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Salesforce turns to AWS for internet of things cloud test support

Cloud CRM giant is reportedly using the AWS public cloud to give it the capacity it needs to cope with the internet of things data deluge

Salesforce has reportedly struck a deal with infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) that will see it underpin the cloud CRM firm’s internet of things (IoT) efforts.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Salesforce is planning to use AWS to test some of the underlying software for its IoT cloud, which is expected to go live sometime in 2016.

Salesforce outlined its IoT ambitions at the Dreamforce user conference in September 2015, stating that its platforms would pave the way for enterprises to “unlock insights” from the billions of connected devices that are set to emerge over the coming years.

Adam Bosworth, executive vice-president of Salesforce’s IoT cloud, confirmed in the WSJ report that a limited number of customers are in the throes of testing the setup ahead of launch.

Salesforce previously opted to host its services directly from its own fleet of private datacentres, and its decision to partner with AWS could be considered a marked departure from this strategy.

This is particularly as Amazon set out plans of its own in October 2015 to embark on a cloud-based IoT push, which could end up competing with what Salesforce has planned.

However, Bosworth said the large amounts of data its IoT initiatives will need to process made drawing on the capacity of the public cloud a must.

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“We did it because we were growing very fast. These are big and so you’re using a lot of resources. We had to have the safety valve of a public cloud to what we were doing,” he said.

Computer Weekly contacted AWS and Salesforce for comment on this story, but was still awaiting a response from both at the time of publication.

How long Salesforce intends to use AWS for is unclear at this time, as some cloud firms – such as Dropbox – have previously used the firm’s services until they achieve a scale of operations that makes building out their own infrastructure more financially viable.

Dropbox, a major user of the AWS Simple Storage Service (S3), recently announced that it had embarked on a similar strategy, as it worked out cheaper to build its own on-premise infrastructure that relies on cloud to host the online storage service for its customers. 

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