Amazon Web Services is #1 in Top 17 Public Cloud Platforms

Last updated: December 06, 2019
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Positions in ratings


#1 in Top 17 Public Cloud Platforms

#1 in Top 10 AI Platforms

Alternatives


The best alternatives to Amazon Web Services are: Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Heroku, Oracle Cloud



Latest news about Amazon Web Services


2019. AWS launches fully-managed backup service for business


Amazon’s AWS cloud platform has added a new service Backup, that allows companies to back up their data from various AWS services and their on-premises apps. To back up on-premises data, businesses can use the AWS Storage Gateway. The service allows users to define their various backup policies and retention periods, including the ability to move backups to cold storage (for EFS data) or delete them completely after a certain time. By default, the data is stored in Amazon S3 buckets. Most of the supported services, except for EFS file systems, already feature the ability to create snapshots. Backup essentially automates that process and creates rules around it, so it’s no surprise that the pricing for Backup is the same as for using those snapshot features (with the exception of the file system backup, which will have a per-GB charge).




2017. AWS launched browser-based IDE for cloud developers



Amazon Web Services launched a new browser-based IDE, AWS Cloud9. It isn’t all that different from similar IDEs and editors like Sublime Text, but as AWS stressed during today’s keynote, it allows for collaborative editing and it’s also deeply integrated into the AWS ecosystem. The tool comes with built-in support for languages like JavaScript, Python, PHP and others. Cloud9 also includes pre-installed debugging tools. AWS argues that this is the first “cloud native” IDE, though I’m sure some of its competitors will take issue with this description. Either way, though, Cloud9 is deeply integrated with AWS and developers can create cloud environments and start new instances right from the tool.


2017. AWS introduced per-second billing for EC2 instances



Over the last few years, some alternative cloud platforms moved to more flexible billing models (mostly per-minute billing) and now AWS is one-upping many of them by moving to per-second billing for its Linux-based EC2 instances. This new per-second billing model will apply to on-demand, reserved and spot instances, as well as provisioned storage for EBS volumes. Amazon EMR and AWS Batch are also moving to this per-second model. it’s worth noting, though, that there is a one-minute minimum charge per instance and that this doesn’t apply to machines that run Windows or some of the Linux distributions that have their own separate hourly charges.


2017. AWS offers a virtual machine with over 4TB of memory



Amazon’s AWS launched its largest EC2 machine (in terms of memory size) yet: the x1e.32xlarge instance with a whopping 4.19TB of RAM. Previously, EC2’s largest instance only featured just over 2TB of memory. These machines feature quad-socket Intel Xeon processors running at 2.3 GHz, up to 25 Gbps of network bandwidth and two 1,920GB SSDs. There are obviously only a few applications that need this kind of memory. It’s no surprise, then, that these instances are certified to run SAP’s HANA in-memory database and its various tools and that SAP will offer direct support for running these applications on these instances. It’s worth noting that Microsoft Azure’s largest memory-optimized machine currently tops out at just over 2TB and that Google already calls it quits at 416GB of RAM.


2014. AWS now supports Docker containers



Amazon announced the preview availability of EC2 Container Services – the new service for managing Docker containers that boosts Amazon Web Services support for hybrid cloud. This bring the benefits of easy development management, portability between environments, lower risk in deployments, smoother maintenance and management of application components, and the ability for it all to work together. AWS isn’t the first cloud provider to offer Docker’s open source engine support. Google has extended its support for Docker containers with its new Google Container Engine powered by its own Kubernetes, announced just last week during the Google Cloud Platform Live event. And, back in August, Microsoft announced its support for Kubernetes in managing Docker containers in Azure.


2014. Amazon and Microsoft drop cloud prices



Cloud computing is becoming cheaper and cheaper. So, if you once (for example, a year ago) calculated whether it was cost-effective to migrate your IT infrastructure to the cloud and decided that it was still expensive, then recalculate again. Since then, cloud platform reduced prices two or three times. Another round of happening now. Since tomorrow  Amazon S3 cloud storage pricing will decrease by 6-22 % (depending on the used space), and the cost of cloud server hard drives (Amazon EBS) will fall by 50%. And a month later Microsoft's cloud platform Windows Azure  will reduce its prices by 20% to keep them a little lower than Amazon's. So think once again, why buy an in-house server if the cost of the cloud tends to zero.


