The demand for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) services is growing worldwide due to its cost-effectiveness and simplicity of use. While the competition in the sector is high, the sphere is dominated by major providers, which may hurt the competition in the future (Osborne, 2019). The present paper aims to describe the IaaS services provided by Amazon and revealing its advantages and flaws in comparison with its competitors. Even though the growing demand may cause the emergence of new IaaS service providers, Amazon will remain the leader in the industry in the nearest future.
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Cloud computing is a promising technology, which serves as an alternative to traditional IT systems. It can be characterized as a pool of resources, including both hardware and software, that can be accessed using a web interface from any geographical point. Accruing to Freet, Agrawal, John, and Walker (2015), the method of computing is characterized by accessibility, availability, and scalability. Cloud computing is especially popular with small businesses that cannot afford capital investments and maintenance costs associated with traditional computing. However, the method is associated with increased security risks and a lack of direct access to servers and networks (Freet et al., 2015). Therefore, the method is not likely to replace traditional computing entirely.
There are three types of cloud computing, including Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and IaaS. SaaS is a service delivery model that provides access to applications over the Internet (Freet et al., 2015). One of the most successful providers of SaaS is Google through applications called Google Docs. The model is an easy-to-use way of managing small amounts of data that does not require specified training for set-up and maintenance. At the same time, the possibilities and means of controlling SaaS are somewhat limited. PaaS is similar to SaaS, except it delivers a platform for creating applications, instead of an application (Freet et al., 2015). This method allows increased flexibility; however, it presupposes that the user has some coding skills. One of the most famous examples is Google App Engine.
IaaS is the most flexible model of cloud computing since it provides the infrastructure that can be used for accessing and monitoring computers, networking, storage, and other services. IaaS providers usually give their clients access to cloud servers through a dashboard or an application programming interface (API). However, the method implies that the management of the information stored in these virtual servers is under the complete control of the customer. Table 1 provides information for comparing customer’s control over different layers in the described service models.
Table 1. Levels of Control.
Amazon as an IaaS Service Provider
One of the most significant players in the IaaS service provision is Amazon Web Services (AWS). According to Osborne (2019), AWS dominates the IaaS market with total revenues of $15,495 million and yearly growth of 26.8%. Even though the market share of the company decreased by 1.6% in 2018, AWS is still far ahead of its competitors with 47.8% of the market share. The primary competitors of AWS are Microsoft, Alibaba, and Google, which are also experiencing tremendous growth taking the market from small service providers. However, despite the growth of other companies, Amazon is not likely to lose its position in the nearest future.
AWS offers an incomparable variety of services, servers, and networks around the globe. The company has 22 data centers in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia, with three more coming up in Milan, Jakarta, and Cape Town (AWS, n.d.). The company offers round-the-clock customer support in 15 languages about more than 200 services divided into 23 categories (AWS, n.d.). AWS can serve any client due to pricing flexibility beyond comparison. According to Bernstein (2015), Amazon’s top priority is innovation in all spheres, which is vital for the majority of cloud service users.
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However, AWS is going beyond the traditional IaaS services for its customers. In 2014, Amazon introduced a new toolchain, new middleware, and several avant-garde programming models (Bernstein, 2015). In other words, it has aggressively entered the PaaS market since it has developed CodeCommit, Code Pipeline, and CodeDeploy (Bernstein, 2015). The introduction of the new platform has enabled the company to provide hybrid services for its customers, ensuring its leading position in cloud computing.
The demand for cloud computing is proliferating due to its cost-efficiency, scalability, and simple management. Three primary models of service provision are SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, which are meant for varying tasks. Amazon is the largest provider of IaaS services due to its flexible pricing policies, a wide variety of products, and the company’s orientation on innovation. Even though the competitors are also experiencing unprecedented growth, Amazon is not likely to lose its leading position in the nearest future.
Amazon Web Services. (n.d.). Cloud products. Web.
Bernstein, D. (2015). Is Amazon becoming the new cool software company for developers? IEEE Cloud Computing, 2(1), 69–71. Web.
Freet, D., Agrawal, R., John, S., & Walker, J. J. (2015, October). Cloud forensics challenges from a service model standpoint: IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Management of Computational and Collective intElligence in Digital EcoSystems (pp. 148-155). Caraguatatuba, Brazil: ACM.
Osborne, C. (2019). Amazon dominates IaaS cloud services market, small enterprises lose out. ZDNet. Web.