Cloud Computing for Dummies, Part 2. Why do we need the cloud?

Iain Gavin, Amazon Web Services (AWS) UK Country Manager:

“Who would have thought 10 years ago that a bookseller would be one of the UK’s biggest IT infrastructure providers?”

Amazon has three businesses:

  • Consumer (Retail) Business – sells books to tens of millions of customers
  • Seller Business – Allows retailers to sell using the Amazon website and fulfillment network
  • Amazon Web Services – Cloud computing infrastructure for web-scale solutions with hundreds of thousands of registered customers.

Amazon is really good at scalable computing having built and developed a distributed system over more than 13 years to run a $24.5 billion mission-critical online business. 263 billion unique objects stored in the AWS cloud. Amazon is basically a technology business that just happens to sell stuff.

Cloud computing is a utility service but Amazon does not manage or build or manage your applications. Service is constantly updated. There was a new service launched roughly every other day in 2010.

Why do companies use third party cloud solutions?

  • Heavy Lifting = Price of Admissions
  • Very few places in the UK can supply enough power to datacenters.
  • Has to be close to big fat Internet pipes.
  • Cost of facilities and hardware is huge.
  • HUGE effort required to develop infrastructure yourself.

Predicted and actual usage are very rarely the same. This leaves you either wasting hugely expensive resources or pissing your customers off.

AWS Goal: Flip this equation

  • On premise infrastructure means companies spend 70% of their resource managing all of the undifferentiated heavy lifting and 30% of the resource running the business.
  • AWS and other solutions aim to enable companies to spend 70% of their resource on value-add, not heavy lifting.

AWS Principles

  • Reliable
  • Scalable
  • Low-latency
  • Easy to use (they recognize it could be easier)
  • Flexible
  • Inexpensive

Some links to the Amazon Web Services cloud.

  • The economics of the cloud –
  • Security –
  • Free trial –

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Next BLN event, ‘Should the UK worry if ARM and Autonomy were the last big UK technology businesses.’

The best entrepreneur and investor networking in London in the offices of Taylor Wessing, City of London on March 16th from 18.00.

In a discussion moderated by the excellent Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Technology correspondent, we will debate the question, ’Should the UK worry if ARM and Autonomy were the last big UK technology businesses?’

Speakers: Stephen Allott, Sherry Coutu, Ben Holmes, William Reeve.

Drinks: 18.00

Discussion: 18.45 followed by networking drinks.

Extra pre-event workshop masterclass: Prior to CEO Tales, from 17.00, we have a very limited number of places (16) available to attend a workshop masterclass, led by David Grundy & Dan Hyde of Erevena, strategic search for the technology sector. This session will help you consider the key human capital issues you face in scaling a global software business. If you would like to be considered to attend this, please note your interest on registration.

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