November 28, 2012, 10:19 AM — Pretty much anyone watching the cloud computing market will tell you that Amazon Web Services is its 800-pound gorilla. Which means that this is a big week for the company: On Wednesday in Las Vegas, Amazon kicks off its first user conference, called AWS re: Invent.
Given the breadth of services it offers, Amazon is expected to be a major force in the cloud for the foreseeable future. But with its market-leading position comes questions about how the company runs its cloud, who is using it and what the future holds. From outages that have brought down Amazon services, to questions around the extent to which the company is seen as a trusted enterprise partner, AWS users and cloud watchers are keeping a close eye on the company.
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Here are some story lines to watch at the show:
What will AWS and Jeff Bezos announce? (If anything)
Amazon is one of the most innovative companies in cloud computing, Gartner reports in its recent Magic Quadrant. The company announces new features almost daily on its blog. Some of these are small, such as adding a "big data" category in its marketplace for feature applications that run in its cloud, to more significant announcements like price reductions, new virtual machine instance sizes and announcing that Windows Server 2012 is now available to run in Amazon's cloud.
Does AWS have a big announcement up its sleeve for its first user conference? We should know early as Andy Jassy, Amazon's SVP for AWS, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels and Amazon czar Jeff Bezos are all slated to give keynote addresses on Wednesday and Thursday.