2012. Google and Amazon reduce cloud storage prices. Launch new cloud services



Competition - is good for customers. On Monday, Google reduced prices for its Google Cloud Storage by over 20%, and today, in response, Amazon has reduced prices for its S3 storage by 25%. Obviously, in the near future, Microsoft will also reduce prices for Windows Azure, to bring them to the competitive level - about $0.09/month per GB. The same story occured in March when Amazon lowered prices, and then Microsoft and Google aligned their pricing with Amazon. Because on the cloud platforms market the price is no longer a competitive advantage, but your pricing is higher than the competition - is't a big disadvantage. Some experts already doubt that Amazon and the contenders are earning something on selling gigabytes and gigahertzs. Like in case with the mobile market, the main task of cloud vendors - is to hook up large companies and SaaS-providers to their platforms, even if they should sell computing resources at a loss. All the talks about open cloud platforms, open cloud standards and free migration between clouds - most likely will remain just talks. OpenStack is trying to build the communism in the Cloud, but with its communist-like business organization, it will hardly succeed. Meanwhile, Amazon, Google, Microsoft are build cloud platforms with their own standards, with unique features, and can afford to reduce prices for computer resources. They can afford because customers will remain and pay for additional features. Migrating to another platform will be very difficult. In addition to new pricing, Google and Amazon introduced the new cloud services. Google launched the clone of Amazon's Glacier - Durable Reduced Availability Storage (cheap storage for very large amounts of data with slow data access). And Amazon played its muscles. It's new service Redshift allow to host databases the size of which is measured in petabytes. It's difficult to say about the demand for such a service, but it should definitely make a positive impact on Amazon's reputation. If they can play with petabyte-databases, than your little project will work on Amazon without a hitch.


2012. Amazon Glacier: Cloud storage service using Humanoid robots



Humanoid robots - is just our assumption, but it's first idea, that comes to mind when looking at the new service Amazon Glacier. This is a solution for the long-term storage of archives and backups, which are needed for business very rare, or may be never used, but should be stored because of some state or corporate guidelines. The point is that storing data in Amazon Glacier is very cheap. Only 1 cent per month for 1 GB (10 times less than in the Amazon S3). But if you want to get any file - you need to order it first and wait 3-5 hours until it becomes available. (We think that during this time the robot can find the hard drive in the data center and bring it to the control panel). In addition, Amazon Glacier customers will be able to download only 5% of their data per month and will pay $0.12 per GB for data transfer exceeding 1 GB per month.


2012. OpenStack launches. CloudStack departs. Amazon adapts SAP. Azure rebrands



Here is the news digest from the leading cloud platforms. First of all, the open-source platform OpenStack (aka Linux for the clouds) which had been developed for two years by the alliance of IT giants (Rackspace, NASA, Citrix, Intel, AMD, Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM ...) - finally comes to production. Since May 1, it was adapted by RackSpace for its service Rackspace Cloud Files and last week HP launched the public beta of its HP Cloud platform, based on OpenStack. However, a week before the launch the trouble (common for open-source projects) occurred with OpenStack. Citrix, which has been one of the first participants in OpenStack, suddenly decided to grant its own cloud platform - CloudStack - to Apache Software Foundation. Thus, CloudStack not flowed into OpenStack but became a rival project. Citrix explained this decision by the slow OpenStack development and unwillingness of other parties to integrate with Amazon Web Services APIs. As for Amazon, it's secured from such conflicts, and that's why is busy with more useful occupations - i.e. adaption of the world's largest ERP system SAP All-in-One to Amazon's cloud. Nothing can be more cool than SAP All-in-One in the Cloud, so the appearance of the first customer, using this cloud-based SAP will mean the great win to all cloud industry. By the way a year ago SAP was going to port its ERP system not only to AWS, but also to the cloud platform of its main partner - Microsoft (Windows Azure). As now it turned out, that AWS - was the first. If in the near future SAP for Windows Azure won't appear, it will be a disaster for Microsoft's cloud business. But maybe Microsoft has more important things to do. For example, rebranding. Recently the company announced that it will ditch the Windows Live brand. And then it came to Windows Azure. It's already known that a number of services will be renamed as follows: SQL Azure -> SQL Database, Azure Compute -> Cloud Services, Azure Storage -> Storage. It's still unknown whether the Azure brand will remain in the platform title. Why rename? Microsoft says, to erase the boundaries between the cloud and local IT infrastructure.


