It has been 10 years since Amazon Web Services Inc.’s Simple Storage Service (S3) was launched. This marked the beginning of a new era for enterprise IT.
The S3 launch on March 14th 2006 was a landmark in cloud computing. Few IT professionals could have anticipated the change in computing that was coming. AWS argued that storage and compute should not be limited in terms of capacity or scalability and should be available at lower prices. “Amazon S3 is built on the idea of quality Internet-based storage should not be taken for granted,” Andy Jassy (AWS vice president) stated in the press release announcing S3’s general availability.
AWS claims that S3 has hosted trillions of objects over the past decade and processes millions of requests per second at peak times. When AWS launched S3, storage costs $0.15 per GB and $0.20 per data transfer. S3 storage now costs $0.03 per GB per monthly, which is 80 percent lower than AWS’ Glacier Archival Storage, which costs less than a penny per per month.
AWS celebrates S3’s 10-year anniversary with highlights such as the AWS Elastic Compute Cloud offering (EC2) in January 2009, AWS Management Console in Jan 2009, and later the Relational Database Service(RDS) in April 2012. These milestones allowed for the purchase preconfigured tools and apps through the AWS Marketplace in May 2012. The AWS Marketplace currently has 35 categories, with over 2,500 software offerings from more than 800 ISVs.
Amazon announced the earnings and revenues for AWS last April for the first time. It claimed that it was a $5B business. While there are many cloud providers around the globe offering services of all kinds and scopes, AWS is still the largest and most prominent cloud provider. Microsoft Azure is No. 2 and Google, the only other players that can offer the same infrastructure as the others — are at No. 3.
AWS has maintained its edge and S3 is a key component of that. Michael Fauscette (chief research officer at G2 Crowd), a market research firm, stated that S3 is the most widely used service at this point.
G2 recently conducted a survey and found that S3 received a higher customer satisfaction rating than Azure, AWS’ closest competitor among enterprise customers. According to the survey, S3’s customer satisfaction was 96 percent while EC2 scored 91 percent. Azure, however, scored 83 percent.
According to the report, S3 reviewers stated that the main reasons they used the service were its price and availability. Respondents stated that S3 is used primarily for hosting static Web pages, backing up data, and sharing data across multiple locations. The primary benefits of Azure were, according to those who preferred it (the whole service, not just the storage), compatibility with Microsoft software, scalability and availability of support as well as the ease of configuration.
According to the report, AWS customers ranked S3 highest in terms of availability, scalability, and overall data storage architecture. However, the report found that users have the most issues with configuration management, user management, and logging. Customers gave Azure the highest scores for high availability, scalability, and integration with Microsoft Visual Studio development platform. However, the most common complaints were about user and configuration management, and Docker integration.
Fauscette acknowledged that there are differences in how customers purchase cloud services from both companies. “When you use AWS, you make a decision about a specific offering such as storage. But with Microsoft, you may not have to make that decision.