AWS To Drive DDoS Mitigation Companies Out of Business


The writing is on the wall, the DDoS Mitigation Market is about to be turned upside down. Some players will go out of business, and others will morph into new hybrids. That’s unfortunate, because Forrester just published an awesome guide on the DDoS Mitigation market, where they analyzed the offering of nine different providers, rating them on various criteria. Akamai and Imperva scored high, no surprises there, and others are gaining ground. But everyone in that report, including those that aren’t mentioned “are going to get their world turned upside down”.

Jeff Bezos and Company is coming to town with a vengeance, and they will destroy the existing DDoS Mitigation business models, including the unprepared competition. Very harsh words indeed, but we know how Amazon operates, thinks and acts. Amazon doesn’t play by the rules of the game, they rewrite the rules of the game, and they have vast amounts of money, talent, and incredible ambition to destroy existing business models, bankrupting the weakest ones, and leaving a trail of destruction in its path.

Prepare For The Worse

CDNs and DDoS Mitigation companies should plan for the worse. When Amazon rolls out their DDoS Mitigation platform, its going to be “massive”. And over time, it will grow in size and capacity. No one including Akamai will be able to thwart them. Amazon has the resources to roll out 12 scrubbing centers, 40 scrubbing centers, or 100 scrubbing centers. And whatever Amazon rolls out in Month 1, is only going to be a teaser of what they roll out in Month 12. And when Amazon does this, what can we expect from them?

They are going to price their services 50% to 90% below current market rates. That’s the Amazon way.

History is the Best Teacher

How can we say such a thing? Its simple, “History”. Before CloudFront was in the CDN picture, CDN origin storage was priced anywhere between $.30/GB to $1/GB. And static content delivery was priced anywhere from $.25/GB to $1.50/GB, depending on the volume. Once CloudFront entered the game, they reached out over the dinner table, and stole the food from the competition, right in front of their eyes. The competition was completely helpless and shocked, and didn’t know how to respond.

Those $1/GB storage rates dropped to the low teens, and so did those delivery rates. Tens of millions of dollars in revenue streams disappeared from the coffers of CDNs. That was then, today, those rates are in the single digits. Thus, if history is any teacher, CDNs and Mitigation companies better be prepared to lose a big chunk of DDoS Mitigation business, and possibly all of it. DDoS Mitigation is an economies of scale business, and no one in our ecosystem can match the resources of Amazon.

Yes, there are different flavors of protection, including protection from high bandwidth attacks, protection from low bandwidth highly intelligent attacks, and everything in between. Amazon will only be a viable solution in mitigating the high bandwidth attacks, but regardless, there will be downward pressure on overall prices. And as it stands now, many CDNs and DDoS Mitigation companies lump pricing into one category, where protection against high volume attacks are lumped together with protection from low bandwidth highly intelligent attacks.

Everyone Will Be Impacted – Akamai, CloudFlare, Arbor

Everyone will be impacted, from Akamai to CloudFlare to Arbor Networks, and so on. Why Arbor Networks? Because Amazon loves open source and bare metal hardware. No way they use a branded product for this type of service. Of course, we could be wrong, but that would go against their cloud mentality DNA. And that is probably the reason Amazon is taking so long in rolling out there DDoS Mitigation platform, because they are going the way of home-grown.

However, its not the end of the world. We can actually learn from one company that defied all odds, Akamai. When CloudFront entered the CDN business, everyone expected Akamai to take a big hit. Akamai countered the competitive threat by investing heavily in premium value added services. Premium added value services are a beautiful thing because they command premium prices. Akamai is now better off because of it, and they are monster in premium value added services.

Make no mistake, Amazon will dominate the DDoS Mitigation business, but they will be horrible at WAF. WAF protection is way too complicated for Amazon to handle, just as was their DSA venture a while back, when they partnered with Strangeloop Network. Be forewarned, CDNs better start investing in premium WAF value added services, because Amazon is coming to town.

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