Amazon Web Services
Type of site
|Key people||Andy Jassy (CEO)|
|Industry||Web service, cloud computing|
|Revenue||$35.03 billion (2019)|
|Operating income||$7.2 billion (2018)|
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a subsidiary of Amazon providing on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to individuals, companies, and governments, on a metered pay-as-you-go basis. These cloud computing web services provide a variety of basic abstract technical infrastructure and distributed computing building blocks and tools. One of these services is Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which allows users to have at their disposal a virtual cluster of computers, available all the time, through the Internet. AWS's version of virtual computers emulates most of the attributes of a real computer, including hardware central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) for processing; local/RAM memory; hard-disk/SSD storage; a choice of operating systems; networking; and pre-loaded application software such as web servers, databases, and customer relationship management (CRM).
The AWS technology is implemented at server farms throughout the world, and maintained by the Amazon subsidiary. Fees are based on a combination of usage (known as a "Pay-as-you-go" model), hardware, operating system, software, or networking features chosen by the subscriber required availability, redundancy, security, and service options. Subscribers can pay for a single virtual AWS computer, a dedicated physical computer, or clusters of either. As part of the subscription agreement, Amazon provides security for subscribers' systems. AWS operates from many global geographical regions including 6 in North America.
Amazon markets AWS to subscribers as a way of obtaining large scale computing capacity more quickly and cheaply than building an actual physical server farm. All services are billed based on usage, but each service measures usage in varying ways. As of 2017, AWS owns a dominant 33% of all cloud (IaaS, PaaS) while the next two competitors Microsoft and Google have 18%, 9% respectively according to Synergy Group.
As of 2020, AWS comprises more than 175 products and services including computing, storage, networking, database, analytics, application services, deployment, management, mobile, developer tools, and tools for the Internet of Things. The most popular include Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Connect, and AWS Lambda (a serverless function enabling serverless ETL e.g. between instances of EC2 & S3).
Most services are not exposed directly to end users, but instead offer functionality through APIs for developers to use in their applications. Amazon Web Services' offerings are accessed over HTTP, using the REST architectural style and SOAP protocol for older APIs and exclusively JSON for newer ones.
The genesis of AWS was when in the early 2000s, experience with building Merchant.com, Amazon's e-commerce-as-a-service platform for third-party retailers to build their own web-stores, made them pursue service-oriented architecture as a means to scale their engineering operations led by the then CTO, Allan Vermeulen. Amazon.com Web Services, managed by Colin Bryar, consisting of a few disparate tools and services, was announced in July 2002. A year later, in the Summer of 2003, Andy Jassy took over Bryar's portfolio at Rick Dalzell's behest, after Vermeulen, who was Bezos' first pick, declined the offer. Jassy subsequently laid down the vision for an "Internet OS" after noticing multiple teams flag infrastructure primitives as the key impediment to shipping software applications faster. By fall 2003, databases, storage, and compute were identified as first set of infrastructure pieces that would form the basis of an "Internet OS" as Amazon's low-margin business had already led them to run those in a reliable, cost-efficient, and scalable manner. Jeff Barr, an early AWS employee, credits Vermeulen, Jassy, Bezos, himself and a few others for coming up with the idea of what would evolve into EC2, S3, and RDS, whilst Jassy recalls that being a result of brainstorming for about a week with "ten of the best technology minds and ten of the best product management minds" on about ten different Internet applications and the most primitive building blocks required to build them. Jassy assembled a founding team of 57 employees from a mix of engineering and business backgrounds to kick-start these initiatives, with a majority of the hires coming from outside the company.
In late 2003, the concept for compute, which would later launch as EC2, was reformulated when Chris Pinkham and Benjamin Black presented a paper internally describing a vision for Amazon's retail computing infrastructure that was completely standardized, completely automated, and would rely extensively on web services for services such as storage and would draw on internal work already underway. Near the end of their paper, they mentioned the possibility of selling access to virtual servers as a service, proposing the company could generate revenue from the new infrastructure investment.[unreliable source?] Thereafter Pinkham and lead developer Christopher Brown developed the Amazon EC2 service, with a team in Cape Town, South Africa.
