Given the transformational effect of the public cloud on how we live and do business, it’s hard to believe that commercial cloud services only emerged in 2006. That’s when Amazon launched AWS, with the release of Simple Storage Service (S3), Simple Queue Service (SQS), and Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), and it continues to dominate the cloud provider market today.
So just who uses AWS — and how? We’ll share a list of the biggest AWS customers, some monthly spending figures, the key services these enterprises spend their AWS budget on, and how they use AWS. We’ll also get into the details of how AWS is dominating the global cloud provider market. But first, a little background on why AWS is the giant of cloud providers.
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As the first entrant into the cloud market, AWS had the advantage of being able to snap up major, data-heavy customers such as Netflix and AirBnB. And with adoption comes inertia: Once companies had decided to use AWS, they were slow to consider moving to a competitor.
But it’s not just about being first. AWS has spent its time at the top innovating and refining. Early offerings such as EC2, S3, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), and Elastic Block Store (EBS) now cater to organizations of every scale, and the company is constantly updating and releasing services to meet the needs of all industries and verticals.
Longtime market domination means many developers have grown to love AWS and are slow to use any other cloud provider. AWS rewards this loyalty with increasingly versatile and reliable services. Products such as Amazon Deep Lens, Amazon Sagemaker, and Amazon Sumerian are leagues ahead of competitors in terms of innovation.
AWS has a far more extensive infrastructure than other cloud providers, giving customers access to almost limitless compute and storage resources. This is a significant consideration for large and scaling companies, who need to be able to rely on a cloud provider who can deliver what they need at short notice. Customers use AWS tools, Auto Scaling, and Elastic Load Balancing to scale applications as demand dictates. With its bank of big-name customers, AWS also has significant experience looking after major enterprises.
Cloud customers need stability. AWS delivers that in spades, with a scalable, reliable, and secure global computing infrastructure. It has expanded its geographic spread into important regions, ensuring serviceability and uptime. Customers know they can spin up compute instances incredibly quickly if they need to scale at a moment’s notice.
According to a 2022 Intricately report, AWS has a customer base of 1.45 million businesses. Its customers include companies of all sizes spread across multiple regions, but it does tend to focus on startups. This focus aligns with the company’s public statements about its strategy of “getting in early” with new companies in a bid to expand their usage as the startups’ needs grow. These efforts are paying off: Startups and SMBs are the fastest-growing segment in AWS’s customer base, with a year-on-year growth rate of 42.2 %.
Internet industries represent the largest proportion of customers, with more than 123,000 customers. Media is the next biggest industry segment, with 48,807 customers.
|Canva||Software & Internet||Australia|
|Coca-Cola||Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)||Americas|
|Formula 1||Automotive||United Kingdom|
|GoDaddy||Software & Internet||United States|
|Goldman Sachs||Financial Services||United States|
|Heineken||Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)||Benelux|
|Johnson & Johnson||Life Sciences||United States|
|LaunchDarkly||Software & Internet||United States|
|McAfee||Software & Internet||United States|
|Moderna||Life Sciences||United States|
|Netflix||Media & Entertainment||United States|
|Okta||Software & Internet||United States|
|Digital Marketing||United States|
|Samsung Electronics||Electronics & Semiconductor||Korea|
|Snap||Software & Internet||United States|
|State Farm||Financial Services||United States|
|Thomson Reuters||Media & Entertainment||United States|
|Vanguard||Financial Services||United States|
|Warner Bros. Discovery||Media & Entertainment||United States|
|Wealthfront||Financial Services||United States|
|Zalando||Retail & Wholesale||Germany|
According to Intricately, some of the biggest spenders on AWS based on estimated EC2 monthly spend are:
- Sony $11M
- Adobe: $7.5M
- Facebook: $5.6M
- Johnson & Johnson: $5M
- 3M: $5M
- Coca-Cola: $5M
- Twitter: $3.7M
- Netflix: $2.4M
- ESPN: $2M
- Reddit $2M
- Twitch: $1.3M
- Samsung: $1.2M
- Walt Disney: $1.2M
- Okta: $1M
- Canva: $981K
So what are these companies spending their AWS budget on? The leading AWS services include:
- AWS EC2
- AWS Lambda
- Amazon Redshift
- Amazon S3
Initially released in 2006, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a key building block of the public cloud. Allowing users to develop and deploy applications without having to purchase hardware, it enables scalable computing capacity in the AWS cloud. You can use Amazon EC2 to launch virtual machines, configure security and networking, and manage storage. This makes it easier to scale in and out with Autoscaling Groups and scale up or down as demands change.
AWS Lambda is a serverless, event-driven compute service, which means that it runs code in response to events while managing the backend infrastructure and performing all of the administration of the compute resources required to do that. The developer can focus on their code, while AWS takes care of everything else.
Lambda was first released in 2014, and it has become one of AWS’s most popular products in the decade since. This is largely because it is applicable to a wide range of different scenarios, is easy to set up, and costs little to operate.
Amazon Redshift is the AWS data warehousing program. Perfect for handling massive amounts of data, it can process structured and unstructured data in volumes up to an exabyte (that is huge — a billion gigabytes). You can also use the service for large-scale data migrations, offering users several options for importing data. Easy to set up, it offers the security of continuous encryption. Redshift’s main selling point is the ability to sift all that data for important insights.
Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is a scalable, secure, and performant object storage service. Its wide range of features makes it possibly the most popular cloud storage solutions available. Market behemoths including Sysco and Nielson have harnessed some of these features to help scale and optimize their businesses, but its biggest attraction is its cost-effectiveness. For example, Shutterstock saved 60% on storage costs when it switched to Amazon S3.
