Amazon bulks up cloud offerings as AWS becomes a US$7.6bn business

8 Oct 2015

Amazon is now a cloud giant which is threatening to displace traditional players in the enterprise space

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has rolled out a slew of new products and services to consolidate its lead in the cloud industry. The company is now a US$7.6bn business, with 1m paying enterprise customers.

At the company’s Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, SVP Andy Jassy revealed that AWS has grown at a rate of 81pc a year, surpassing the growth rates of other companies providing cloud storage and processing.

By going after the legacy cloud and database business of players like IBM, Oracle and Microsoft, Amazon has created a monster. In the second quarter, AWS reported revenues of US$1.8bn and US$391m in profit.

The company has revealed a slew of new products and services to consolidate its lead and no doubt make the established players nervous.

These include QuickSight, a new business intelligence tool in the Amazon cloud that undercuts traditional BI players to a tenth of the cost and provides visualisations in as little as 60 seconds.

Amazon launched a new tool called Inspector, which automatically finds security and compliance issues and generates reports on security readiness and what can be done to stay secure.

The company also launched a curious machine called Snowball, a physical appliance that will allow AWS customers to ship huge amounts of data physically by moving the device between offices and data centres.

Looking somewhat like a giant grey slab, it is, in effect, a storage device that can hold up to 50 terabytes of data, with a Kindle reader device on its side that acts as a kind of shipping label.

“Snowball is designed for customers that need to move lots of data (generally 10 terabytes or more) to AWS on a one-time or recurring basis,” explained AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr.

“You simply request one or more from the AWS Management Console and wait a few days for the appliance to be delivered to your site. If you want to import a lot of data, you can order one or more Snowball appliances and run them in parallel.”

Amazon image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years