On March 14 2006, Amazon S3 cloud storage launched followed by EC2 in August 2006. Andy Jassy, AWS founder and vice president in 2006, said at the time that Amazon S3 (one of the first and most scalable elements of AWS) "helps free developers from worrying about where they are going to store data, whether it will be safe and secure, if it will be available when they need it, the costs associated with server maintenance, or whether they have enough storage available. Amazon S3 enables developers to focus on innovating with data, rather than figuring out how to store it." Pi Corporation, a startup Paul Maritz co-founded, was the first beta-user of EC2 outside of Amazon.
In 2014, AWS launched its partner network entitled APN (AWS Partner Network) which is focused on helping AWS-based companies grow and scale the success of their business with close collaboration and best practices.
To support industry-wide training and skills standardization, AWS began offering a certification program for computer engineers, on April 30, 2013, to highlight expertise in cloud computing.
James Hamilton, an AWS engineer, wrote a retrospective article in 2016 to highlight the ten-year history of the online service from 2006 to 2016. As an early fan and outspoken proponent of the technology, he had joined the AWS engineering team in 2008.
Growth and profitability
In November 2010, it was reported that all of Amazon.com's retail sites had migrated to AWS. Prior to 2012, AWS was considered a part of Amazon.com and so its revenue was not delineated in Amazon financial statements. In that year industry watchers for the first time estimated AWS revenue to be over $1.5 billion.
In April 2015, Amazon.com reported AWS was profitable, with sales of $1.57 billion in the first quarter of the year and $265 million of operating income. Founder Jeff Bezos described it as a fast-growing $5 billion business; analysts described it as "surprisingly more profitable than forecast". In October, Amazon.com said in its Q3 earnings report that AWS's operating income was $521 million, with operating margins at 25 percent. AWS's 2015 Q3 revenue was $2.1 billion, a 78% increase from 2014's Q3 revenue of $1.17 billion. 2015 Q4 revenue for the AWS segment increased 69.5% y/y to $2.4 billion with 28.5% operating margin, giving AWS a $9.6 billion run rate. In 2015, Gartner estimated that AWS customers are deploying 10x more infrastructure on AWS than the combined adoption of the next 14 providers.
In 2016 Q1, revenue was $2.57 billion with net income of $604 million, a 64% increase over 2015 Q1 that resulted in AWS being more profitable than Amazon's North American retail business for the first time. In the first quarter of 2016, Amazon experienced a 42% rise in stock value as a result of increased earnings, of which AWS contributed 56% to corporate profits.
In 2019, AWS reported 37% yearly growth and accounted for 12% of Amazon's revenue (up from 11% in 2018).
- On March 14, 2006, Amazon said in a press release: "More than 150,000 developers have signed up to use Amazon Web Services since its inception."
- In November 2012, AWS hosted its first customer event in Las Vegas.
- On May 13, 2013, AWS was awarded an Agency Authority to Operate (ATO) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program.
- In October 2013, it was revealed that AWS was awarded a $600M contract with the CIA.
- During August 2014, AWS received Department of Defense-Wide provisional authorization for all U.S. Regions.
- During the 2015 re:Invent keynote, AWS disclosed that they have more than a million active customers every month in 190 countries, including nearly 2,000 government agencies, 5,000 education institutions and more than 17,500 nonprofits.
- On April 5, 2017, AWS and DXC Technology (formed from a merger of CSC and HPE's Enterprise Services Business) announced an expanded alliance to increase access of AWS features for enterprise clients in existing data centers.
In 2019, it was reported that more than 80% of Germany's listed DAX companies use AWS.
Significant service outages
- On April 20, 2011, AWS suffered a major outage. Parts of the Elastic Block Store (EBS) service became "stuck" and could not fulfill read/write requests. It took at least two days for service to be fully restored.
- On June 29, 2012, several websites that rely on Amazon Web Services were taken offline due to a severe storm in Northern Virginia, where AWS' largest data center cluster is located.
- On October 22, 2012, a major outage occurred, affecting many sites such as Reddit, Foursquare, Pinterest, and others. The cause was a memory leak bug in an operational data collection agent.
- On December 24, 2012, AWS suffered another outage causing websites such as Netflix to be unavailable for customers in the Northeastern United States. AWS cited their Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) service as the cause.
