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Philbert Shih on Google’s move to AWS and asset-light

  • April 2, 2018

Source: Data Center Knowledge

GoDaddy Plans Wholesale AWS Cloud Migration

As its target customer base of small businesses continue to shy away from managing servers and hardware, GoDaddy is following suit by signing a deal with Amazon Web Services to run most its infrastructure in the public cloud. The AWS cloud migration will take multiple years, and include Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) P3 Instances.

For GoDaddy — one of the world’s largest small business web hosting provider with more than 17 million customers — the deal is significant. In fact, it may be hard to find a partnership that more clearly reflects the changes brought on by the public cloud and a company’s decision to focus on its core business (i.e. domains) and outsource the rest.

“This was in many ways a sign of the times,” Philbert Shih, managing director of Structure Research said. “This is where a lot of the sector is going to go.”

“What’s different with this is a lot of the activity around service providers working with AWS has been reselling and managing on top,” he said, noting that some smaller WordPress hosting providers do use AWS infrastructure. But none with the same footprint as GoDaddy, which has 14 data centers worldwide.

GoDaddy is the global market leader in domain name registration. However, it’s not planning an AWS cloud migration for its domain management business. As of December 2017, it had more than 75 million domains under management, with 92 percent of its customers’ owning domains they purchased from GoDaddy. Its domains business generates more than half of its revenue, per its most recent earnings.

In recent years, GoDaddy began to focus more on services that target small businesses specifically, like managed WordPress, online marketing, and web security. While it still sells VPS hosting and dedicated servers, it wraps those services under “Hosting and Presence”, which include its website builder tool GoCentral – a service that GoDaddy said has seen “continued strong adoption, increasing conversion from free to paid, and generating positive customer feedback and rising net promoter scores.” Its Hosting and Presence division hit $228.8 million in revenue in Q4, up 29.5 percent year over year.

“As a technology provider with more than 17 million customers, it was very important for GoDaddy to select a cloud provider with deep experience in delivering a highly reliable global infrastructure, as well as an unmatched track record of technology innovation, to support our rapidly expanding business,” Charles Beadnall, Chief Technology Officer at GoDaddy said in a statement. “AWS provides a superior global footprint and set of cloud capabilities which is why we selected them to meet our needs today and into the future. By operating on AWS, we’ll be able to innovate at the speed and scale we need to deliver powerful new tools that will help our customers run their own ventures and be successful online.”

Shih said that as GoDaddy has been on a rapid international expansion path, the migration to AWS makes even more sense.

“With the AWS partnership GoDaddy can literally spin up a presence in a market overnight, they can scale it as they grow, and the risk factor is lower,” he said.

So far there are no details about how many data centers GoDaddy will inevitably shut down as part of its AWS cloud migration plan, but since it’s a public company, we should soon find out.

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