The sheer size of AWS put in perspective

Amazon Web Services did about $7 billion of revenue in 2015. Sounds like a lot, but I can only comprehend big numbers like that in a comparison. So let’s try to put those numbers in perspective:

As I am familiar with technology and other toy companies, let us compare this $7 billion of AWS with some other companies like VMware, NetApp, Avaya and Toys ‘R’ Us :

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 09.41.54

revenue per year in  100 million USD

This $7 billion is only a small part of Amazon of course. Mother-ship Amazon’s total revenue is $100 billion, comparable with Microsoft doing $90 billion :Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 22.44.54                                                          Microsoft in blue & Amazon – last 2 year

To put those numbers in perspective:

The revenues of Amazon and Microsoft are comparable with the GDP of countries like Ecuador, Slovakia and Morocco  (with 16, 5 and 33 million inhabitants).

Gartner estimated recently that Amazon Web Services offers 10 times as much computing capacity as the next 14 players in the market, combined.

(yes 10 x all the other players in the Magic Quadrant including Microsoft and Google)

aws gartner mq

Due to it’s pace of growth AWS is on track to be a $50 billion business by 2020. That’s about the size of Cisco and Coca-Cola.

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 10.34.44


The amount of servers is unknown. What we do know:

  • in 2014 AWS had 1.4 million servers (implies a profit of 3000 USD per server in 2014)
  • Garner estimates AWS to have more then 2 milliion servers
  • AWS servers are spread over 28 zones
  • typical datacenter has over 80.000 servers

So let us conclude:

AWS is utterly massive.

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