- On February 28, 2017, AWS experienced a massive outage of S3 services in its Northern Virginia region. A majority of websites which relied on AWS S3 either hung or stalled, and Amazon reported within five hours that AWS was fully online again. No data has been reported to have been lost due to the outage. The outage was caused by a human error made while debugging, that resulted in removing more server capacity than intended, which caused a domino effect of outages.
- On November 25, 2020, AWS experienced several hours of outage on the Kinesis service in North Virginia (us-east-1) region. Other services relying on Kinesis were also impacted.
Availability and topology
AWS has announced 6 new regions that will be coming online.
Each region is wholly contained within a single country and all of its data and services stay within the designated region. Each region has multiple "Availability Zones", which consist of one or more discrete data centers, each with redundant power, networking and connectivity, housed in separate facilities. Availability Zones do not automatically provide additional scalability or redundancy within a region, since they are intentionally isolated from each other to prevent outages from spreading between Zones. Several services can operate across Availability Zones (e.g., S3, DynamoDB) while others can be configured to replicate across Zones to spread demand and avoid downtime from failures.
As of December 2014, Amazon Web Services operated an estimated 1.4 million servers across 28 availability zones. The global network of AWS Edge locations consists of 54 points of presence worldwide, including locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America.
In 2014, AWS claimed its aim was to achieve 100% renewable energy usage in the future. In the United States, AWS's partnerships with renewable energy providers include Community Energy of Virginia, to support the US East region; Pattern Development, in January 2015, to construct and operate Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge; Iberdrola Renewables, LLC, in July 2015, to construct and operate Amazon Wind Farm US East; EDP Renewables North America, in November 2015, to construct and operate Amazon Wind Farm US Central; and Tesla Motors, to apply battery storage technology to address power needs in the US West (Northern California) region.
AWS also has "pop-up lofts" in different locations around the world. These market AWS to entrepreneurs and startups in different tech industries in a physical location. Visitors can work or relax inside the loft, or learn more about what they can do with AWS. In June 2014, AWS opened their first temporary pop-up loft in San Francisco. In May 2015 they expanded to New York City, and in September 2015 expanded to Berlin. AWS opened their fourth location, in Tel Aviv from March 1, 2016 to March 22, 2016. A pop-up loft was open in London from September 10 to October 29, 2015. The pop-up lofts in New York and San Francisco are indefinitely closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic while Tokyo has remained open in a limited capacity.
In 2017, AWS launched AWS re/Start in the United Kingdom to help young adults and military veterans retrain in technology-related skills. In partnership with the Prince's Trust and the Ministry of Defence (MoD), AWS will help to provide re-training opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and former military personnel. AWS is working alongside a number of partner companies including Cloudreach, Sage Group, EDF Energy and Tesco Bank.
- Launched in July 2002, the Amazon Web Services platform exposes technology and product data from Amazon and its affiliates, enabling developers to build innovative and entrepreneurial applications on their own.
- In 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) began offering IT infrastructure services to businesses in the form of web services -- now commonly known as cloud computing.
- "Amazon Now Has Three CEOs". fortune.com. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- "Annual revenue of Amazon Web Services from 2013 to 2019". Statista. February 2, 2020.
- "Amazon.com Announces Fourth Quarter Sales up 20% to $72.4 Billion". About Amazon. January 31, 2019. Archived from the original on December 28, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
- "Amazon - Press Room - Press Release". phx.corporate-ir.net. Archived from the original on October 15, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
- "About AWS". September 2011. Archived from the original on October 5, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- "AWS Customer Agreement". Amazon Web Services, Inc. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
- "AWS Global Infrastructure". December 22, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
- "What is Cloud Computing by Amazon Web Services | AWS". Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- Aug 3, Joe Panettieri ?; 2020 (August 3, 2020). "Cloud Market Share 2020: Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, IBM". ChannelE2E. Retrieved October 12, 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
- "Infographic: Amazon Leads $100 Billion Cloud Market". Statista Infographics. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
- Brandon, John (February 1, 2020). "AWS: Your complete guide to Amazon Web Services & features". techradar.com.
- "Top 10 AWS Services according to popularity". medium.com. August 31, 2019.
