Cloud Giant Amazon Web Services Turns 10

Gil C/

Over the last decade, AWS has come to dominate the infrastructure-as-a-service market.

Amazon Web Services launched its first true cloud computing product, Simple Storage Services, 10 years ago today, turning the computing world on its head.

To the company’s early customers, “the cloud” was essentially a way to rent out storage on its data centers, hoping to find business from startups and established companies that found building out scalable data centers cost prohibitive.

Over the last decade, AWS has come to dominate the infrastructure-as-a-service market, providing the computing horsepower for Netflix, Comcast, Yelp and more than 1 million other customers. More recently, AWS turned into a major player in the government’s move to cloud computing when it became the first major cloud provider to comply with requirements the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program.

AWS’ list of customers now includes 2,000 federal agencies at all levels of government, according to an AWS spokeswoman, including some of the most information-sensitive organizations on the planet.

The Central Intelligence Agency chose AWS to build a public cloud behind the intelligence community's firewall for national security purposes, and continues to add features to it. AWS also became the first cloud provider authorized to handle the Defense Department’s most sensitive unclassified data, and its presence can be found everywhere in government, from regulating the stock market to studying science.

The Obama administration’s proposed 2017 IT budget allocates 8.2 percent of the nearly $90 billion spent on IT for provisioned services, meaning some $7 billion in cloud (or cloud-like) spending will be up for grabs. In addition, the government has continued its push to shutter and optimize its 11,000 data centers, which likely means more business for cloud service providers.

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