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It has been a frosty few years for Elastic and Amazon’s AWS cloud computing arm, with the duo frequently locking horns over various issues relating to Elastic’s ex-open-source database search engine — Elasticsearch.
To cut a War and Peace-esque story short, Amazon had introduced its own managed Elasticsearch service called Amazon Elasticsearch Service way back in 2015, and in the intervening years the “confusion” this (among other shenanigans) caused in the cloud sphere ultimately led Elastic to transition Elasticsearch from open source to “free and open” (i.e., a less permissive license), exerting more control over how the cloud giants of the world could use the product and Elasticsearch name.
In response, Amazon launched an Elasticsearch “fork” called OpenSearch, and the two companies finally settled a long-standing trademark dispute, which effectively meant that Amazon would stop associating the Elasticsearch brand with Amazon’s own products. This was an important final piece of the kiss-and-make-up puzzle, as it meant that customers searching for Elastic’s fully-managed Elasticsearch service (Elastic Cloud) in the AWS Marketplace, wouldn’t also stumble upon Amazon’s incarnation and wonder which one they were actually looking for.
Best of frenemies
Fast-forward to today, and you would hardly know that the two companies were once at loggerheads. Over the past year, Elastic and Amazon have partnered to bring all manner of technologies and integrations to market, and they’ve worked to ensure that their shared customers can more easily onboard to Elastic Cloud within Amazon’s infrastructure.
Building on a commitment last month to make AWS and Elastic work even better together, Elastic and AWS today announced an even deeper collaboration, to “build, market and deliver” frictionless access to Elastic Cloud on AWS. In essence, this means that the two companies will go full-throttle on their “go-to-market” sales and marketing strategies — this includes a new free 7-day trial for customers wanting to test-drive Elastic Cloud directly from the AWS Marketplace.
On top of that, AWS has committed to working with Elastic to generate new business across Amazon’s various cloud-focused sales organizations — this is a direct result of Elastic joining the AWS ISV Accelerate program.
All of this has been made possible because of the clear and distinct products that now exist — Amazon has OpenSearch, and Elastic has Elasticsearch, which makes collaboration that much easier.
“It’s one thing to do product integrations, and it’s one thing to build joint go-to-market efforts,” Ashutosh Kulkarni, who recently replaced cofounder Shay Banon as CEO, told VentureBeat in an interview. “But where the rubber meets the road, what really matters is — are the organizations truly aligned? And that alignment shows in terms of who is standing behind these announcements. I genuinely can’t tell you when the last time was that anybody from AWS was ever quoted in a joint press release with Elastic.”
Indeed, the press release for today’s announcement includes a quote from Stephen Orban, VP for AWS Marketplace, partner engineering, and ISVs (independent software vendors), who noted that the two companies’ recent work together is “just the beginning.”
“The foundation of our relationship with Elastic is rooted in listening to customers and working to deliver a great experience for them on AWS,” Orban noted.
While the benefit to Elastic in all of this is clear as day, insofar as it gets the world’s biggest public cloud company banging the Elastic Cloud drum, what’s in all of this for Amazon? Put simply, companies accessing Elastic’s services on AWS infrastructure drive a lot of cloud consumption — which translates into ka-ching for Amazon.
“We give our customers choice on which cloud provider they run Elastic Cloud, and we have a lot of customers who run Elastic Cloud on AWS — and as Elastic Cloud grows, the consumption of AWS is growing with it,” Kulkarni said.
Although Elastic is better known as an enterprise search company, it is effectively a data platform at its core. Companies such as Uber, Slack, Netflix and Twilio bring their vast arsenals of data into Elastic, and this all ultimately benefits whichever cloud it’s hosted on.
“The fact that we are a data store, and data continues to explode, this results in consumption of compute, storage, and so on, which is exactly what AWS wants — it is something that they thrive on,” Kulkarni said. “And so they want to work with us, and they want to continue working with us so that they are the cloud of choice for our joint customers. It’s an absolute win-win [for both companies].”