Sony unit turns to OpenStack in wake of PlayStation breach


UPDATE: Sony responded to this article, stating that SCEA uses OpenStack from Rackspace, among other platforms, but has not ended its relationship with Amazon Web Services. "Sony Computer Entertainment America utilizes various hosting options, including those from Amazon Web Services and OpenStack, among others, for its game platforms," said Dan Race, director of Corporate Communications at SCEA. "The reports claiming that SCEA is discontinuing its relationship with Amazon Web Services are inaccurate." In the first paragraph, the phrase "replacing AWS with" was changed to "moving some services from AWS to." The original article from Network World was updated to include this information.

The massive data breach and protracted outage suffered by Sony's PlayStation Network last year has led to some negative fallout for Amazon Web Services, which provided hosting services for the network. The Sony division responsible for PSN is moving some services from AWS to an OpenStack platform hosted by Rackspace, reports Brandon Butler at Network World.

The division, Sony Computer Entertainment of America, shut down the PSN and Qriocity services last year in the wake of a cyber attack that exposed personal data of 77 million customers. While Sony has yet to provide a thorough explanation of the attack, Bloomberg reported that it was linked to AWS. The Bloomberg report was based on an anonymous source who said that hackers with a bogus AWS account launched the attack from AWS computers. As Butler reports, Amazon denies that its services were involved.

The open-source platform OpenStack, created by Rackspace and NASA last year, enjoys more than 140 participating businesses, most of whom are providers of cloud-based services, Butler reports. Disney is one of its large end users. 

According to AWS, Sony is still a "strong and growing customer," despite the loss of the PlayStation Network division, Butler reports. Other notable companies, including Zynga, have dropped AWS recently.

Some analysts say that the move away from a hosted service like AWS makes sense as an organization achieves a certain size. "Once an enterprise gets big enough, people have to ask themselves a question of at what point of scale is it cheaper to do it on your own?" said Floyd Strimling, an industry analyst and blogger for Zenoss.

For more:
- see an updated version of this article from Computerworld

Related Articles:
Sony appears better prepared for attacks
Cloud risks put in spotlight by Amazon outage