Anyone who shops online – and that’s most of us – might find themselves turning to Amazon.
Sure, there are alternatives in most areas but in many cases consumers choose the e-commerce giant to deliver: it may be down to cost, to range of products or convenience but Amazon is often seen as being way ahead of its competition.
There is little surprise then, that when it comes to cloud computing, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is in a dominant position.
What is Amazon Web Services (and cloud computing)?
Twenty years ago, cloud computing was an unknown concept, although the idea had been bandied around for years, but it’s now definitely in the mainstream.
In its simplest form, it means hosting an organisation’s computer infrastructure somewhere else and calling on resources when they are needed. Think of it as akin to using electricity from the National Grid. This approach became appealing to many companies, and vendors looked to capture the market. And just as Amazon set the pace when it came to online shopping, so it was the front-runner when it came to offering cloud computing services.
How did AWS begin?
The introduction of Amazon Web Services’ first products came almost by accident. The company had looked for a way to improve its e-commerce system so that developers didn’t have to spend time updating sites. The IT team put together a resource, based on open source software, that could be accessed by all the company’s developers and it was adopted with enthusiasm.
This prompted Amazon to bring together teams to develop an infrastructure that could sell compute and storage services to the outside world. In 2006 it launched its cloud storage product S3, followed closely by EC2, its compute service and AWS was born. In subsequent years, there was an acceleration of product offerings as the company covered the full range of computing, and it quickly became the cloud provider that was setting the pace.