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Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon.com, offers a suite of cloud computing services that make up an on-demand computing platform. These services operate from 16 geographical regions across the world. They include Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, also known as "EC2", and Amazon Simple Storage Service, also known as "S3". As of 2016 AWS has more than 70 services, spanning a wide range, including compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, application services, deployment, management, mobile, developer tools and tools for the Internet of things. Amazon markets AWS as a service to provide large computing capacity quicker and cheaper than a client company building an actual physical server farm.
Map showing Amazon Web Services' availability zones within geographic regions around the world.
AWS is located in 16 geographical "regions":
AWS has announced another 3 Regions (and 7 Availability Zones) in China, India, and the United Kingdom coming online throughout 2017. Each Region is wholly contained within a single country and all of its data and services stay within the designated Region. Each Region has multiple "Availability Zones", which are distinct data centers providing AWS services. Availability Zones are isolated from each other to prevent outages from spreading between Zones. Several services operate across Availability Zones (e.g., S3, DynamoDB) while others can be configured to replicate across Zones to spread demand and avoid downtime from failures. As of December 2014, Amazon Web Services operated an estimated 1.4 Million servers across 28 availability zones.
The global network of AWS Edge locations consists of 54 points of presence worldwide, including locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America.
In 2014, AWS committed to achieving 100% renewable energy usage. As part of this effort in the United States, AWS commissioned with Community Energy of Virginia a solar farm coming online in 2016 to support the US East region. In January 2015, AWS announced it has teamed with Pattern Development to construct and operate Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge. In July 2015, AWS announced that it has contracted with Iberdrola Renewables, LLC to construct and operate Amazon Wind Farm US East. In November 2015, AWS announced that it has contracted with EDP Renewables to construct and operate Amazon Wind Farm US Central. AWS is also working with Tesla Motors to apply battery storage technology to address some power needs in the US West (Northern California) region.
Region and region names table 
|US East (N. Virginia)
|US East (Ohio)
|US West (N. California)
|US West (Oregon)
|Asia Pacific (Mumbai)
|Asia Pacific (Seoul)
|Asia Pacific (Singapore)
|Asia Pacific (Sydney)
|Asia Pacific (Tokyo)
|South America (São Paulo)
|AWS GovCloud (US)
AWS Summit 2013 event in NYC.
Officially launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services provides online services for other web sites or client-side applications. Most of these services are not exposed directly to end users, but instead offer functionality that other developers can use in their applications. Amazon Web Services' offerings are accessed over HTTP, using the REST architectural style and SOAP protocol. All services are billed based on usage, but how usage is measured for billing varies from service to service.
In late 2003, Chris Pinkham and Benjamin Black presented a paper describing a vision for Amazon's retail computing infrastructure that was completely standardized, completely automated, and would rely extensively on web services for services such as storage, drawing on internal work already underway. Near the end they mentioned the possibility of selling virtual servers as a service, proposing the company could generate revenue from the new infrastructure investment. The first AWS service launched for public usage was Simple Queue Service in November 2004. Amazon EC2 was built by a team in Cape Town, South Africa, under Pinkham and lead developer Chris Brown.
In June 2007, Amazon claimed that more than 180,000 developers had signed up to use Amazon Web Services.
In November 2010, it was reported that all of Amazon.com retail web services had been moved to AWS.
On April 20, 2011, some parts of Amazon Web Services suffered a major outage. A portion of volumes using the Elastic Block Store (EBS) service became "stuck" and were unable to fulfill read/write requests. It took at least two days for service to be fully restored. On June 29, 2012, several websites that rely on Amazon Web Services were taken offline due to a severe storm of historic proportions in Northern Virginia, where AWS' largest datacenter cluster is located.
On October 22, 2012, a major outage occurred, affecting many sites such as Reddit, Foursquare, Pinterest, and others. The cause was a latent memory leak bug in an operational data collection agent. On December 24, 2012, AWS suffered another outage, causing websites such as Netflix instant video to be unavailable for customers in the Northeastern United States. AWS later issued a statement detailing the issues with the Elastic Load Balancing service that led up to the outage.
In November 2012, AWS hosted its first customer event in Las Vegas. On April 30, 2013, AWS began offering a certification program for computer engineers with expertise in cloud computing.
AWS revenue was not stated separately in the past, but in 2012 it was estimated by industry watchers at over $1.5 billion.
On May 13, 2013, AWS was awarded an Agency Authority to Operate (ATO) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program.
