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Why Amazon's worldwide cloud computing service is just the start

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) currently comprises seven major data center complexes across three contents — but the company isn't planning to stop there.

Amazon Web Services sign (Will Merydith/Flickr)
Amazon Web Services sign (Will Merydith/Flickr)

The New York Times has published a short feature profiling Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon's cloud computing division — it's worth a read, if only as a reminder of how popular the service has become. Launched almost exactly ten years ago, AWS now comprises seven major data center complexes across three continents, serving billions of pageviews per day (the sort of scale that, unfortunately, becomes most obvious when one of these "Availability Zones" goes down). But what's most interesting is the company's continued ambitions. AWS is estimated to bring in $1 billion every year, and the division's head, Andrew Jassy, says he expects it to grow by a factor of ten. The AWS website currently lists more than 600 job openings, giving some idea of the growth that Amazon is planning in just the immediate future, with its size far outstripping competitors such as Microsoft's Windows Azure and Google's nascent Cloud Storage and Compute Engine. Check out the New York Times article for profiles of some of the businesses, government agencies and other organizations that use AWS every day.