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November 30, 2017updated 01 Dec 2017 2:23pm

AWS re:Invent shines a spotlight on Amazon’s cloud market domination

AWS puts the competition in its place during the company's event in Las Vegas.

By James Nunns

AWS re:Invent – Last year Amazon Web Services (AWS) flexed its muscles at the competition – showcasing over 20 announcements at its Sin City based event over the week. This year, the cloud giant hasn’t taken its foot off the gas. Instead, it’s announced even more and just in one day.

Clearly bringing a boastful air to the marketplace (but with an ability to back them up), the announcements will be assessed over the weeks to come to see how they measure up to the competition, especially as many are only available in preview so are not quite what the finished product may look like.

Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS took charge of the show, leading centre stage at the keynote with a recap on the AWS business. Jassy made sure to highlight the vast range of customers that are using the cloud company’s products – demonstrating how far ahead of the competition the company believes it is.

AWS re:Invent

With 44.1% of the cloud market being owned by AWS, the next nine providers combined don’t even make up half of that. The company is a colossal giant and it’s not afraid to flex its muscles at the competition. A Goliath mentality, with lines like, “no one comes close to the functionality that AWS has,” from the CEO.

Jassy was keen to continue to highlight throughout the session that AWS has the broadest range of services, capabilities and customers, but the core principles haven’t been diluted. AWS still wants to be, and is throwing its weight around to achieve this, the company that enables freedom, the broadest range of capabilities, and cover the basics, such as serve its customers.

Jassy said that the company “doesn’t build technology because it’s cool,” instead it develops new technology that makes things easier for people. Whilst this may have been used to preface announcements around the buzz topics of AI, machine learning, and deep learning, this is the same story it’s been telling for years.

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The products, which are numerous and across all areas of the AWS portfolio, are its bread and butter, and with over 1300 services and features added this year it’s hard to argue with that.

Slightly newer ground, but an area which the company seems to enjoy participating in, is in the politics of tech, the competitive side of it that now sees the company happily poke fun at its rivals – well Oracle.

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Big Red came in for harsher words than usual from Jassy, first a comic strip of a cartoon villain – Larry Ellison, and describing Oracle’s decision to up its prices as a move made by a company that “doesn’t care about its customers.”

The database market is one where AWS is targeting Oracle, and Amazon Aurora remains the company’s fastest growing service, something that the CEO understandably wants to maintain.

Jassy said: “Builders want to be free from onerous and abusive relationships or one size fits all,” essentially to escape from the old guard like Oracle, and a broad range of supported products is how AWS is approaching this across its portfolio.

“We’re not going to try and tell you that you need to solve all your machine learning and deep learning with one framework.

“We will support them all, not only optimise for one and tell you to use only one.”

The containers category is a perfect example of this, although examples could easily be made across other areas as well.

“In the last 18-24 months lots have become interested in Kubernetes, the resonance is very high, and the vast amount of Kubernetes that runs in the cloud runs on AWS,” said Jassy.

Despite lots running Kubernetes in AWS, there’s a lot of work needed to get it up and running properly, so now there’s Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes – managed Kubernetes on AWS.

The point being that if enough customers want something then AWS will offer it.

Time at the top of the market seems not to have led to a relaxed approach, if anything, the development cycle is speeding up as more customers join. Yet again AWS is ending the year on a high-note and is making its competitors look slow.

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