In October 2013, it was revealed that AWS was awarded a $600M contract with the CIA.
During August 2014, AWS received Department of Defense-Wide provisional authorization for all U.S. Regions.
In April 2015, AWS was reported to be profitable, with sales of $1.57 billion in the first quarter of the year, and $265 million of operating income. Founder Jeff Bezos described it as a fast-growing $5 billion business; analysts described it as "surprisingly more profitable than forecast". In October 2015, Amazon.com said in its Q3 earnings report that AWS's operating income was $521 million, with operating margins at 25 percent. AWS's Q3 2015 revenue was $2.1 billion, a 78% increase from Q3 2014's revenue of $1.17 billion. Q4 2015 revenue for the AWS segment increased 69.5% y/y to $2.4 billion with 28.5% operating margin, making AWS a $9.6 billion run rate. In Q1 2016, revenue was $2.57 billion with net income of $604 million, a 64% increase over Q1 2015 that resulted in AWS being more profitable than Amazon's North American retail business for the first time.
In 2015, Gartner estimated that AWS customers are deploying 10x more infrastructure on AWS than the combined adoption of the next 14 providers. During the 2015 re:Invent keynote, AWS disclosed that they have more than a million active customers every month in 190 countries, including nearly 2,000 government agencies, 5,000 education institutions and more than 17,500 nonprofits.
AWS adoption has increased since launch in 2006. Notable customers include NASA, the Obama presidential campaign 2012,Kempinski Hotels, and Netflix.
In 2016, AWS engineer James Hamilton created a ten-year timeline of the online service. In 2016, AWS founder Andy Jassy was named CEO of the division.
In the first quarter of 2016, Amazon experienced a 42% rise in stock value as a result of increased earnings, of which AWS contributed 56% to company's profit. With a 50% increase in revenues the past few years, it is predicted AWS will have $13 billion in revenue in 2017.
On February 28, 2017, AWS experienced a massive outage of the S3 services in its Northern Virginia data center. A majority of websites which relied on AWS S3 for operation hung or stalled. No data has been reported to be lost as a result of the outage, and within five hours, Amazon reported that AWS was fully online again. The outage was caused by a human error made while debugging that resulted in removing more server capacity than intended and this caused a domino effect of outages.
List of products
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Storage and content delivery
- Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) provides scalable object storage accessible from a Web Service interface. Applicable use cases include backup/archiving, file (including media) storage and hosting, static website hosting, application data hosting, and more.
- Amazon Glacier provides long-term storage options (compared to S3). High redundancy and availability, but low-frequent access times. Intended for archiving data.
- AWS Storage Gateway, an iSCSI block storage virtual appliance with cloud-based backup.
- Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) provides persistent block-level storage volumes for EC2.
- AWS Import/Export, accelerates moving large amounts of data into and out of AWS using portable storage devices for transport.
- Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) a file storage service for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances.
- Amazon DynamoDB provides a scalable, low-latency NoSQL online Database Service backed by SSDs.
- Amazon ElastiCache provides in-memory caching for web applications. This is Amazon's implementation of Memcached and Redis.
- Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) provides scalable database servers with MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, and PostgreSQL support.
- Amazon Redshift provides petabyte-scale data warehousing with column-based storage and multi-node compute.
- Amazon SimpleDB allows developers to run queries on structured data. It operates in concert with EC2 and S3.
- AWS Data Pipeline provides reliable service for data transfer between different AWS compute and storage services (e.g., Amazon S3, Amazon RDS, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon EMR). In other words, this service is simply a data-driven workload management system, which provides a management API for managing and monitoring of data-driven workloads in cloud applications.
- Amazon Aurora provides a MySQL-compatible relational database engine that has been created specifically for the AWS infrastructure that claims faster speeds and lower costs that are realized in larger databases.
- Amazon Identity and Access Management (IAM) is an implicit service, the authentication infrastructure used to authenticate access to the various services.
- AWS Directory Service a managed service that allows connection to AWS resources with an existing on-premises Microsoft Active Directory or to set up a new, stand-alone directory in the AWS Cloud.
- Amazon CloudWatch, provides monitoring for AWS cloud resources and applications, starting with EC2.
- AWS Management Console (AWS Console), A web-based point and click interface to manage and monitor the Amazon infrastructure suite including (but not limited to) EC2, EBS, S3, SQS, Amazon Elastic MapReduce, and Amazon CloudFront. A mobile application for Android which has support for some of the management features from the console.
