Brilliant or bootless? Analysts dissect cloud complexities in billing and beyond

Brilliant or bootless? Analysts dissect cloud complexities in billing and beyond

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Look up the definition of “snark” in a dictionary and don’t be surprised if the name “Corey Quinn” appears somewhere in the description.

Quinn (pictured), chief cloud economist of The Duckbill Group, has no problem being associated with snark. If fact, the influential AWS cloud billing advisor, who was the subject of a profile in the New York Times last year, proudly includes the term in his bio for Duckbill.

Quinn dissects a torrent of news from Amazon Web Services Inc. through a weekly blog and podcasts alternately infused with analysis, explanations, defense, and outright mockery of the cloud giant.

“Not everyone understands the full context of what I do, in fact increasingly few people do, and that’s fine,” Quinn said. “Blowback has been largely minimal. Honestly, I am surprised at how little I have gotten over the last five years of doing this. I really am the voice of the customer.”

Quinn spoke with John Furrier, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during the AWS Summit San Francisco event. The industry analysts discussed multicloud trends, Amazon’s growing global influence, and how cloud industry conferences have become more widely accessible. (* Disclosure below.)

Separating the noise

Quinn’s approach, as captured on The Duckbill Group’s website, is to filter the noise from a steady cadence of announcements made by AWS in a quest to lower an organization’s cloud expense bill. Expenses can rise in an era where multicloud has become the norm.

“I tune all of it out and look at what customers are doing,” Quinn said. “Multicloud exists in a variety of forms, some brilliant, some brain dead. When someone gets on stage from a company and tells me to do a thing that directly benefits their company, I am skeptical at best. When customers get on stage and say this is what we are doing because it solves problems, that’s when I shut up and listen.”

As parent company Amazon Inc. has grown in size, currently ranked as the fifth most valuable company in the world by market cap, the sheer effort needed to run it becomes more difficult to imagine. This challenge was brought into even sharper focus last year, when the former head of AWS, Andy Jassy, was chosen to replace Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

“I just can’t fathom what it would be like to look at all of Amazon and its sprawling immensity that dominates our entire industry and say: ‘Okay, this is a good start, but I want to focus on something with a broader remit’,” Quinn noted. “What is that? All you can do is hold on to the tiger and hope you don’t get mauled.”

Two years of a global pandemic have altered the landscape for many industries and technology was no exception. Before Covid-19 shut down much of the world, the tech community relied on a steady stream of in-person gatherings throughout the year to drive key product announcements for customers.

A shift to virtual events opened tech conferences to a much wider and suddenly more accessible audience, eliminating the need for travel and expensive hotel accommodations to participate. Quinn hopes that as the world re-opens, accessibility will continue.

“AWS re:Invent is a great example,” Quinn said. “Suddenly these things are accessible to a wide swath of audience, a potential customer base and the rest that hadn’t been invited to the table previously. It’s imperative that we not lose that.”

Watch the complete interview below and be sure to check out more of theCUBE’s coverage of the AWS Summit San Francisco event. (* Disclosure: Amazon Web Services Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither AWS, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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