April 24, 2012
Even cloud detractors have to admit that the Amazon cloud, which the company launched in 2006, has changed the foundation of IT. In some circles, the company is known more for its utility computing infrastructure, Amazon Web Services, than for its online mega-store.
Just how big is that infrastructure, we all want to know. Last month, we learned there may be a half-million servers behind that cloud. But how does that compare to, say, the entire Internet?
According to analysis performed by market research firm DeepField Networks, the Amazon infrastructure has staked out a significant portion of the Internet landscape.
In the wake of recent Amazon news, like the expansion of the S3 storage service, DeepField wanted to uncover the full reach of the Internet company. They started by asking "how frequently will a typically Internet user visit a web site based on Amazon infrastructure?"
The answer is rather astounding: on any given day, one-third of Internet users will touch an Amazon website.
To arrive at this calculation, DeepField analyzed AWS network data from a sample of a several million Internet end-users located primarily in North America.
Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of DeepField, revealed the information in a blog post, noting that the one-third figure "is all the more impressive when you consider that our data includes millions of users and end devices of limited scope or activities, such as users who only check mail and home game consoles."
DeepField also determined that as of April 2012, one percent of all consumer Internet traffic in North America is due to the Amazon cloud.
"This is a huge number given that Amazon, unlike, say Google, does not typically host massive video content," writes Labovitz.
Their final query examined what companies were the biggest users of Amazon's datacenters. To do this, they calculated the average percentage of all subscribers that access one or more Amazon sites each day. In first place is truste.com, purveyor of online privacy solutions, followed by InviteMedia, Chartbeat, Evidon and Ad Safe Media. Netflix is in the 8th spot, while Dropbox comes in at 13. Instagram, another company in the news lately, is the 14th biggest user.
"The number of websites that would now break if Amazon were to go down, and the growing pervasiveness of Amazon behind the scenes, is really quite impressive," Labovitz tells Wired.
"Overall, Amazon enjoys a commanding lead in the much balleyhooed, mind-blowingly large $200 billion anticipated cloud computing market," notes Labovitz. "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."
For the privacy conscious, Labovitz reminds us that "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)."
Frank Ding, engineering analysis & technical computing manager at Simpson Strong-Tie, discussed the advantages of utilizing the cloud for occasional scientific computing, identified the obstacles to doing so, and proposed workarounds to some of those obstacles.
The private industry least likely to adopt public cloud services for data storage are financial institutions. Holding the most sensitive and heavily-regulated of data types, personal financial information, banks and similar institutions are mostly moving towards private cloud services – and doing so at great cost.
In this week's hand-picked assortment, researchers explore the path to more energy-efficient cloud datacenters, investigate new frameworks and runtime environments that are compatible with Windows Azure, and design a uniﬁed programming model for diverse data-intensive cloud computing paradigms.
05/10/2013 | Cleversafe, Cray, DDN, NetApp, & Panasas | From Wall Street to Hollywood, drug discovery to homeland security, companies and organizations of all sizes and stripes are coming face to face with the challenges – and opportunities – afforded by Big Data. Before anyone can utilize these extraordinary data repositories, however, they must first harness and manage their data stores, and do so utilizing technologies that underscore affordability, security, and scalability.
04/02/2012 | AMD | Developers today are just beginning to explore the potential of heterogeneous computing, but the potential for this new paradigm is huge. This brief article reviews how the technology might impact a range of application development areas, including client experiences and cloud-based data management. As platforms like OpenCL continue to evolve, the benefits of heterogeneous computing will become even more accessible. Use this quick article to jump-start your own thinking on heterogeneous computing.