2012. AWS Marketplace - cloud app market for Amazon's platform


Better than anybody in the world Amazon can build online stores, so the launch of the cloud app store for Amazon Web Services platform - is very logical move. The question may be only one: what's the point of creating software store for AWS, if AWS can host almost any software in the world? The fact is that AWS Marketplace sells not software but software images, specially created for the AWS (so-called AMI = Amazon Machine Images). Each image in addition to the software contains everything it needs to run (operating system, middleware). And you can install such AMI on Amazon's server with just one click. You do not need to configure the software - everything works out-of-the-box. Thus, developers and IT administrators need less and less brains to start using Amazon's cloud platform. You just need to create an account, go to the app store, add to cart needed software (from the operating system to CRM system) and that's all. Of course, you'll need to pay for everything, and using pre-built AMIs you'll be paying more than having done software installation and configuration by yourself. But you pay for all to a single provider. Besides AWS Marketplace provides some free AMIs (created open-source industry). For developers AWS Marketplace - is an additional channel to promote the software and easy-to-use billing system. In fact, AWS Marketplace allows a developer to become a SaaS-provider without thinking about servers, security, virtualization and monthly payments. However, Amazon will grab 20% of your income.


2012. Amazon made an atempt to beat Google in the Enterprise Search


Enterprise search engines (which are used mostly by large companies with large data stores) - have always been the prerogative of the large software vendors: SAP, Oracle, IBM, Open Text. Then, of course, the search giant Google came to party and became market leader. But now Google and company will face a new competitor. Amazon is launching a new service on its cloud platform - CloudSearch. At first glance, it seems that Google has nothing to fear. Even though Amazon developers have some experience in search technologies (they somehow developed a search engine for the online store and even launched the own search engine A9). But how can they compete with Google? The problem is that existing enterprise search engines, including Google Enterprise Search, are designed for work in local networks, on local servers. And as corporate data moves to the cloud, they become useless. The situation is even more difficult because the fact that now very often the phrase "move to the cloud" means "move to Amazon". Thus, enterprise search is going away from Google and comes to Amazon. Google's own cloud platform Google App Engine - for now can't compete with Amazon Web Services on the enterprise market. Besides the search engine for Google App Engine is still only in the plans. It is worth noting that Amazon CloudSearch has a fundamental difference from the Google Enterprise Search. Google's corporate search engine is a plug-n-play box that connects to LAN, indexes all data silos and displays results. CloudSearch - is not a ready-to-use service, but rather a tool for developers, which allows them quickly implement search in enterprise applications and repositories and configure it for the individual needs. CloudSearch cost depends on the number of search servers, requests and traffic. But in general such search-as-a-service will cost much cheaper than buying and maintaining an own in-house search server.


2012. So Amazon is #1. And who’s next in cloud computing?



GigaOm has published the list of top 7 cloud providers besides Amazon. Why besides Amazon? Because Amazon Web Services for now is far ahead of competitors. AWS is an absolute cloud market leader in all reports of all analytical firms. According to various estimates, AWS runs on 450,000 servers and generates about $1 billion in revenue per year. And who's next? Here are the top 7 the cloud providers by GigaOM: 1. Rackspace According to Gartner, Rackspace on the second place after the AWS by revenue. In 2011 it's revenue was slightly below $200 million. Rackspace - is the leader of the OpenStack, the alliance that develops the open cloud platform (ala Cloud Linux). 2. Google By the number of servers, Google can surpass even Amazon. But Google can't extract revenue from its cloud infrastructure so effectively (search and advertising are not mentioned here). It's platform Google App Engine is not yet a serious option for business and SaaS providers. 3. Microsoft Microsoft, perhaps, could be a leader in the cloud market thanks to its extensive partner network and customer base. But it's bound by the own desktop business. So while Windows Azure has a huge potential, it's still a niche platform. 4. IBM IBM comes to the market from the big business side. It turns out, that IBM already provides its cloud platform SmartCloud to the large number of its big customers. However, apparently the company has no clear cloud strategy yet, because a week ago IBM decided to join the OpenStack alliance. 5. Hewlett-Packard HP in general, builds private clouds (including those based on Windows Azure). But at the same time - it's building the own public cloud platform based on OpenStack. As a leading server manufacture, HP has a huge potential, but because of constant CEO change, it can't grow rapidly. 6. VMWare VMWare - is the mother of virtualization (which is the core technology for all cloud platforms) and the daughter of EMC (the leading supplier of storage systems for cloud platforms). So VMWare has everything for cloud success. And VMWare prefers not to join alliances, but goes its own way - pushing the Cloud Foundry platform. 7. Facebook Facebook was included in the list in advance. They say, Amazon also used to just sell books. And though Facebook doesn't provide its cloud to third party companies, but the size of this cloud - is WOW!


