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AWS: 10 defining moments for the cloud giant

Matthew Finnegan | April 18, 2016
Amazon Web Services turned 10 this week, ComputerworldUK looks at some of the biggest events in its history

And more competition arrived in 2009, when Microsoft launched what currently is the biggest threat to AWS, lifting the lid on its Azure cloud beta.

The presence of Microsoft products in many enterprise data centres, and established relationships with many businesses, has meant that Azure is a clear consideration for .NET developers and those that consider themselves a Microsoft 'shop'.

4. Virtual Private Cloud launches (2009)

4. Virtual Private Cloud launches (2009)

AWS proved popular with developers wanting to quickly spin up services, but few traditional enterprises were confident with moving more substantial workloads into the public cloud.

The Virtual Private Cloud was launched as part of AWS' ambitions to gain business from more conservative companies.

5. AWS holds first customer event (2012)

5. AWS holds first customer event (2012)
Image: FLickr/Eli White

The first major customer event was held in Las Vegas, highlighting its growing user community. Its Re:Invent conference has been a regular fixture since, and AWS also holds a yearly customer event in the UK.

6. CIA picks AWS over IBM for private cloud (2013) 

6. CIA picks AWS over IBM for private cloud (2013)

AWS does not usually build dedicated infrastructure for customers. But it was keen to do so for a lucrative private cloud contract with the CIA worth $600 million.

Most interesting, perhaps, was who it was up against: one of the traditional enterprise big-hitters, IBM.

The decision to choose AWS was symbolic of a shift in power and boosted AWS' credentials as an enterprise-grade cloud supplier. IBM argued at the time that "unlike Amazon, IBM has a long history of delivering successful transformational projects like this for the US government".

7. RedShift launches, becomes fastest growing AWS service (2012)

7. RedShift launches, becomes fastest growing AWS service (2012)

In 2013, the data warehousing as a service platform was launched as part of the ongoing process of building out the data processing capabilities of AWS.  Released in the same year as NoSQL service DynamoDB. RedShift is described as "fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud".  

Both were followed by big data processing service, Kinesis, the following year.

By 2015, AWS was touting RedShift as the fastest-growing product in its history.

8. Reveals financial results for the first time (2015)

8. Reveals financial results for the first time (2015)
© iStock

The amount of money actually being made by the big vendors had largely been shrouded in mystery for years. While Microsoft and IBM had included Iaas revenues with a range of others, Amazon was even less clear about how much AWS was making.

 

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