- Amazon CloudHSM - The AWS CloudHSM service helps to meet corporate, contractual and regulatory compliance requirements for data security by using dedicated Hardware Security Module (HSM) appliances within the AWS cloud.
- AWS Key Management Service (KMS) a managed service to create and control encryption keys.
- Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS) a highly scalable, fast, container management service, using on Docker containers.
- Amazon API Gateway is a service for publishing, maintaining and securing web service APIs.
- Amazon CloudSearch provides basic full-text search and indexing of textual content.
- Amazon DevPay, currently in limited beta version, is a billing and account management system for applications that developers have built atop Amazon Web Services.
- Amazon Elastic Transcoder (ETS) provides video transcoding of S3 hosted videos, marketed primarily as a way to convert source files into mobile-ready versions.
- Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) provides bulk and transactional email sending.
- Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) provides a hosted message queue for web applications.
- Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) provides a hosted multi-protocol "push" messaging for applications.
- Amazon Simple Workflow (SWF) is a workflow service for building scalable, resilient applications.
- Amazon Cognito is a user identity and data synchronization service that securely manages and synchronizes app data for users across their mobile devices.
- Amazon AppStream 2.0 is a low-latency service that streams and resources intensive applications and games from the cloud using NICE DVC technology.
- Amazon Athena is an ETL-like service launched in November of 2016. It allows server-less querying of S3 content using standard SQL.
- Amazon QuickSight is a business intelligence and visualization tool launched in November 2016.
- Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR) Provides a PaaS service delivering Hadoop for running MapReduce queries framework running on the web-scale infrastructure of EC2 and Amazon S3.
- Amazon Machine Learning a service that assists developers of all skill levels to use machine learning technology.
- Amazon Kinesis is a cloud-based service for real-time data processing over large, distributed data streams. It streams data in real time with the ability to process thousands of data streams on a per-second basis. The service, designed for real-time apps, allows developers to pull any amount of data, from any number of sources, scaling up or down as needed. It has some similarities in functionality to Apache Kafka).
- Amazon Elasticsearch Service provides fully managed Elasticsearch and Kibana services.
- Amazon QuickSight is a business analytics service that provides visualizations and ad-hoc analysis by connecting to AWS or non-AWS data sources.
- Amazon MWS - Marketplace web service allows users to manage complete shipment process from creating listing to downloading shipment label using API.
- Amazon Fulfillment Web Service provides a programmatic web service for sellers to ship items to and from Amazon using Fulfillment by Amazon. This service will no longer be supported by Amazon. All of the functionality of this service is now transferred to Amazon marketplace Web service.
- Amazon Historical Pricing provides access to Amazon's historical sales data from its affiliates. (It appears that this service has been discontinued.)
- Amazon Mechanical Turk (Mturk) manages small units of work distributed among many persons.
- Amazon Product Advertising API formerly known as Amazon Associates Web Service (A2S) and Amazon E-Commerce Service (ECS), provides access to Amazon's product data and electronic commerce functionality.
- Amazon Gift Code On Demand (AGCOD) for Corporate Customers enables companies to distribute Amazon gift cards (gift codes) instantly in any denomination, integrating Amazon's gift-card technology into customer loyalty, employee incentive and payment disbursement platforms.
- AWS Partner Network (APN) provides technology partners and consulting partners with the technical information and sales and marketing support to increase business opportunities through AWS and with businesses using AWS. Launched in April 2012, the APN is made up of Technology Partners including Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), tool providers, platform providers, and others. Consulting Partners include System Integrators (SIs), agencies, consultancies, Managed Service Providers (MSPs), and others. Potential Technology and Consulting Partners must meet technical and non-technical training requirements set by AWS.
- Amazon Lumberyard is a freeware triple-A game engine that is integrated with AWS.
- Amazon Chime an enterprise collaboration service organizations can use for voice, video conference, and instant messaging.
In June 2014 AWS opened their first Pop-up Loft, in San Francisco, to help businesses discover their services. In August 2015 they expanded to New York City, and in September 2015 expanded to Berlin. AWS opened their fourth location, in Tel Aviv from March 1, 2016 to March 22, 2016. A Pop-up Loft was open in London from September 10 to October 29, 2015.
In 2017 AWS launched a scheme to help young adults and military veterans retrain in technology-related skills. In partner with the Prince's Trust and the Ministry of Defence (MoD), AWS will help to provide re-skilling opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and former soldiers who have left the military. AWS is working alongside a number of partner companies including Cloudreach, Sage, EDF Energy and Tesco Bank.
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