- "Podcast - Forum for Growth & Innovation - Harvard Business School". www.hbs.edu. Archived from the original on February 4, 2021.
- Furrier, John (January 28, 2015). "Exclusive Profile: Andy Jassy of Amazon Web Service (AWS) And His Trillion Dollar Cloud Ambition". Forbes. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
- Miller, Rob (July 2, 2016). "How AWS came to be". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on January 21, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
- McLaughlin, Kevin (August 4, 2015). "Andy Jassy: Amazon's $6 Billion Man". CRN. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- Fireside Chat with Michael Skok and Andy Jassy: The History of Amazon Web Services. youtube.com. Harvard Business School. October 21, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
- Stone, Brad (2013). The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. Transworld. ISBN 9781448127511 – via books.google.com.
- "Colin Bryar". linkedin.com. Archived from the original on February 5, 2021. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
Director, Amazon Associates and Amazon Web Services Programs. Dates Employed Mar 1998 – Jul 2003. Owned the overall P&L for the Amazon Associates (affiliate marketing) and one of the first public facing Amazon web service for developers, now called the Amazon Product API. Managed the software development, product management, and customer service teams for these two programs, spanning five countries. The Amazon Product API launch in July 2002 was the first commercial Amazon sdk that targeted third party developers to build applications on top of Amazon software platform.
- "Amazon.com Launches Web Services; Developers Can Now Incorporate Amazon.com Content and Features into Their Own Web Sites; Extends "Welcome Mat" for Developers" (Press release). Amazon, Inc. July 16, 2002. Archived from the original on February 5, 2021. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
- Bryar, Colin; Carr, Bill (2021). Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon. Pan MacMillan. ISBN 9781529033854 – via books.google.com.
- Rushton, Katherine (December 30, 2012). "Goliath vs Goliath...Amazon takes on Apple and Google". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on February 4, 2021. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
- Barr, Jeff (November 11, 2019). "15 Years of AWS Blogging!". aws.amazon.com. Archived from the original on February 5, 2021. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
- "Benjamin Black– EC2 Origins". Blog.b3k.us. January 25, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- Bort, Julie (March 28, 2012). "Amazon's Game-Changing Cloud Was Built By Some Guys In South Africa". Business Insider. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- "Amazon Web Services Blog: Amazon Simple Queue Service Beta". aws.typepad.com. November 9, 2004. Archived from the original on December 17, 2004. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- "Amazon Web Services Launches" (Press release). Amazon, Inc. Archived from the original on February 5, 2021. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
- Barr, Jeff (August 25, 2006). "Amazon EC2 Beta". aws.amazon.com. Archived from the original on February 5, 2021.
- "Announcing the Launch of the AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog". Amazon Web Services. November 21, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
- "EdgeIQ Orchestration for AWS". Amazon Web Services, Inc. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
- "AWS began offering a certification program for computer engineers with expertise in cloud computing". www.pcworld.com. May 1, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "Amazon to buy Israeli start-up Annapurna Labs". Reuters. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
- "Amazon buys secretive chip maker Annapurna Labs for $350 million". ExtremeTech. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
- "A Decade of Innovation – Perspectives".
- Jordan, Novet. "Andy Jassy is finally named CEO of Amazon Web Services". venturebeat.com. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
- Balakrishnan, Anita (April 12, 2017). "AWS CEO Andrew Jassy's 2016 pay hits $35.6 million". cnbc.com. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
- Miller, Ron. "Amazon launches autoscaling service on AWS". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- "New AWS Auto Scaling – Unified Scaling For Your Cloud Applications | Amazon Web Services". Amazon Web Services. January 16, 2018. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- "AWS launches Arm-based servers for EC2". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- "AWS launches a base station for satellites as a service". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
- "2011 AWS Tour Australia, Closing Keynote: How Amazon.com migrated to AWS, by Jon Jenkins". Amazon Web Services. July 14, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- "Cloud Computing 2013: The Amazon Gorilla Invades The Enterprise". Wikibon. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- "Amazon web services 'growing fast'". BBC News.
- Get Used to Amazon Being a Profitable Company Wired. October 22, 2015.
