Add item to cart, checkout, and confirm payment. Your order is in the mail. Many of us have experienced this process, that happiness you get from online retail shopping, and no other company is better at streamlining it than the e-commerce giant Amazon. The company had a market cap of $1 trillion in 2018, becoming only the second company in the United States to ever hit that mark. Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 as a humble online bookstore before most of us even considered buying anything online.
Amazon Web Services, or AWS, the cloud services platform, did not come around for almost a decade after the bookstore-turned-retail giant was founded. And it brought an entirely new side to their business. The framework for Amazon Web Services was launched internally within Amazon back in 2002. At that time, it was called Amazon.com Web Service. Amazon was planning to launch merchant.com, an e-commerce service that helped third-party shops create online shopping websites using Amazon’s e-commerce engine. Developing this platform helped to pave the way for Amazon to evolve from an online store to a service company. Surprisingly, it took several years for any real competitors to arrive in the cloud computing platform arena, contributing to AWS maintaining its majority market share in the industry. However, the gap is quickly being bridged by other large cloud computing platforms like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, gaining more and more market share every year. It has only been a little over a decade since the first service was launched in AWS, but the platform has grown exponentially both in its customer base and service offerings. The cloud computing platform currently has over one million active customers. And in 2017, 10% of Amazon’s revenue came from AWS.
What Is AWS
Before knowing what the cloud meant or what cloud computing does, many had heard of AWS and knew that it was a big deal in the tech industry. It took only a quick Google search to find that AWS stands for Amazon Web Services. From the name, most understood that it was an Amazon product. However, many were utterly unprepared for the extent of the types and number of services AWS provided for organizations worldwide. AWS offers IT infrastructure services to businesses and organizations as web services to help them scale and grow efficiently. AWS provides what used to be purchased as hardware, such as network switches and servers, as resources to be accessed using the internet. Because of cloud computing’s pay-as-you-go model and robust resources, organizations can save time, money, and human resources by moving their resources to AWS. As of winter 2020, the platform offers 24 services, from computing to storage to game development. Each group contains anywhere between one to 12 services, with more added all the time. You can host your static files using simple stores service, host a WordPress blog using elastic compute cloud, send emails using work mail, stream desktops using workspaces or create games using game lift. It’s probably not far from the truth to say that your imagination is the limit for what you can potentially architect and create using Amazon Web Services. As a cloud computing service provider, AWS boasts flexibility, scalability, and reliability alongside affordability, which was impossible with traditional on-premises IT infrastructure. With AWS, engineers can concentrate on building your products and features instead of worrying about the infrastructure’s ability to handle their scaling.
Big Companies Using AWS
Amazon Web Services is a big deal, and many companies use the platform to serve their computational, storage, hosting, and IT infrastructure needs. AWS has more than a million active customers ranging from Airbnb to General Electric. Let’s see how various companies use AWS to power their infrastructure and work for them in the background, so they can focus more on growing their businesses.
Utilizing the hybrid cloud deployment model, Comcast built an app for Xfinity services that seamlessly links AWS Cloud and their on-premises data centers. Comcast is the world’s largest cable company. Thanks to their hybrid environment, they can deploy features to Xfinity X1 several times a week instead of every 12 to 18 months, which was the timeline with their old architecture.
Expedia, your friendly travel companion, is migrating 80% of its mission-critical apps to AWS within the next few years. Expedia provides travel-related services through expedia.com and 200 other travel booking sites worldwide. Because of their extensive global footprint that requires continuous updates and innovations, they chose AWS to host a new service called Expedia Suggest Service. At the time, AWS was the only cloud service provider supporting Asia-Pacific customers. This made them a great fit as the global travel company serves customers from all over the world, including Asia.
Investors use Dow Jones to learn about the happenings of the financial markets around the world. When the lease of their physical data center in Asia hosting the Wall Street Journal for agent customers ran out in 2013, they moved to AWS. Now, all of their Asia traffic is running through AWS, and the transition has saved Dow Jones 25% yearly over the cost of leasing a data center.
Atlassian, who owns the popular product and project management tools, such as JIRA and Confluence, uses AWS to scale and enhance availability and disaster recovery.
Using AWS, the breakfast cereal tycoon Kellogg’s has tight margins and estimates that it will save millions over the next five years in software, hardware, and maintenance costs.
Citrix CloudBridge optimizes connections between the enterprise data center and AWS, securing the connection, speeding the data transfer, and minimizing network costs.
Using AWS Lamba, Square Enix has reduced the amount of time it takes for customers to be able to view their screenshots. “Customers wouldn’t be satisfied if it took an hour for screenshots to be viewable after taking them. So we set a goal of 10 minutes to complete processing, and we then performed tests based on a rough workload of 18,000 images per minute, which is triple the 6,000 images per minute expected at peak times,” says Agata.
