Why buy on the AWS Marketplace?
In one of our previous articles we briefly discussed the different instance purchasing options available to AWS users. Today, let’s take that discussion further by covering how customers can go about buying and selling software that runs on AWS.
The AWS marketplace is the official digital catalog for buying and selling third-party software, data, and services that utilize AWS. Some of the products users can expect to find on the AWS Marketplace include machine learning solutions, analytics services, premium storage and security services, operating systems, cost optimization tools and more.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that the AWS Marketplace is a shop for products approved by AWS. This means that not all the products available will be AWS products; in fact, most products will be offered by third-party vendors. Further, as a SaaS platform, pricing on the AWS Marketplace is ultimately determined by the vendor. As such, the AWS Marketplace differs from the Reserved Instance Marketplace – where customers go solely to purchase and sell AWS RIs.
Purchasing Products on the Marketplace
Since the entire idea behind the AWS Marketplace is to bring together buyers and sellers of AWS products through one inclusive platform, the process of purchasing products on the Marketplace is incredibly streamlined. It is as simple as logging in with an AWS account, heading to the AWS marketplace, selecting a product to buy and subscribing to the service. If the product is subscription based, the buyer is charged the full amount of the subscription up front.
To further incentivize customers to invest in their products, AWS sometimes offers customers credits for completing certain tasks, like subscribing to certain services on the Marketplace or attending AWS events. These credits range in value, from tens or hundreds of dollars to thousands and tens of thousands and can be used to marginally reduce cloud bills. Since Marketplace billing is handled through AWS, credits can often be used to offset the cost of Marketplace subscriptions, provided the credits are valid and the service is eligible for applying the credit. This can be done by heading to the credit section of the AWS billing page and choosing the service to apply the credit to.
Why should you purchase on the Marketplace?
The products bought through the Marketplace are completely integrated with AWS. This makes managing products easier in terms of renewing, cancelling, refunds, and more as it can all be managed and tracked on the buyer’s AWS account. By virtue of this integration the products bought on the Marketplace are also visible through the AWS Cost Explorer, which simplifies the billing and cost management process for customers using AWS services alongside products bought on the Marketplace, which is often the case.
Marketplace costs also count towards annual commitments in AWS Enterprise Development Programs (EDP), also known as Private Pricing Term Sheets (PPTS), so customers can use the marketplace to simultaneously fulfill service and EDP/PPTS requirements.
While these numerous advantages of purchasing products through the AWS Marketplace make it seem extremely ideal, there are still some situations where it might be better for customers to look elsewhere to meet their workload requirements. Depending on the vendor, purchasing products through the Marketplace might be more expensive than procuring the same or similar product elsewhere. Further, for new AWS customers who are not fully aware of their current AWS expenditure it may be beneficial to add new expenses elsewhere in order to effectively determine their AWS expenses.
Why should you purchase cost optimization tools on the Marketplace?
Cost optimization tools purchased through the Marketplace benefit heavily from the existing AWS integration. Third-party cost management and optimization services, like Archera, also gain access to all the pricing and usage information for the product without any extra effort. Since the products purchased on the AWS Marketplace are leveraged around the existing AWS system, the procurement and payment process for the products is drastically reduced and removes the need to separately handle invoicing or FP&A for individual products.
Many vendors selling cost optimization tools on the Marketplace have an existing relationship with AWS, like Archera, and leverage this partnership to provide their customers with credits if their services are purchased through the Marketplace. These credits can be used to buy services on the third-party tools. For example Archera’s Guaranteed RIs, which are guaranteed buybacks of standard RIs which allow users to maximize the discount without being locked-in,can be purchased using credits.
The AWS Marketplace is a great platform for customers to procure services that are guaranteed to be AWS approved, fully integrated with the AWS framework, and count towards their annual spend commitment in their EDP/PPTS. This integration makes products bought through the Marketplace ideal for customers who are already aware of their AWS expenses and who meet many of their workload requirements through AWS. Cost optimization tools, like Archera, purchased through the AWS Marketplace are especially beneficial due to the increased financial visibility by virtue of the products integration with AWS and the ability of the vendor to leverage an existing relationship with AWS provide the customer with exclusive benefits.