- "Gartner Reprint". www.gartner.com. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
- Amazon's earnings soar as its hardware takes the spotlight The Verge, Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- Daniel Roberts (May 24, 2016). "Here's why Amazon stock is up 42% in just 3 months". Yahoo Finance.
- Novet, Jordan (February 1, 2018). "Amazon cloud revenue jumps 45 percent in fourth quarter".
- Sparks, Daniel (February 6, 2020). "Amazon's Record 2019 in 7 Metrics". The Motley Fool. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
- "Amazon Web Services Announces First Global Customer and Partner Conference: AWS re: Invent". May 9, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- "AWS was awarded an Agency Authority to Operate (ATO) from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)". www.gsa.gov. May 13, 2013. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "US court rules for Amazon.com in CIA cloud contract dispute". Reuters. October 8, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
- "AWS GovCloud Earns DoD CSM Level 3-5 Provisional Authorization". blogs.aws.amazon.com. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
- "DXC Technology Announces Expanded Alliance with Amazon Web Services". Retrieved May 30, 2017.
- "The tech behind NASA's Martian chronicles -- GCN".
- Lohr, Steve (November 8, 2012). "The Obama Campaign's Technology Is a Force Multiplier". The New York Times. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- "Netflix Case Study". Amazon Web Services, Inc.
- Benrath, Bastian; Berlin. "Cloudsparte AWS: Die Sonne hinter Amazons Wolken". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
- Hitchens, Theresa. "Navy Takes First Big Step To Cloud, Pushing Logistics To Amazon's Service". Breaking Defense. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
- "Summary of outage occurring April 20–22, 2011". April 29, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- "Summary of the AWS Service Event in the US East Region". July 2, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- "Summary of the October 22, 2012 AWS Service Event in the US-East Region". October 22, 2012. Archived from the original on September 5, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- Bishop, Bryan. "Netflix streaming down on some devices due to Amazon issues". The Verge. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
- "Summary of the December 24, 2012 Amazon ELB Service Event in the US-East Region". December 24, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- "Summary of the Amazon S3 Service Disruption in the Northern Virginia (US-EAST-1) Region". amazon.com. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
- A typo blew up part of the internet Tuesday CNET, Retrieved March 2, 2017
- Speed, Richard. "AWS admits to 'severely impaired' services in US-EAST-1, can't even post updates to Service Health Dashboard". www.theregister.com. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
- Dean, Katie Canales, Grace. "Amazon Web Services is back up after a massive outage that hit sites including Roku, Adobe, and Target-owned Shipt". Business Insider. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
- "AWS Global Infrastructure". About AWS. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- "Just how big is Amazon's AWS business? (hint: it's absolutely massive)". Geek.com. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
- "Global Infrastructure". Amazon Web Services, Inc. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
- Pomerantz, David. "AWS and Sustainable Energy". Amazon. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
- Burt, Jeffrey (June 10, 2015). "AWS to Build Solar Farm to Help Power Cloud Data Centers". eWeek.
- "Pattern Development Completes Financing and Starts Construction of Amazon Wind Farm Project in Indiana". Pattern Energy Group LP. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
- "AWS & Sustainability". Amazon Web Services, Inc. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
- "AWS Pop-up Lofts". Amazon Web Services, Inc.
- "Head in the cloud: Amazon Web Services' SoMa pop-up now permanent".
- Zipkin, Nina. "Why Amazon Added a Pop-Up Loft in NYC".
- "Like Target and Porsche, Amazon Web Services opens pop-up shop in NYC". May 19, 2015.
- "Amazon Web Services opens Pop-up Loft in Berlin". September 22, 2015. Archived from the original on February 5, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- "Amazon's Pop-up loft heading to Tel Aviv".
- Tung, Liam. "Amazon gets startup-friendly with AWS Loft space in London | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
- "New York". Amazon Web Services, Inc. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
- "AWS Loft San Francisco". Amazon Web Services, Inc. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
- "AWS Loft Tokyo ? 挑戦をカタチにする場所へ ? | AWS". Amazon Web Services, Inc. (in Japanese). Retrieved June 8, 2020.
- "AWS re:Start to teach digital skills to young people and military veterans". itpro.co.uk. Retrieved February 21, 2017.