The range of applications for AWS are almost as vast as the cloud itself. However, the general experience for organizations that leverage AWS effectively is for speed and efficiency to soar while time spent on deployments plummets. Here are some examples:
- Innovyze, a software company acquired by Autodesk in March 2021, used AWS to develop three cloud-native software-as-a-service (SaaS) products to help water utility companies gain an improved understanding of the quality of water management systems and water/wastewater treatment plants. Moving data from on-premises to a SaaS solution cut time to market and deployment time and increased scalability exponentially.
- Between December 2021 and January 2022, the sports gaming company FanDuel Group (FanDuel) migrated four live-stream linear channels to AWS. Previously, its third-party video-streaming vendor was unable to manage the 24/7 live streams that enabled near-real-time betting for its customers, and the prospect of continued growth prompted FanDuel to turn to AWS Cloudfront to help it scale without negatively affecting the viewing experience. Cloudfront is a content delivery network service designed for exceptional performance, scalability, security, and developer convenience.
- Toyota uses AWS to innovate across its vast business. Toyota North America leverages a next-generation data lake built on AWS using Amazon S3, AWS Glue, and Amazon Redshift to gather and analyze data from various manufacturing plants. This cloud-based insights solution helps it keep track of the history of every vehicle’s manufacture, make supply chain decisions, and provide better customer service.
- As its customer base and services grew, transportation company Scania realized its on-premises servers lacked the power to handle the escalating traffic for its connected-truck services — Internet of Things (IoT) products that capture vehicle data in near real time for sending new instructions and data back to vehicles. Using products such as AWS Lambda, Scania can scale as required with reduced latency and enhanced security. The company has also used AWS services to develop a new hybrid design for maintaining network connections with telecom operators.
- Online fashion and lifestyle business Zalando enhanced both developer control and customer experience when it migrated its media management solution to Amazon CloudFront. Developer visibility and control were crucial factors for the company to ensure continued growth and differentiated customer experience, and CloudFront delivered that, enhancing the media management and delivery architectures that determine shopper experience.
- Salesforce’s Unified Intelligence Platform (UIP) Team wanted to enhance the analysis and processing of data in a cost-effective, efficient way for the petabyte-level data lake it manages. It used a mix of instance-provisioning models from Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) to build a scalable, elastic compute infrastructure. This enhanced compute infrastructure processes twice as much data in less time and saves Salesforce more than $1 million monthly.
According to Gartner, worldwide investment in public cloud services grew to $491 billion in 2022. Despite the best efforts of providers like Alibaba, IBM, and Oracle, the big three are still dominating the market. In the last quarter of last year, AWS controlled 32% of the cloud infrastructure services market, trailed by Microsoft Azure with 23% of the market and Google Cloud with 10%.
AWS is Amazon’s most successful business segment, generating a whopping $80 billion in revenue in 2022 and close to $23 billion in operating profits. This is up from an impressive $62 billion in revenue in 2021 and $18.5 billion in net profits.
As the world’s most widely adopted cloud, AWS offers some 200 fully featured services from data centers spread across the globe. It has millions of customers on its books, including the most ambitious startups, biggest enterprises, and top government agencies — all seeking to work more efficiently, become more agile, and innovate faster.
AWS also nurtures a dynamic community of millions of active customers and thousands of partners who work together to run every imaginable kind of AWS use case. The AWS Partner Network (APN) includes more than 100,000 partners based in 150-plus countries, who work to help customers leverage AWS as their cloud usage becomes more sophisticated. They use AS to deliver inventive solutions for customers, resolve technical issues and provide real business value.
In addition, the AWS ISV Accelerate Program caters for organizations that provide software solutions that run on or integrate with AWS. The program helps generate new business and boost sales cycles for independent software vendors (ISVs) by connecting them with the AWS Sales organization for co-sell support and benefits.
Given its market dominance, it’s hardly surprising that AWS has the biggest international infrastructure footprint of any cloud provider. The AWS Cloud covers 99 Availability Zones across 31 geographic regions around the globe, and there are plans to launch 15 more Availability Zones and 5 more AWS Regions.
This means that when you deploy your applications and workloads to the AWS cloud, you can choose the technology infrastructure nearest your main target of users. Your workloads can run on the cloud that offers optimal support for the widest range of applications.
Using AWS, cloud-native infrastructure management platform Spacelift has helped customers reduce the time they spend on manual infrastructure maintenance tasks by 90%. Measures such as automating security and data privacy configurations enable the company to slash the time required to manage these issues by a factor of 10 compared to performing the tasks manually.
Spacelift helps businesses leverage the skills of scarce technical resources by simplifying the management of complex cloud environments, enabling DevOps and engineering talent to spend their time more effectively. It works with AWS to ensure optimal reliability, security, and compliance for its platform.
It is now part of the AWS ISV Accelerate co-sell program, and businesses can also download and deploy its solution from AWS Marketplace.
AWS continues to dominate the cloud provider market and shows no signs of losing ground to its competitors. As the first entrant to the market, it had an immediate advantage, but it has maintained and reinforced its position by leading the way in innovation, capacity, and consistency.
Pioneers in their industries such as Salesforce, Scania and Zalando have partnered with AWS to leverage their data to enhance the developer and customer experience and edge even further ahead of their competitors. Companies like Spacelift partner with AWS to streamline cloud management for users.
As other cloud providers intensify their efforts to gain market share, AWS is unlikely to stop rolling out the innovative updates that make it such a compelling leader in this space.
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