Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) a private firm is wholly owned subsidiary of AWS provides infrastructure web services platform in the cloud to its clients. It was launched in US in 2002 and in 2004 gave developers access to Amazon product data and technology, a concept very new at that time. AWS were launched in Germany, Japan and UK in 2003 and in 2009, Amazon announced AWS launch in Asia.


The four infrastructure building blocks of the AWS are:

  1. Computation – Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2): EC2 is like a virtual machine providing on-demand computing power to its users. Users can rent virtual computers to run their applications. The users have flexibility to start, add and remove the usage of the “virtual machine”. The pricing is on a hourly basis. Supports Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and OpenSolaris.
  2. Storage –

    • Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3): Provides easy to use storage with a user web interface
    • Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS): EBS usage is similar to a hard drive on a server. Used as a primary storage device for file systems, databases, etc.
  3. Network –

    • Amazon Virtual private Cloud (VPC) – Enable clients to connect their infrastructure to AWS compute resource (e.g. EC2) via a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
    • Amazon Route 53 – Domain name System service
  4. Database –

    • Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) – service used to set up, operate and scale up (if required) relational database in cloud space
    • Amazon SimpleDB – this works in tandem with EC2 and S3 to run queries on structured database in real time.

On the infrastructure block sit the platform building blocks of AWS:

  1. Content delivery
  2. Deployment and management
  3. E-commerce
  4. Messaging
  5. Web-traffic
  6. Monitoring
  7. Workforce

AWS contributed less than 3% of the revenues of Amazon in FY 2010, it is expected to add a USD 750 mn to Amazon’s top line in FY2011. While AWS is a very small part of Amazon’s business but is growing rapidly. AWS is gaining popularity rapidly, for example Amazon S3 stored total of 339 bliion objects in Q1 2011 as compared to just 2.9 billion objects in Q4 2006, a rise of 11,590%. AWS has clients in 190 countries including some very well known names such as, NASA, Netflix, NASDAQ, twitter, etc.
AWS partner ecosystem is also robust including, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, SAP, Accenture,, MySql, etc.

The company’s Cloud locations are spread across the globe in 17 locations.