Organic Cloud Infrastructure

Jun 3, 2021

If Google was about utilizing commodity hardware at scale, the next generation of startups will be about utilizing commodity cloud at scale.

Going organic means only using natural cloud resources: storage, compute, and standardized APIs. It means avoiding any infrastructure that is too processed, like high-level platform abstractions and opinionated workflows. S3 is organic, AWS Elastic Beanstalk is not. Kubernetes is organic, AWS Fargate is not.

Going organic is about optionality and cost - not just about multi-cloud or repatriation (moving from cloud to on-prem). Companies that are nimble enough are already thinking about this. Uber and Airbnb already have large multi-cloud spending commits. Standard and open APIs beat out proprietary ones - from Kubernetes to OpenTelemetry to Terraform. Even the best proprietary APIs like S3 quickly became commoditized.

Cloud providers know that it's a race to the bottom for compute and storage, so they compete with higher-margin differentiated offerings. Organic cloud infrastructure gives optionality. Whether that means repatriation, multi-cloud, or getting a better deal on your cloud contract, organic is good for you, processed is not.