2 min

Turns out that Cloud infrastructure does not play as big a role as some would have us believe.

The COVID-driven explosion in remote working and online videoconferencing have made Zoom the darling of the tech world. Not surprisingly, notable big tech firms like Oracle and AWS have tried to jump on the Zoom bandwagon.

In April 2020, Oracle announced that it had been selected by Zoom as its “Cloud Infrastructure Provider”. They boasted that “Zoom selected Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for its advantages in performance, scalability, reliability and superior cloud security.” They were hoping that this news would give a much needed boost to Oracle’s flagging Cloud business.

But then in December of that same year, Amazon announced that Zoom had “selected AWS as its preferred cloud provider.” Amazon went on to claim that “Zoom will continue to leverage AWS’s global infrastructure and unmatched portfolio of services.”

The truth about Zoom and public Cloud services

Now Zoom has issued a prospectus supplement indicating that Cloud services may not even play the critical role in their operation that Oracle and AWS would have us believe. Indeed, only certain aspects of their service rely on Cloud providers.

“We currently serve our users from various co-located data centers located throughout the world,” the prospectus states. “We also utilize Amazon Web Services and Oracle Cloud for the hosting of certain critical aspects of our business, as well as Microsoft Azure for limited customer-specified managed services.”

The prospectus also states that Zoom intends to continue opening more data centres. This indicates the companies objective to rely on its own co-located kit rather than Cloud providers.

A warning about Zoom’s reliance on AWS and Oracle

In fact, the prospectus issues a warning of the negative impact reliance on Cloud providers like Oracle and AWS could have.

They explain that surges in demand could leave them lacking in capacity from their own data centres, in which case “we may need to rely increasingly on public cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services and Oracle Cloud.”

This, they warn, “may result in higher variable costs and harm our business, financial condition, and operating results.”