated that 25% of the top 100 IT service providers in the infrastructure space will not exist by 2015, according to ComputerWorld. During a presentation at Gartner's Data Center Conference in Las Vegas this week, Maurer predicted major consolidation in cloud services. Maurer said one in four cloud providers will leave the market due to reasons like acquisitions and bankruptcy.

Maurer spoke to a group of IT professionals in his presentation, many of whom voiced concerns over the risk of outsourcing to a cloud service provider through audience participation questions, ComputerWorld reported. In a poll taken during the session, almost half of the audience agreed that cloud services carry "a great deal of risk." Maurer told the audience they were part of the solution to cloud providers' success by giving providers the chance to make a reasonable return on investments.

Box to add security and automation to services

Cloud storage provider Box is giving its cloud storage and file-sharing services a facelift by adding content management, security and workflow automation capabilities.

"Admins will be able to manage and control the content in Box across their entire user base," said Whitney Bouck, general manager and senior vice president of global marketing, reported PCWorld.

The new features will allow companies to manage their content from a central hub, prevent employees from uploading sensitive information, and build processes around file varieties, according to TechCrunch.

The content management component will be available to customers in the Enterprise and Elite tiers of Box's cloud service in the next few weeks. Access to the policies and automation capabilities will not be available for a few months, according to PCWorld.

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