The Amazon Alternative

by Moshe Yudkowsky

Yesterday evening I heard a talk from Amazon about their new web services — well, new to me, at least, since I hadn't been paying attention. I think "web services" is a minomer; what they're actually providing is a group of web components that you can use to create your own web services.

Amazon provides a set of crucial services that let an aspiring designer create services with no upfront hardware cost. Need storage space online? $0.10/GB per month, $0.20/GB to transfer. Need a stack of CPUs? You can get a virtual Linux box from Amazon for $0.10/hour.

I've already dreamed up with a couple of telephony-based applications based on Amazon's services. When storage is innfinitely deep and fast it becomes far easier to create recordings of telephone conferences. When I can create viritual servers on demand, I can have a hundred Asterisk servers running for an hour — total cost $10 — to blast out a few hundred thousand calls.

I have to give Amazon a lot of credit. They've disaggregated their business, separating out their knowledge of server and Web design from the rest of their corporate expertise, to create an entirely new business. And they've created disaggregated components that have already spawned dozens of new businesses.


2006-11-20 02:54:43
Now that *is* interesting...if Gmail can archive all our IM chats and email... why not add voice to that mix? Of course, this (like many other services) raises important questions about privacy, consent and actually, maybe even copyright!
2006-11-20 14:58:34
You've turned me on. I want to see how this can be integrated with Ruby On Rails and Asterisk to produce distributed web/phone apps. I sent you an e-mail also.
2007-01-15 01:33:14
We've put RoR, Asterisk and a bunch of other stuff on to EC2/S3 and are actively using it right now. Happy to report back when we have some data around the scaling aspects specifically.
Moshe Yudkowsky
2007-01-15 03:07:21
Sean, by all means report back when you have some data.