When people hear the word “Amazon” they usually think of phrases like “online retailer” and “fast shipping.” Some might even think of a river deep in South America and even fewer still may think of “a cloud-based hosting and computational service that powers one percent of the Internet.”
Speaking of which, did you even know that Amazon hosts websites? Millions of them? That they handle servers and bandwidth in a cloud-based way for major Internet presences like parts of Netflix, Zynga, Reddit, and Newsweek? And the most incredible thing to note about Amazon’s cloud-based services is that they’re totally scalable. Getting a sudden rush of traffic to your site? No problem. You can dynamically add more computing power to your servers to handle the load, just like that.
And one percent of the Internet? One percent of the Internet isn’t just a drop in the bucket. That one percent makes Amazon a major, major player in this field. And despite the fact that a lot of their clients aren’t in cloud computing themselves doesn’t mean they can’t take advantage of cloud-based resources.
I run a handful of small websites, everything from blogs to webcomics, and even with the relatively small amount of traffic I get, I’ve noticed a huge decrease in page load times when I switched to Amazon’s Simple Storage Service, a cloud-based file hosting service that lets users download large files from Amazon’s servers instead of your own. To date, I’ve never had to worry about them going down. Their systems are redundant and incredibly well-tested. If I get a huge influx of users because one of my videos happens to go viral, Amazon is ready to handle the increased stress on their servers. That is, provided I pay them
You don’t have to be the creator of a hot mobile app or someone who pushes all of their photos to online storage to be a daily user of the cloud. Not anymore. More and more, cloud computing is becoming the backbone of the Internet we use every day. That’s a good thing, for the big guys and us little guys alike.