by December 21, 2012 0 comments

Being a cloud pioneer, tell us the evolution of Cloud Computing over the years –where do you see it in next few years?
I don t know; first of all, I don t have a crystal ball. I think, predicting the future is hard. If you look back, in 2006 when we launched the first service, did we anticipate that five years later we would have 6,000 people conference?

If I look back up over the past years, I would say, one thing that we re definitely going to see is that customers or businesses are going to buy less and less hardware. And I think that there will continue to be data centers, because you know, companies will continue to own data centers. I just think there will be less of them.

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That doesn’t mean that in aggregate that there will be less computing being done. I actually like to believe that the efficiency of cloud computing will drive so much innovation in the industry, that we will see a true explosion of new products and new businesses being created purely because cloud computing enables that. So, if I look at especially the change happening in sort of the C-level executives where if I look at CIOs CIOs have always wanted to have a seat at the board. But in the past, in the old world, where they remained in charge with cutting costs; they were more seen as the blocker in terms of innovation more than the enabler. The radical change that cloud brings for CIOs is that they now can be the enabler of innovation.

What hot trends do you see in cloud computing today?
One of the hot trends in IT and in computing is, of course data analytics, big data. And there s a close relationship between big data and cloud computing. In the past, business intelligence was really something beforehand you already knew what kinds of questions you wanted to ask, which kind of data that you want to collect in a constrained manner.

Big data, however, is really driven by the fact that the companies actually want to have much better insight into their customers. I mean, who are my customers, really? What are they doing? How are they using my products?

And most of those questions are not easily asked using the traditional business intelligence approach. So for that, companies need to collect as much data as possible this is really a situation where more is better. And essentially, there is a close relationship between cloud computing which gives customers both, let s say, unlimited storage as well as the unlimited amount of compute with which they ask these questions to very large datasets.

So, I think data analytics is one of the big trends. One of the other trends we can easily all agree on is, of course, mobile. But mobile is actually well not mobile like in the past, mobile in the past was where we all loaded all our content on our device on our phone, and you would put everything on there and you watch it. These days, these devices are just a window into data and content that lives somewhere else.

And it lives in the cloud. Yeah, because I need to be able to use my iPad to read a book, and I will put it away and I ll continue to read on my Kindle, and I ll step in the car, and that car continues to read to me, and be in the grocery store at the checkout counter, and I ll continue to read the book on my phone. And so, not only the content itself, but also data from the applications will live somewhere else.

I can pull out my DropBox anywhere, whether it s my laptop or any mobile device, it doesn’t really matter. And I think that s clearly the second trend that is really, really hot at the moment. And I believe in both cases, both in terms of data analytics and big data, as well as in the new sort of cloud-aware mobility, both of them we re just at the beginning of these. Cloud will truly drive a lot of the innovation there.

There s quite a few partners for example in the mobility space platforms like Parse, who enables tens of thousands of different applications to be really quickly built while storing that data in the cloud and basically, becoming device independent. And the same goes, of course, for data analytics there is many, many partners here that run on our platform, and of course, we launched our own new data warehouse service.

Although that is more while it is really, really well-suited for big data applications, it is also still well-suited for traditional business intelligence.

They’re a platform; they’re one of our partners. But of course, we have an SDK for mobile development we also do work with a lot mobile developers. And recently, we added a mapping API to that, so customers that want to use maps in their applications can now make use of the Amazon API to insert maps into the mobile applications, and also have overlays on that and things like that. So, we continue to work, deliver functionality for customers such that they can build very rich mobile applications.

Security, reliability, and privacy are the three key considerations for businesses to embrace cloud computing. What is your take on this considering that Amazon has had outages in the years past?
That’s not the case. In this case, we had a failure where the service disruption happened in a single availability zone. We have 25 availability zones. So, we had a service disruption in one of them. And we give customers multiple availability zones so that customers can build their applications such that they can survive any kind of outages. It is unacceptable for us, of course, I mean; we will not rest until we re indistinguishable from perfect. But, you know, we give customers these availability zones just such that they build really highly available applications, and many, many, many of our customers, even though there was a service disruption in one of the availability zones, actually they were able to survive the disruption uninterrupted, companies like Netflix, for example was completely uninterrupted by these kinds of disruptions.