2012. Amazon - gets closer to Windows, OpenStack - closer to Linux



The situation on the cloud (IaaS) platform market more and more reminds us the history of the desktop operating systems (Windows and Linux). On the one hand - open and standard-based platform OpenStack. It's standards this week were supported by two more giants - IBM and Ericsson, that joined the OpenStack alliance. Before them the alliance included Rackspace, Citrix, Intel, AMD, Cisco, Dell, HP. On the other hand - proprietary but already very popular platform Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS gained it's popularity as a simple and open platform which allows to restore Linux or Windows server and scale it depending on the load. It was relatively easy to move applications of AWS. But as Amazon adds new features to AWS, it lockes clients and partners more and more in its golden cage. Since the beginning of the year AWS added two new services: DynamoDB (full-featured NoSQL database) and Simple Workflow Services (engine for business process automation, that can engage local apps as well as app hosted on AWS). Of course, these are useful things, but using them, developers make it very difficult to move applications from AWS to a private cloud or to another platform. In the same way Microsoft was adding to Windows office suite, browser, mail client. Of course, nobody likes to be locked to one provider. But the system developed by the open community without owner - has its own drawbacks. For example, its development is slow. After 2 years since founding, OpenStack is still in the testing stage. The official launch is planned only for 3 or 4 quarter of this year. After this launch, in theory, many Amazon-like IaaS-services and private clouds will appear. And they will enable easily move applications from one provider to another. For the complete compliance with the Desktop OS world, the cloud platform market needs a system like Mac - a niche platform that will be waiting for its time and then explode. Ironically, the most likely contender for this role is Microsoft's Windows Azure. By the way, in the near future Microsoft is going to add Linux-server support to Azure.


2011. Amazon enters PaaS market. Takes on Google, Microsoft and Salesforce



As known, Amazon Web Services - is the leader of IaaS market. It's the service that allows you to rent computing resources for enterprise software or SaaS service hosting. And using it you reserve the required number of servers, configure operating system, install and configure middleware, enable/disable servers depending on the load. This is called IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). But honestly, IaaS - it's not perfect. In most cases, companies and SaaS providers would not want to handle these servers and other infrastructure themselves. All they want - is that their application worked properly on any load. And they don't care what is under the hood of the cloud platform. This is the primary idea of competing technology - PaaS (Platform as a Service). And it is logical that PaaS platforms are gradually displacing IaaS. Especially offensive to IaaS-providers is that PaaS-startups use them as a source of computing resources and then take their customers away. For example, the PaaS-service Heroku, that uses Amazon Web Services, was recently acquired by Salesforce, and probably soon will move all its users to Force.com servers. Of course, Amazon couldn't do nothing about that. Yesterday the company announced the launch of its own PaaS service - AWS Elastic Beanstalk. It works like an autopilot on top of existing AWS services: Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon Simple Notification Service, Elastic Load Balancing and Auto-Scaling. And the user can switch to manual control at any moment. But as a rule, you just upload your application in the Control Panel. And you don't need to pay for the Elastic Beanstalk. You only pay for the used AWS services. At the moment, AWS Elastic Beanstalk supports only Java-applications (and makes Amazon the rival to Google App Engine, WMForce.com and Windows Azure). But Amazon promises to continually add new frameworks. Probably Ruby on Rails will be the next (hey Heroku!).


2010. Amazon Web Services: Free version for startups



Amazon is getting serious in attracting startups to its cloud platform. Recently the company opened a budget-friendly service Amazon Micro Instances that is even more affordable than the traditional VPS hosting. And today Amazon announced that starting November 1 this service will be available for free to new customers during the first year. One year is enough for a startup to make a decision - either the project is viable and it's worth to invest money in it, or it can be dropped. For this year startup is given a free Linux-server with one processor and 613 MB of RAM, 10 GB disk space (Amazon EBS), 5 GB online storage (Amazon S3). You can find the full list of free resources here. Recall that Google App Engine also provides free cloud hosting for startups, but it has the significant limitations of available programming languages.


