Amazon Web Services — also often referred to simply as AWS — is a division of Amazon that offers cloud computing services and application programming interfaces (APIs) to large and small companies, government agencies, and individuals.
So many organizations depend on the service that AWS outages can be extremely disruptive to daily life.
AWS has become a cloud platform thanks to its affordability and flexibility: It allows businesses to rent online storage and computing power as a service. As a pay-as-you-go service without long-term contracts, AWS helps businesses scale at their own pace without investing in building their infrastructure.
AWS can also help tech workers advance their careers. AWS certification signifies a level of technical expertise validated through a rigorous exam. Various certification “paths” are available, focused on developers, data analytics, networks and systems, and more.
AWS provides over 200 services, including computing, storage, data management, infrastructure management, application development, security, and more, all managed from your AWS Console.
It’s long been a leader in the cloud infrastructure sector and holds a 40% market share, more than Google and Microsoft, according to Gartner.
AWS has accounted for a sizeable part of Amazon’s revenue since its launch. In the quarter that ended in September 2023, AWS sales increased 12% year-over-year to $23.1 billion, Amazon earnings reports showed. In 2022, Amazon generated $80 billion in revenue from AWS, according to Forrester.
While AWS dominated the first-generation cloud era, the growth of generative artificial intelligence is leading to what some are calling Cloud 2.0. Many experts say AWS isn’t prepared to be a standout in the generative AI industry, where new services and tools are needed to run AI applications.
Indeed, in the latest round of Amazon layoffs in March 2023, a total of 9,000 jobs were cut, mostly in AWS, PXT, Advertising, and Twitch, Jassy wrote in a letter to employees.
However, AWS recently created a new organization, “Next Generation Developer Experience,” to help customers use generative AI on its cloud.