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Platforms and Technology

Amazon Web Services Infrastructure

Amazon Web Services, which Amazon began offering in 2006, is a service provided to many important products that people use every day. NASA, Netflix, reddit, Foursquare, Dropbox and Pinterest all use Amazon Web Services to power their service offerings and to be billed dynamically based on usage. WIRED had a great write-up about the service and the engineering behind it.

For Netflix, Amazon’s pay-as-you go computing services are the ideal. Netflix gets a big spike of movie-watchers hitting its website on Sunday night, and then by Monday morning, most of those people are gone. With Amazon, it can grab the resources it needs when it needs them and let them go when it doesn’t. But [Netflix] and company must also trust that Amazon can keep its massive operation up and running at all times — and keep prices well below the cost of doing it yourself.

Rather than using some products off-the-shelf, Amazon is committed to engineering its own solutions that work especially well for their uses. Because of the high-demands of its customers, all Amazon data centers are highly engineered for maximum uptime. Fun fact: the engineer responsible for Amazon’s data center infrastructure recently wrote a blog on the power outage during the Super Bowl and what could be done to prevent it in the future.


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