How AWS Changed the Tech Industry in a Decade - AWS Services
Amazon started out as an e-commerce website way back in 1994. Step by step, over the years, it became the kingpin of the e-commerce eco-space. However, something changed halfway through its journey that has propelled Amazon to ever-greater heights while making Jeff Bezos, its owner, one of the world’s richest man. So, what was that ‘something’?The company launched AWS Services in 2006. AWS is a subsidiary of Amazon.com, which provides its customers (individuals, companies, governments) with cloud computing platform on demand, on a paid subscription basis. This means that the subscribers have an ever-available, virtual cluster of computers at their disposal via the Internet.
While this might seem to be a norm in today’s era of DevOps and cloud computing, be assured that launching AWS was a masterstroke by Amazon in that era. The cloud computing business was still in its infancy stage of development when Amazon cloud services were launched, with large companies refusing to invest huge sums in it. To place this in perspective, AWS was rolled out four years prior to Microsoft Azure, its closest competitor and a product of Microsoft, one of the largest companies in the tech eco-space. If you are still not convinced, Google launched its cloud services in 2012—six years later.
AWS is the pioneer of modern cloud computing business as you see it today. Being the precursor to every other cloud service provider in the market has certainly helped Amazon Web Services. As of 2017 reports, it is by far the biggest stakeholder in the cloud (IaaS, PaaS) with a dominant 34% of the market share. The poor runner-up to AWS is Microsoft, which has just a third of AWS’s market share, at 11%.
AWS definitely did not start out the way it is now. Far from its current structure, it was launched as an inexpensive online storage space for developers. While it may sound very simplistic today in a world flying high on cloud services, it was an enormous step for the time and, quite certainly, a massive hit. According to a press release by Amazon, dated March 14, 2006, just a few days after its launch, more than 150,000 developers had signed up to use AWS. It was this unprecedented success that persuaded others to move into this untapped market.
Amazon has since upscaled AWS Services and, thus, has kept up with current market requirements and technological developments. From being just a cloud storage site for developers in its initial stages, the company now leases additional computer power on a pay-as-you-go basis. This move by the company has acted as a boon for a variety of startups like Airbnb and Pinterest, who have utilized AWS cloud computing and AWS cloud services to the fullest for their app development work without having to focus on the infrastructure to support their products.
Buoyed by AWS’s success, Amazon took it a step further when it implemented AWS’s most popular feature till date—Amazon ec2, or in other words Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, which allows users to rent virtual computers where they can run their own applications. The fact that Amazon has created a comprehensive product where subscribers have the liberty to work as per their preferences has seen AWS become Amazon’s biggest cash cow. AWS generated $17.4 billion in revenue in 2017, a growth of more than 100% over a course of two years ($8 billion in 2015).
AWS’s success over the years has certainly changed the whole tech industry while also spawning a number of smaller entities that act as AWS solution providers and being one of the driving forces behind the universal adoption of DevOps. The cloud eco-system has never been the same ever since AWS’s launch in 2006.