Amazon Web Services Growth

Post released their fourth quarter and year end (2006) financials today, and tucked away inside the press release was a little information on how their relatively new Web Services division is doing:

Over 220,000 developers have registered to use Amazon Web Services, up greater than 55% year-over-year.

Unfortunately – and this is often the case with these kinds of numbers – the release says nothing about how many of those 220,000 developer accounts are active.

The poster boy for Amazon S3, SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill, recently wrote yet another blog post on the service. The entire post is worth a read, but in particular he says:

Finally, S3 is a new service and yet remarkably reliable. Since April 2006, they’ve been more reliable than our own internal systems, which I consider to be quite reliable. Nothing’s perfect, but they’re doing quite well so far for a brand-new service.

I suspect their growth isn’t going to slow down anytime soon, so let’s hope their reliability and performance both scale with the continued influx of new developers.

Read: could power the new web

Post ImageI have become really interested in over the last little while. The stuff they are doing with their web services platform is just amazing, and it is already having a huge impact on how web businesses are created and operate. We are using Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) in Podcast Spot, and I absolutely love it. Taking the guts of Amazon and making them available as services to other companies was a very smart decision in my opinion, despite what the investors on Wall Street might think.

Here are some excellent resources if you’d like to learn more:

I’m definitely watching to see what else Amazon launches because chances are, it’ll be useful. So far companies like Yahoo and Google have received far more Web 2.0 attention, but I think that will begin to change, and people will realize that is actually one of the most interesting tech companies around.

Amazon EC2

Post ImageI’ve been meaning to post about this for some time now, but haven’t had a chance. I was really excited last Thursday when I read about Amazon’s new web service called “Elastic Compute Cloud” or EC2 for short. After seeing what they did with S3, I was particularly interested in the how EC2 would fit in. And boy does it ever fit in:

Create an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) containing your applications, libraries, data and associated configuration settings. Or use our pre-configured, templated images to get up and running immediately. Upload the AMI into Amazon S3. Amazon EC2 provides tools that make storing the AMI simple. Amazon S3 provides a safe, reliable and fast repository to store your images.

Nicely integrated with S3. The other great feature? Bandwidth between EC2 and S3 is FREE. I cannot even imagine how much cost savings that could equate to. With EC2, you pay only for instance hours used. Each machine instance is equivalent to “a 1.7Ghz Xeon CPU, 1.75GB of RAM, 160GB of local disk, and 250Mb/s of network bandwidth”. Pretty darn sweet.

I’m already thinking of ways we could integrate this into Podcast Spot (we’re already using and loving S3). I’ve only taken a cursory glance at the forums, API and other documentation, but it seems to me there are two missing features that are extremely desirable: persistent storage and support for Windows (currently it only supports Linux). The AWS guys seem to be pretty on top of things though, so if enough people request them, I’m sure the features will get implemented.

I can’t wait to see what Amazon releases next!

Read: TechCrunch

Windows Live Dev

Post ImageFinally. Finally. That’s really all I have to say about it. If there is one thing missing from Windows Live, it’s that Microsoft basically ignored their primary and most strategic audience – developers. Well, until now that is:

Microsoft Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie on Sunday said the company is creating Internet-delivered services for corporate customers to complement its on-premise software.

Ozzie, speaking at Microsoft’s TechEd 2006 conference for business technology users, described some of the online services Microsoft intends to offer to businesses, including single sign-on and network management.

As a result, we now have Windows Live Dev. I’m going to dive into it a little further this week, and hopefully they say something about it tomorrow at realDEVELOPMENT_06. Sadly, the SDK I most want to use is not yet available (Windows Live ID).

Read: CNET