The many costs of cloud computing lock-in

Gary Bloom is chief executive of the enterprise database company MarkLogic Corp. He wrote this article for SiliconANGLE.

In a situation nearly every company will face, one of the Internet’s brightest stars has highlighted the value of not getting locked into a single cloud computing provider. Snap Inc., creator of the messaging app Snapchat, recently revealed that it will spend $1 billion over five years on Amazon Web Services and may eventually build its own infrastructure.

The move will provide “redundant infrastructure support of our business operations,” Snap said in an amended S-1 registration statement for its initial public offering of shares. Snap’s first filing spurred headlines, in part, because it disclosed how closely Snap’s fortunes are tied to Google Inc.’s cloud, on which it said it would spend $2 billion over five years. In both filings, Snap said it relies on Google Cloud for the “vast majority” of its computing, storage, bandwidth and other services, and that “any disruption of or interference with our use of the Google Cloud” would “seriously harm our business.”

Here’s the scariest part: “Any transition of the cloud services currently provided by Google Cloud to another cloud provider would be difficult to implement and will cause us to incur significant time and expense,” Snap said. It also warned, “If our users or partners are not able to access Snapchat through

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