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AWS scoops up TSO Logic for cloud spend analysis

AWS has acquired TSO Logic, which produces analytics that customers can use to plan moves to the cloud. The deal comes with the cloud-market land grab still in its infancy.

AWS has expanded its cloud spend analysis capabilities with the acquisition of a Vancouver, B.C., company that focuses on workload migrations to public and private clouds.

TSO Logic offers analytics that customers can use to examine their current data center environments and more effectively model a move to the cloud. Its system compiles information about an environment's age, software and hardware configurations, and other factors. Then, it creates a statistical model that calculates spend patterns, and it identifies overprovisioned systems and where a switch to a public or private cloud environment could lower costs.

TSO Logic joins AWS' other tools for cloud spend analysis, such as Cost Explorer and AWS Budgets.

Many customers take a lift-and-shift approach to the cloud and essentially rehost on-premises workloads in their original form. TSO Logic's aim is to optimize that transition, much like how one would discard old, unused possessions in the course of an apartment switch. The idea is a fresh start for customers' on-premises workloads that takes full advantage of efficiency and cost savings in the cloud, whether public or private.

In an extra wrinkle, TSO's capabilities can also build license and subscription terms into the analytical mix. That's especially beneficial for organizations that want to move Microsoft applications such as SQL Server onto the cloud, because the company's licensing is very nuanced and prescriptive about instances and cores, as 451 Research noted in a report last year.

AWS takes a bite from systems integrators' plates

William Fellows, analyst, 451 ResearchWilliam Fellows

TSO Logic has worked directly with AWS, though not so much with AWS partners, which are mostly systems integrators that prefer high-margin advisory, planning, design and application development to lower-margin, lift-and-shift cloud migrations, according to the 451 report. A specialized AWS integrator might charge several hundred thousand dollars for those tasks, but with TSO Logic, AWS can point buyers to a cheaper alternative.

Some of those integrators have hedged their bets with AWS. For example, Deloitte bought cloud migration specialist ATAData in January 2018. They also see fewer available large-scale, multiyear contracts and seek smaller ones to make up the difference, said William Fellows, analyst at 451 Research and the report's author.

These companies can make more money off of the ongoing management of cloud systems than they can off of cloud readiness, and tools such as ATAData can be a carrot that leads to those more lucrative, longer-term engagements, Fellows said.

Cloud savings trump cross-cloud visibility

[Public cloud providers] are doubling down wherever they can on where they can find forensic expertise around cloud management and optimization.
William Fellowsanalyst, 451 Research

TSO also partners with Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, which means it has insights across all three major cloud platforms that it can pass on to customers. Similar questions arose over another recent AWS acquisition, CloudEndure, which offers cloud workload migration, disaster recovery and backup capabilities.

"Microsoft, in particular, and Google also are doubling down wherever they can on where they can find forensic expertise around cloud management and optimization," Fellows said.

News of the acquisition emerged in media reports this week, although TSO Logic revealed it in a Twitter message last month. An AWS spokesperson confirmed the TSO Logic acquisition, but did not provide further comment on the company's plans. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

TSO was at the top of Fellows' list of merger and acquisition candidates for some time, and he said he expects more deals like this to come. Cloudamize, for example, like TSO, has pacts with multiple leading IaaS providers, he said.

Despite the years of hype around cloud computing, the industry is only a tiny way into the conversion of on-premises workloads, and that's why it's important for AWS and its ilk to have cloud spend analysis tools that make the transition easier.

"It's about the on-premises spend and then modeling it to the different clouds," said Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research in Cupertino, Calif. "CIOs always want to see total spend -- that's what matters."

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