January 08, 2013
Market prognosticators have been hesitant to recommend Amazon, often concluding that the stock was overvalued. Perhaps this is not surprising considering a price to earnings ratio of 3569.50 over the last four quarters and the fact that the company was $274 million in the red last quarter.
Still the cloud side of the business keeps analysts guessing. After all Amazon Web Services, as the world's largest utility computing vendor, is synonymous with cloud. And now the company is showing even more potential as it moves from startup enabler to enterprise solution provider with services such as Redshift, the new data warehousing product taking aim at HP, Oracle and IBM.
So is Amazon's cloud business another low-margin activity like online bookselling or could margins be as high as, say, 50% – a figure that has been bandied about "off the record"? Amazon isn't saying. The company does not provide a breakout of its cloud business earnings, but that does not stop analyst speculation.
Australian research firm Macquarie Capital estimates that as a stand-alone business, AWS would be worth $19-$30 billion or $41-$66 a share. The figure is based on a 5-8x multiple of Macquarie's 2013 AWS revenue estimate of $3.8 billion. Macquarie further predicts that AWS will generate $6.2 billion in 2014 and $8.8 billion in 2015.
According to lead analyst Benjamin Schachter, the total cloud market is set to reach $71 billion in 2015 with AWS potentially capturing $38 billion, or 53 percent, of the addressable market.
Big data is thought to be a significant driver behind the bullish AWS forecasts, an opinion shared by Joyent CTO Jason Hoffman, who notes that many companies are opting to use the cloud, and by extension AWS, to handle their big data analysis. Hoffman is also part of the camp that believes Amazon's upper cloud margins are in the neighborhood of 40-50%.
The Macquarie report is not the only predictor of Amazon prosperity. On Monday, Morgan Stanley analyst Scott Devitt improved his rating of the stock, setting a price estimate for Amazon of $325 a share. The same day, the stock reached a record share price, hitting a high of $269.30, and closing at $268.51.
Researchers from the Suddhananda Engineering and Research Centre in Bhubaneswar, India developed a job scheduling system, which they call Service Level Agreement (SLA) scheduling, that is meant to achieve acceptable methods of resource provisioning similar to that of potential in-house systems. They combined that with an on-demand resource provisioner to ensure utilization optimization of virtual machines.
Experimental scientific HPC applications are continually being moved to the cloud, as covered here in several capacities over the last couple of weeks. Included in that rundown, Co-founder and CEO of CloudSigma Robert Jenkins penned an article for HPC in the Cloud where he discussed the emergence of cloud technologies to supplement research capabilities of big scientific initiatives like CERN and ESA (the European Space Agency)...
When considering moving excess or experimental HPC applications to a cloud environment, there will always be obstacles. Were that not the case, the cost effectiveness of cloud-based HPC would rule the high performance landscape. Jonathan Stewart Ward and Adam Barker of the University of St. Andrews produced an intriguing report on the state of cloud computing, paying a significant amount of attention to the problems facing cloud computing.
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.