AWS: Cloud Computing Dominance with Startup Pace

Amazon Web Services kicked off its cloud-computing conference [in Las Vegas] with a display of its dominance in on-demand computing, and a workmanlike assertion that the effort is just beginning.

The gap between those two messages is widening.

AWS re:Invent has become, for all intents and purposes, the cloud-computing show for the world. More than 40,000 developers, technologists and marketers crowded through the halls of several Las Vegas ballrooms Monday and Tuesday for technical demonstrations and executive meet-and-greets -- a crowd of lanyard-wearing techies indistinguishable from similar confabs hosted by legacy giants like IBM, Oracle or Microsoft.

By researcher Gartner's estimate, AWS in 2016 accounted for 44 percent of the sales of infrastructure-as-a-service, or rented computing power and other tools that serve as the backbone for other programs. Microsoft clocked in at a distant cloud-computing second, with 7 percent.

Yet AWS continues to launch releases at the pace of a startup. Tuesday brought a characteristic display of Amazon's hunger to roll out products and services.

"At Amazon, we don't do things small very often," Peter DeSantis, vice president of infrastructure at AWS, said on stage Tuesday evening in an introductory speech

Amazon, during DeSantis's speech, announced that EC2, the basic rented processing power at the core of AWS, would offer a version for customers who want access to the full horsepower of an Amazon-built server. That Bare Metal service is available in a preview edition, the company said. So is GuardDuty, a new service aimed at detecting malicious activity on a customer's Amazon account.

For further evidence of Amazon's dominance, go upstairs from the main conference halls to the AWS Executive Summit, a series of panels, talks and one-on-one meetings for the C-Suite crowd, the top corporate executives that Amazon is increasingly trying to target as its services become ubiquitous among software developers.

"Every year I started seeing...

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