Amazon Web Services Turns 10

Happy Birthday!! Amazon Web Services (AWS) turns 10 years old this month. What started off as a concept to help scale Amazon’s Internet retail business has turned into a multi-billion dollar business, $10 billion per their latest figures.

AWS came out of Amazon’s need to be able to completely standardize, automate and for the ability to scale their infrastructure using web services. As an afterthought when the original architecture was mapped out, Chris Pinkham and Benjamin Black (AWS original architects) mentioned there might be a possibility to also sell Virtual Servers as a service.

What started out as simply cheap cloud storage for web developers, quickly morphed into a total Pay-for-Use compute power business. This allowed Web based start-ups to concentrate on their core business and not IT infrastructure. Now seven percent of Amazon’s total revenue, AWS has done a little more than “a possibility to sell Virtual Servers as a service”.

Today AWS is a go to cloud infrastructure provider for Fortune 500 companies, top web businesses (Reddit, Foursquare, Pinterest) and government agencies (CIA, Health and Human Services). As more organizations move to the cloud, AWS presence in this space will continue to grow. Along with opportunity comes competition. Recently Google took away a crown jewel from AWS, Apple Computer. Still cloud computing is in its infancy and the sky, or cloud if you will, is the limit.

But, infrastructure as a service for AWS extends far beyond conventional corporate applications. The real growth could be in the Internet of Things (IoT), which is a multi-billion dollar opportunity. AWS currently has 12 hubs around the world and at least five additional hubs planned. Amazon Web Services is positioned nicely to be a true global leader in this space. With over 1 million customers in 150+ countries on five continents they have the footprint to do this better than their competition.

AWS has had their rough patches getting to where they are today. On April 20th, 2011, the suffered an outage that took two days for the service to be completely restored. And on December 24th, 2012, they suffered an outage that affected web sites and prevented customers from being able to view instant videos from Netflix in a large portion of the East coast.

Organizations continue to move most, if not all, of their services to the AWS platform, including Amazon going all in at the end of 2010. You can find ECHO on AWS which delivers high-volume searches for your personal music, news, and the ability to control lights and thermostats, and much more.

The first 10 years have been pretty impressive for Amazon Web Services and it looks like the next 10 will be just as amazing. I am no expert in this area but I decided that I would consult one to listen to what she had to say about their growth. “Hello Alexa…Can you tell me how big Amazon Web Services will be in the next 10 years?” Alexa: “ I know it will be in the multi, multi-billion dollar range and I will be bigger than ever and able to do so much more things for you!”