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Tuesday
Dec302008

Scalability Perspectives #5: Werner Vogels – The Amazon Technology Platform

Scalability Perspectives is a series of posts that highlights the ideas that will shape the next decade of IT architecture. Each post is dedicated to a thought leader of the information age and his vision of the future. Be warned though – the journey into the minds and perspectives of these people requires an open mind.

Werner Vogels


Dr. Werner Vogels is Vice President & Chief Technology Officer at Amazon.com where he is responsible for driving the company’s technology vision, which is to continuously enhance the innovation on behalf of Amazon’s customers at a global scale. Prior to joining Amazon, he worked as a researcher at Cornell University where he was a principal investigator in several research projects that target the scalability and robustness of mission-critical enterprise computing systems. He is regarded as one of the world's top experts on ultra-scalable systems and he uses his weblog to educate the community about issues such as eventual consistency. Information Week recently recognized Vogels for this educational and promotional role in Cloud Computing with the 2008 CIO/CTO of the Year award.

Service-Oriented Architecture, Utility Computing and Internet Level 3 Platform in practice


Amazon has built a loosely coupled service-oriented architecture on an inter-planetary scale. They are the pioneers of Utility Computing and Internet Platforms discussed earlier in Scalability Perspectives. Amazon's CTO, Werner Vogels is undoubtedly a thought leader for the coming age of cloud computing.

Cloud Computing CTO or Chief Cloud Officer?


Vogels' name and face are often associated with Amazon's cloud, but Amazon Web Services isn't a one-man show, it is Teamwork.

Amazon's CTO has emerged as the right person at the right time and place to guide cloud computing - until now, an emerging technology for early adopters - into the mainstream. He not only understands how to architect a global computing cloud consisting of tens of thousands of servers, but also how to engage CTOs, CIOs, and other professionals at customer companies in a discussion of how that architecture could potentially change the way they approach IT.

If all goes as planned, Amazon's cloud will serve as an extension of corporate data centers for new applications and overflow capacity, so-called cloud bursting. Over time, Amazon will then take on more and more of the IT workload from businesses that see value in the model. Customer-centric? What Amazon's doing goes beyond that. Amazon's cloud becomes their cloud; its CTO, their CTO.

As an expert of distributed systems Vogels shares interesting insights on scalability related issues on his blog such as:

The Amazon Technology Platform


Werner Vogels explains how Amazon has become a platform provider, and how an increasing number of diverse businesses are built on the Amazon.com platform in this QCon presentation. The most important thing to understand is that Amazon is a Technology Platform with the emphasis on Technology. The scalable and reliable platform is the main enabler of Amazon's business model.
Dr Werner describes Amazon’s platform business model and its ‘flywheel’ for growth on the latest episode of the Telco 2.0 ‘executive brainstorm’ series on Telecom TV.

Amazon has many platforms that fuels growth such as:
  • Amazon Merchants

  • Amazon Associates

  • Amazon E-Commerce Platform

  • Web Scale Computing Platform

  • Amazon Kindle

  • Telecommunications platfrom using Amazon's platform?

Werner provides interesting insights about these platforms in his presentation. Check out his blog and other resources to learn more about his vision and Amazon's future.

Information Sources



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