I’m going to diverge from AWS specific content this week to talk a bit about Google.
GCP is a wonderful technology platform (arguably a few years ahead of AWS on a technology basis). Unfortunately it’s run by Google, who this week reverted to type and announced the death of another beloved consumer service. There have been a chorus of voices over the past day talking about this, and raising the point that Google only kills consumer services, so GCP is safe. Further, to even consider that Google might one day End of Life a GCP service is considered to be blasphemy. I find these arguments to be complete horsecrap.
To start, Reader, Inbox, Wave, and GCP all have or had the Google branding tied to them. There’s no indicator from the outside that this particular service or API will potentially find itself on the chopping block, or will be safe. The entire point of having one unifying brand is so that good feelings for one offering are transferred to the others. This relationship works in both directions. If my consultancy offered two services, the existing “I fix the horrifying AWS bill” offering and a second “I come into your office, belittle you to your manager, steal your belongings, and conspire to get you fired” offering, I wouldn’t expect that my good work on the former should overcome the “holy crap Corey’s a jerk, why would we EVER let him in the building” reflex triggered by the latter.
Additionally, I find that this type of deprecation strikes specifically at a particular user persona. The type of person to use these niche services that Google’s so fond of killing in the night is the same type of person that others look to for technology recommendations. When the service gets yanked away, the folks who advocated for it feel foolish. These are the same people who are (in many cases) positioned to heavily influence vendor selection. “Well they turned off the last few things I recommended to people, if they do that to this business service I’m probably going to get fired” is a very real thought process.
Lastly, the chorus of toxic “Google periodically deprecates services, if you’re not okay with that you shouldn’t use Google products” from the Google community advocates translates directly into “you were a fool to trust Google.” Is this really the position Google wants to stake out? Large companies doing massive cloud projects want and deserve stability, not mockery.
I taunt Amazon a fair bit for a lot of things– including SimpleDB whimpering in the corner, begging to be put out of its misery. Say what you will about their services– given their deprecation history I’ve got zero problem building a business on top of any existing AWS offering. Amazon may compete with me, they may release something else down the road that works better, they may one day finally have enough of my nonsense and have me killed, but one thing they absolutely won’t do is turn the service off.