2010. Amazon EC2 makes Cloud Computing affordable for all. Takes on Rackspace



Until now, the minimum virtual server (instance) on Amazon EC2 with configuration 1.7 GB RAM / 160 GB - cost 8.5 cents per hour (approximately $61 per month). This amount seemed quite large for most small businesses using web-apps and SaaS startups and kept them from switching from a traditional hosting (or own servers) to the cloud technologies. Some people used Rackspace, which provides the less powerful instances - from 11$ / month for the configuration 256 MB / 10 GB. But today even the most budget conscious small businesses and SaaS startups got the good reason to join the Cloud Computing era, and Rackspace got a new headache - Amazon Micro Instances. Amazon micro-instances - are virtual Linux-servers with 613 MB RAM, which cost 2 cents per hour (approximately $15 per month). Windows-servers will cost you only 3 cents per hour ($ 22/month). Of course, you'll pay a few more dollars per month for disk space (Amazon EBS) and traffic, but still, this price is comparable (and even lower) than the traditional VPS hosting. And you get all the benefits of cloud platforms - improved reliability, the ability to turn off the server (and not pay) when it's not used and quickly increase the the server capacity in the case of load increase.


2010. Amazon moves own IT-infrastructure to the cloud

It sounds strange, but the IT director of Amazon (the leading cloud platfrom provider) Jennifer Boden is not a fan of cloud computing, like her boss, Jeff Bezos. She looks at the cloud carefully and rationally. That is why, the Amazon's IT infrastructure is still moved to AWS only partially. Moreover, the company did not move in this direction until last year when Amazon VPC (Virtual Private Cloud), which allows to separate an enterprise cloud from the public cloud, appeared. Nevertheless, the process is started, and now Jennifer is speaking at the IT event with the presentation (see above) about how Amazon moves to Cloud Computing. Note that it this concerns not the Amazon's online store but the in-house enterprise apps, like email, financial software, IT management, HRM, etc. Jennifer says that Amazon's IT infrastructure is no different from any other large company. They mainly use the traditional systems of Microsoft, Oracle, BMC in mixed Windows / Linux environment. The decision to move to the cloud, according to Jennifer, was taken without any push by Jeff Bezos and is not a marketing pitch. The main motivation - is a need for a scalable platform because quite often Amazon's engineers had to deal with hardware tickets when server capacity gets near to full. The main constraining factor was the security, and therefore they waited for Amazon VPC. The first step towards the cloud was server consolidation and virtualization that gives more flexibility in where and how applications could be deployed and served. Then they deployed the pilot project and moved HR-system to the cloud. Jennifer said that she had to create an account on AWS in a general way, as third-party companies do. The whole project might take another year and a half.


2009. Amazon launched MySQL as a Service



Same as last year, right before the Microsoft developer conference PDC (where the company announces the new platform features), Amazon begins to act in order to capture developers' attention. Last year Microsoft showed Windows Azure, and Amazon at the same time unveiled unveiled Windows based EC2 instances. This year Microsoft is going to present the new cloud relational database Azure SQL, and here is Amazon's answer - Amazon RDS (Relational Database as a Service), the new service that provides ready-to-deploy scalable relational database MySQL. Amazon RDS allows easily install and use MySQL instances using the common MySQL utilities. Besides, Amazon will take care about MySQL updates and database scheduled backups. You can also scale the database resources with the help of easy-to-use API. Of course, until now Amazon developers also could deploy MySQL in their applications using Amazon EC2 and EBS services. But it was quite complicated task that required a lot of time and knowledge. Besides, developers had an option to use FathomDB - the add-on service that provided ready-to-use MySQL instances, working on top of EC2 instances. Probably Amazon is killing this service with the new announcement.   As usual for AWS, you pay only for Amazon RDS resources that you actually use. Of course, we can't say that the new service is very affordable. You pay about $80per month for the smallest DB Instance + $0.10 per GB-month + $0.10 per million requests. But remember that you pay for reliability, scalability and simplicity.


2009. Amazon announced Virtual Private Cloud



Amazon has launched a new service Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, allows IT to connect to an isolated set of AWS resources to a data center using a VPN connection.  The new solution integrates traditional IT infrastructure with its EC2 cloud service. That means that Amazon has created a hybrid cloud that can work securely for the enterprise, balancing the need for encryption with the low cost and scaling power that the cloud provides.For Amazon, it's an endorsement of the hybrid approach, but it's also meant to combat the growing interest in private clouds. VPC is currently in limited beta and doesn't work with the S3 cloud storage service or any other parts of AWS.