Amazon Web Services is the dominant player in IaaS (infrastructure as a service.) It’s hard to work out how many servers it runs in it’s 11 geographic regions around the globe, but conservative estimates put the number somewhere around 1.75 million. Google has just over a million through their own admission.

Amazon is famously tight with it’s cash reserves, but it has plenty of money for additional scaling, so how is it possible for anyone else to compete? Boutique service? Personal touch? Better uptime? Good luck with that, AWS has around 2 hours downtime last year, that’s just under 100% uptime. Compared to anyone else that’s incredible and as a benchmark for other players trying to enter that market it’s almost unassailable.

This opens up another can of worms however. With the CIA and others already clients of AWS, what form will Amazon take over the next decade? It seems likely that they will be responsible for securing the world’s secrets on their servers and with that comes tremendous power. At the moment you can join AWS for nothing and start storing your cat photos and then follow the road and in a few years your entire life, that of your company and family are on Amazon’s servers. That’s an awful lot of consolidation of information in only 11 different sites around the world and a tremendous amount of trust in only a few people.

How will the cloud be regulated and controlled? Who will be held responsible for data breaches? Who controls the personnel that have access to the servers? These may be questions that our children will have to answer but in the meantime we’re in the wild west regarding IaaS and there are too few suppliers, too much trust and not enough interest in making sure that the people who hold all the keys are responsible to more than shareholders.

Amazon Web Services is the dominant player in IaaS (infrastructure as a service.) It’s hard to work out how many servers it runs in it’s 11 geographic regions around the globe, but conservative estimates put the number somewhere around 1.75 million. Google has just over a million through their own admission.

Amazon is famously tight with it’s cash reserves, but it has plenty of money for additional scaling, so how is it possible for anyone else to compete? Boutique service? Personal touch? Better uptime? Good luck with that, AWS has around 2 hours downtime last year, that’s just under 100% uptime. Compared to anyone else that’s incredible and as a benchmark for other players trying to enter that market it’s almost unassailable.

This opens up another can of worms however. With the CIA and others already clients of AWS, what form will Amazon take over the next decade? It seems likely that they will be responsible for securing the world’s secrets on their servers and with that comes tremendous power. At the moment you can join AWS for nothing and start storing your cat photos and then follow the road and in a few years your entire life, that of your company and family are on Amazon’s servers. That’s an awful lot of consolidation of information in only 11 different sites around the world and a tremendous amount of trust in only a few people.

How will the cloud be regulated and controlled? Who will be held responsible for data breaches? Who controls the personnel that have access to the servers? These may be questions that our children will have to answer but in the meantime we’re in the wild west regarding IaaS and there are too few suppliers, too much trust and not enough interest in making sure that the people who hold all the keys are responsible to more than shareholders.