Amazon cloud mopping up 1% of internet traffic

Amazon’s cloud is so vast that it now accounts for around one per cent of all internet traffic, according to estimates released this week. This data underpins the importance of cloud services for service delivery and underscores the opportunities for those with the necessary infrastructure. often writes about the impact of internet companies on the telecoms landscape and when we did a big focus on cloud services in 2011, Amazon was identified as one of the pioneers of the concept, having developed the technology when building up its own internal infrastructure.

Now major internet services like DropBox, Netflix, and Instagram leverage AWS for all or major portions of their infrastructure, even we at use it for delivering video content. Not bad for a company that started out as an online bookstore.

The key point is that companies like Amazon – the ‘traditional’ internet firms, continue to dominate the cloud computing market, yet there are many that would argue that network operators have competitive advantages over these players in terms of the information about customer preferences and billing platforms for charging customers based on usage.

But research released this week by Deepfield Networks, a startup that specialises in cloud resource management, found that around one per cent of all internet traffic is coming or going to Amazon managed infrastructure.

“This is a huge number given that Amazon, unlike, say Google, does not typically host massive video content. Instead, this one per cent represents the broad reach of Amazon infrastructure across hundreds of client companies,” Deepfield said. “By comparison, we found all of Google’s sprawling YouTube infrastructure contributed six per cent of internet traffic in 2010.”

To give another view, Deepfield estimates that around one third of all internet users will visit a web site based on Amazon infrastructure every day. To this end, Amazon ranks as the world’s fourth largest CDN by traffic volume, trailing behind Akamai, Limelight and Level3.

Amazon doesn’t deliver that much video. So what does it deliver? Deepfield mapped Amazon’s top 40 cloud customers, and interestingly, some of the biggest names in there are in advertising or analytics – displaying millions of ads in an unpredictable, spiky environment to which cloud is well suited.

“Although most consumers remain blissfully unaware, almost every web page they visit is tracked, analyzed and scored by dozens of analytics and marketing companies (a large number of them using Amazon infrastructure),” Deepfield said. “But the war for cloud dominance is just beginning. Companies like Rackspace, CSC, Microsoft and Google are investing billions in datacenters and software to compete,” the company added.


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