Netflix for example,, and many companies that were operating at that availability zone were still highly available when the service disruption happened. So, the big shift is, in the past, you know, in the old world of IT, companies often could only afford themselves one data center. And if an outage were to happen in that data center, or if a disruption would happen in that data center, they would be down. Its out.

Now, just with the single push of a button, customers have accesses — you know, sometimes three or four different availabilities zones within the same region.

On the other hand, security security will be forever our number one priority I like to think that the systems that we’ve built have the highest level of security and certifications. Next to that, we give customers a whole range of very fine-grained tools so that they can also protect themselves, even at much higher levels.

So, often, you know, a CIO will ask me, What about security? And what we do is we always make it to be practical. You know; I ll go and sit with the CIO and we ll go through the security procedures that they have for their own systems and their own data centers, and then look at how does that map onto the security tools that we give them in the cloud. And actually, every time, at the end of that conversation, the CIO will come to the realization that the security tools that we give them in the cloud are more extensive than what they are able to enjoy in their own data centers.

For example, the person from SAP this morning mentioned, you know, this is one of the first federal agencies in the US that actually started making use of Amazon Web Services. And when they did that, they actually put out a press release at that moment stating in the release that the security of the Amazon Web Services was far superior to what they would ever be able to achieve for themselves.

And, of course, you know, if some of the worlds largest corporations like Shell, like Samsung, like Lionsgate, like the New York Times, or Washington Post, News International, if they are all running their business-critical applications on top of AWS.

When it comes to adoption of cloud computing by enterprises and businesses, they often end up taking some missteps!
I think that there s one thinking that I see, that sort of hampers companies a little bit when they move to the cloud, and that is that they truly consider the cloud to be just another data center. And the way that they use the applications, and that they use the services is exactly the way that they do it in their own data center.

But, you know, that means that if you have ten servers running or ten Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instances running, they will keep them running all the time, because that s how they do it in their own data center. In AWS case, you can switch those 10 Amazon EC2 instances off if you re not using them. And so, just a change of thinking that this is not the same physical world as that they were used to, is something I think that IT organizations need to get used to. So that they can truly take advantage of the benefits that the Cloud gives them. That s sort of culture shift in the minds of people that needs to happen to make sure that they can fully embrace cloud.

Well, it s a little bit of education, it s a little bit of getting used to, and I like to believe that in most cases, we seen organizations change pretty rapidly. That applies to India too.

Sometimes you have companies like take younger businesses like redBus moved out of the data center into the cloud because they are enjoying very low latencies out of our AWS Singapore Region. There are other companies; I think Hungama, for example, built a lot of their gaming and a lot of video processing on top of AWS without first doing it in their own data center.

How do you see big data? An opportunity or a challenge?
I think first of all, I think, the biggest challenges in big data are still around the analytic tools. I think we ve pretty much, if you look at the big data from an infrastructure point of view, is basically a pipeline of five steps– It s how do you collect the data? How do you store the data? How do you organize it? How do you analyze it? And how do you share it? 

Now, in each of those steps, I like to believe that within our cloud business we ve given — we give people really good tools in all of them, and we can go into detail if that s what you want to —

But, often, the analytics piece — the analytics piece is still very much in progress. Not only from the tools — I mean, the tools in Amazon that we give, for example, the Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR) which is Hadoopon the Amazon EC2 environment; we give you Amazon Redshift which we have just announced.

But there’s a whole range of new tools being developed in that analytics world — how to best do this big data processing there. And, that s why I say this is still day one, and we will see a lot of tools being developed, and Amazon will develop some of these tools, but I think many, many of our partners will also be developing too.

Would you like to share with me some interesting case studies at all?
There are so many Indian companies that use Amazon Web Services. I already mentioned two — I mentioned Hungama and Eros, you know, both of them being video stream platforms, and I think between them they stream almost every Bollywood movie that there is and they are extremely popular. I mentioned redBus, and Classle. For example, Classle is a remote education service that is extremely popular. I think there is quite a bit of remote education happening in India on top of our platform.

Druva, an Indian based company, is an enterprise backup service running on Amazon Web Service too.

Druva provides enterprise back-up and archiving environment, and they also run on AWS. And, of course, in India, we have great relationships with all of the major system integrators; whether it’s Mahindra Satyam, Infosys, Cognizant etc, all of them have a cloud practice that works with AWS.

The interviewer was hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada by AWS

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