Peter Vosshall, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, is the first of three speakers this morning. Amazon has 88 million active customers and servers in seven countries: US, UK, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, and China. Amazon is good at building a massively scalable systems, which is one of the reasons why Amazon got into the cloud computing business. Amazon's cloud offering consists of computational power (Amazon, Elastic Compute Cloud) and storage (Amazon, Simple Storage Service). Amazon offers services on top of the compute and storage cloud, including databse, messaging, content delivery, payments, and on-demand workforce (Amazon Mechanical Turk). A point Vosshall is returning to is that with Amazon's cloud offerings, the user pays for what they use, rather than for a machine.
Is Amazon committed to it's cloud services, Vosshall asks rhetorically. Yes. He showed a graph that indicates that Amazon's cloud services, which started in 2007, now uses more of Amazon's bandwidth than it's sales arm. Also, he said the cloud services stores 40 billion objects. He did not answer his question, but implies Amazon's cloud effort is large and growing, and is presumably too big to fail (to coin a phrase).
Vosshall says the advantage of cloud computing is that developers spend more of their time focusing on creating new features for the application, and less time on "muck," which is the infrastructure.
Vosshall says the following types of compute loads are ideal for Amazon's cloud offerings:
- Web site hosting
- media distribution
- storage backup
- financial application
- high-performance computing
Don MacAskill, Smugmug, an online video and photo sharing site. It's a bootstrapped site, and private. Every dollar MacAskill spends is his own. It was a $10 million company several years ago, and has not released financial information. Smugmug has 50 employees. It is hosted entirely at Amazon. It processes 500 million photos, and consumes more than 1 petabyte of storage at S3. Processes 40+ terapixels per day. The load is very peaky, and is "ridiculously parallel." In regards to video processing, Smugmug handles full HD (1920x1080p) and requires "tons" of compute horsepower. The advantage is hat there are no capital costs, the power is elastic (can scale up and down), the bandwidth is free, and "better" taxes, with no depreciation and amortization.
Vosshall is back on stage. He is announcing the AWS Tookit for Eclipse. It's a plug-in. It costs $0 and is "open source," Vosshall says, and is hosted a Sourceforge. It has three components: The Core Eclipse IDE, a Web server component, and a data tools platform.
Jason Fulghum, an Amazon engineer, demonstrates the Eclipse plug-in to deploy applications on the Amazon cloud. As one would expect, the UI is very Eclipse-like, and seems easy to use and configure.