Amazon’s lessons learned while developing their Cloud

Amazon is known best by the online store By developing and improving the store Amazon developed a whole new technological architecture, services based. Today Amazon E2C offers these services as a commercial service, the Amazon Cloud. These cloud services enable application developers to quickly scale their solution to user’s demand. Thanks to the Amazon economies of scale they can profit from an attractive offering. Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels shared their lessons learned while developing their cloud services at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam today. He started mentioning he neither would explain last weeks downtime nor answer any questions. Soon Amazon will publish a detailed explanation, most probable to regain market trust. 20110428-175207.jpg

The 13 lessons learned

  • Lesson #1 Design for flexibility. Don’t build frameworks but tools.
  • Lesson #2 Design for on-demand.
  • Lesson #3 Design for automation. Drives reliability, security and efficiency. No more server hugging. Take engineers out of the decision loop. But be aware, do not automate human interfaces, do not automate delete.
  • Lesson #4: Be elastic. Scale incrementally.
  • Lesson #5: Design for utility pricing, pay per use. Thanks to accumulated usage and their economies of scale Amazon can offer affordable services which a big corporate even wouldn’t be able to afford by organizing it themselves.
  • Lesson #6: Break transparency, because users need to know where servers are to decide what architecture to use.
  • Lesson #7: Everything fails, all the time, so you need software to handle this (picture with slide of Amazon AWS shows how a solution on Amazon’s cloud can run both in the US and be passively standby in Europe).
  • Lesson #8: Decompose into the simplest form (at the storage site). They concluded 70% of their data storage was primary key only, this became Amazon S3. Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon EC2 + EBS, Amazon RDS are the other storage options today.
  • Lesson #9: Design with security in mind. When you develop for the Internet you have to be prepared for the worse to happen. Amazon enables to secure at the application level at a very detailed level.
  • Lesson #10: Don’t do it alone, you can grow faster with others. They invited other vendors to sell on their platform which increased their catalogue dramatically, meanwhile increasing their traffic. Traffic is also being generated through their affiliate model.
  • Lesson #11: Continuously innovate, they release a minimal viable product. Enable customers to drive the product, they don’t wait for ages.
  • Lesson #12: Focus on what doesn’t change, clients will keep demanding scalability, availability, affordable cost level, in fact they key reasons to use cloud services. This won’t change and you will have to keep meeting their expectation levels.
  • Lesson #13: Let your customers benefit, be satisfied with a fixed margin and turn around the benefits of the economies of scale to your clients.
Post by PetersOpinion. More The Next Web coverage can be found on his Twitter stream.
Entrepreneur, co-founder & Managing Director of Goyello and Webmerce. Sociologist and electrotechnical engineer, a great combination that stimulates him to look for working solutions. Passionate about converting great ideas into new solutions. He is married and a proud father of 3 great sons. Participating in (and training for) triathlons to stay fit.