Due to present economic challenges, more than 47 million people (primarily children) in the United States currently receive monthly SNAP benefits. Many of these recipients are new to the program, so in May 2010, the FNS decided to create a dynamic Web application called the SNAP Retailer Locator. The application needed to be launched in 3 weeks, and Jonathan Benett, Program Manager, USDA FNS, believed it was unlikely they would be able to access the required hardware in time. With a limited budget and time, Jonathan selected the AWS Cloud to host the application.
UK Ministry of Justice
By moving to the AWS Cloud, the UK Ministry of Justice (MOJ) can use technology to enhance the effectiveness and fairness of its services to British citizens. The MOJ is a ministerial department of the UK government. MOJ had its on-premises data center but could not change and adapt rapidly to the needs of its citizens. As it created more digital services, MOJ turned to AWS to automate, consolidate, and deliver constituent services. The MOJ has turned technology into an enabler for more fair and effective justice using AWS services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and Amazon Route 53.
Netflix uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) for nearly all its computing and storage needs, including databases, analytics, recommendation engines, video transcoding, and hundreds of functions that entirely use more than 100,000 server instances on AWS.
Whether you are looking to re-platform to reduce costs, migrate to SAP S/4HANA, or adopt the RISE with an SAP offering, AWS offers proven approaches backed by unmatched experience supporting SAP customers in the cloud. Get more flexibility and value from your SAP investments with the world’s most secure, reliable, and extensive cloud infrastructure, 200+ AWS services to innovate, and purpose-built SAP automation tooling to reduce risk and simplify operations.
Mumbai-based TATA Motors is an Indian multinational automotive company that produces cars, trucks, and commercial vehicles. The company uses AWS to expand data center capacity, scale its operations, and improve its ability to experiment within the organization. Using AWS, the company can provide IT infrastructure to support new initiatives in weeks instead of months.
After a comprehensive RFP and review process involving more than 16 companies, Unilever chose Amazon Web Services (AWS). Unilever’s priorities in selecting a digital marketing platform included flexibility, a global infrastructure, technology, and a rich ecosystem of members. “With AWS, we have the same hosting provider for all regions, which means we don’t have to customize and tweak hosting solutions per region,” says Yalamanchili. “Unilever is focused on delivering great brands to consumers; it’s not an IT shop. We can spend less and innovate more by working with AWS and the AWS Partner Network members.”
Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company is leveraging AWS for the global rollout of Disney+, one of the world’s most extensive online streaming video services. The Walt Disney Company relies on AWS as its preferred public cloud infrastructure provider to support the explosive growth of Disney+, which quickly surpassed 100 million subscribers only 16 months after its launch in November 2019. Leveraging AWS’s fault-tolerant, highly performant infrastructure, The Walt Disney Company has rapidly expanded Disney+ to 59 countries across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.
NMS evaluated several cloud providers before selecting Amazon Web Services (AWS). Sony concluded that migrating to AWS would be the most cost-effective strategy, and the agility of the AWS Cloud model fit their SQL Server workloads perfectly. The organization had also recently moved its Ven.ue distribution workflows to AWS, running on several hundred Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances.
Hitachi Vantara is leveraging AWS Lambda functions as a core tenant of our microservices-based deployments and next-generation architectures. We use Lambda as part of our MSP practice to interrogate and document security, cost, compliance, and performance issues within our client’s AWS accounts.
Johnson and Johnson
The company currently leverages the AWS Cloud to run 120 applications and for its significant data architecture, allowing it to complete highly intensive and complex data modeling.
A global leader in electrification, automation, and digitization, Siemens AG has driven innovation across industries for nearly 175 years. Siemens uses an array of AWS services to carry on that tradition of transformation—bringing IIOT to railways and factories, developing intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, implementing AI into its cybersecurity platform, and more.
The BMW Group uses AWS for its new connected-car application that collects sensor data from BMW 7 Series cars to give drivers dynamically updated map information. BMW Group is one of the leading manufacturers of premium cars and mobility services globally, with brands such as Rolls Royce, BMW, and Mini. BMW built its new car-as-a-sensor (CARASSO) service in only six months by leveraging Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), and AWS Elastic Beanstalk. By running on AWS, CARASSO can adapt to rapidly changing load requirements that can scale up and down by two orders of magnitude within 24 hours. By 2018 CARASSO is expected to process data collected by a fleet of 100,000 vehicles traveling more than eight billion kilometers.
Using AWS, AOL has been able to close data centers and decommission about 14,000 in-house and collocated servers, move mission-critical workloads to the cloud, extend its global reach, and save millions of dollars on energy resources.
The Samsung team chose to use AWS in its hybrid deployment for its applications because of its requirements for robust cloud infrastructure, horizontal scalability, and open-source implementation. “AWS provides a highly reliable and comprehensive set of features that help Samsung achieve faster application performance, auto-scaling, reduce IT overhead, provide self-service and instant provisioning, security, compliance, and management features,” says Richtsmeier. “Additionally, AWS provides deployments globally and enables compliance with the data compliance requirements in each region.”
Anyone choosing to run their cloud infrastructure on AWS will be in good company.