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Cloudflare Aims to Loosen AWS’ Hold on Customers

Cloud computing companies like Amazon Web Services make it dirt cheap—actually free—to move customer data into their data centers. But moving that data out again, either back into a customer’s own data center or to a rival public cloud, isn’t as simple—or as cheap.

Cloudflare, the content delivery network company whose investors include Google and Microsoft, says it has a solution that will make it easier for companies to move data easily between public cloud providers. If it works, it could threaten the cloud providers’ hold on customers, which would be an issue for market leader AWS in particular.

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For Cloudflare’s new service to work, customers or their tech provider have to guarantee that things work the same way on both clouds. “If one command stores files on Amazon, the same command must do the same on Google and Azure,” Mr. Prince said. Products from companies like Docker and VMware accomplish that now.

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Cloudflare’s pitch is that it could do all that in a faster, more automated way, in part because it is already directly connected to all the major cloud providers.