Outdoor-sports co-op REI is adopting cloud to improve customer service, using services from both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, according to The Wall Street Journal. REI says moving to the cloud will help it provide faster and more personalized experiences to customers by boosting the performance of both its websites and mobile applications.
About six months ago, REI began using cloud services from AWS and Microsoft for its website, e-commerce apps and some data and analytics software. Now it is migrating additional areas, according to the report.
The company plans to have systems and data running on both cloud providers. "We are currently looking at connections that will enable cross-cloud exchange when we end up sharing data across clouds," Todd Wilson, director of platform engineering at REI, told The Wall Street Journal. "We’re not trying to be agnostic and say that any workload can run in either, but leverage both for their strengths."
For companies, choosing a cloud provider is not about choosing sides in the cloud wars. Though providers love to tout signing a big-name customer to their services, for customers it's all about ensuring performance.
Leveraging more than one provider is always a good idea for redundancy purposes, and given recent AWS and Microsoft outages, businesses are wise to avoid putting all their hosting eggs in one basket. A recent survey from RightScale found companies are indeed diversifying, with 85% of enterprises reporting they now have a multi-cloud strategy.
Before going public, Snapchat creator Snap Inc. committed $1 billion toward Amazon Web Services between Jan. 2017 and Dec. 2021, according to filings submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Just prior to that, Snap disclosed it signed a new Google Cloud Platform License Agreement, committing to spend $2 billion over the same timeframe. Snap says Google is its primary provider but that the AWS services will provide redundant infrastructure support of their business operations.