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Now we’ve got more proof that big companies are moving closer to the public cloud: More of them are calling in a startup called 2nd Watch as a helping hand.

2nd Watch, which provides consulting and software for setting up and running infrastructure on Amazon Web Services, says its bookings increased more than 400 percent last quarter, when compared with the first quarter of 2013. And in the first three months of 2014, 2nd Watch signed up six more Fortune 500 companies as customers, while also seeing customers porting key applications over to public clouds more than ever before.

AWS is the major public cloud offering, with a dominant share of the market, although Amazon has never provided exact details on its revenues — so 2nd Watch’s numbers are a good indicator of how AWS is growing.

“I think in 2012 and 2013 the conversation was certainly more educational. I think what we’re seeing now is the tipping point,” 2nd Watch co-founder and chief executive Kris Bliesner said in an interview with VentureBeat, speaking of cloud adoption among enterprises.


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Bliesner is just the latest person to talk about the rate at which large companies are entrusting Amazon and other public clouds with more and more of their IT spend.

Former Netflix cloud architect Adrian Cockcroft has witnessed the trend playing out. And naturally Amazon executives, especially AWS head Andy Jassy, have remarked on the shift, talking about Netflix and other companies as being “all-in,” rather than straddling on-site data centers and one or more public clouds.

Such progress in cloud adoption creates a network effect, where 2nd Watch and others that provide tooling and support for cloud deployments stand to gain. In other words, you can interpret the 2nd Watch growth as concrete evidence that the shift to public-cloud infastructures is in fact happening. And as more big companies hop on the public cloud, smaller companies could become more confident of the potential perks of the shift, like not having to worry so much about running physical data center gear and the ability to quickly increase or decrease the amount of infrastructure a company uses.

Public clouds from Microsoft and Google look promising but some characteristics restrict them from immediately displacing Amazon as the market leader in the near future, at least for Bliesner.

Still, recent moves suggest that Microsoft is getting more serious about the public cloud market, said Bliesner, who previously worked at Microsoft, where he supported data center operations for MSN and the company’s Internet properties.

New 2nd Watch customers include Boston Consulting Group, Celgene, Conde Nast, InnerWorkings, Radian, and ServiceSource. In the past, 2nd Watch has worked with Adobe, Leonovo, Kent State University, and Red Lion Hotels.

Based in Liberty Lake, Wash., 2nd Watch launched in 2010. It announced a $23 million funding round in November.

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