November 29, 2012, 4:44 PM — LAS VEGAS-The inaugural Amazon Web Services AWS Re: Invent user conference opened yesterday, with 6,000 attendees making for a sold-out event. What follows are a few impressions of mine.
Lower S3 Pricing, New Cloud-Based Data Warehouse
The keynote by Andy Jassy, senior vice president of AWS, was impressive (and entertaining) for several reasons:
First, he announced a 25 percent drop in S3 storage rates, effective Dec. 1. Many people on Twitter said this is in response to Google's just-announced drop in prices. This is certainly possibility, and it supports a point I made a couple of months ago: We're on the verge of seeing serious commodity cloud price competition, and it's going to disrupt a lot of existing plans, both for enterprise cloud providers as well as for end users. This price drop isn't going to be the last one by a long shot, and users everywhere will benefit from the ongoing battle among providers.
As a side note, Jassy a short while later interviewed AWS customer and Amazon competitor Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, and Hastings (twice!) thanked Jassy for the S3 price cut, saying, "It will save us millions of dollars." Either Hastings is a great actor, or he really didn't know about the price cut before Jassy's announcement. Either way, it was pretty amusing to hear his live reaction. I can understand his delight, given the amount of savings involved.
Analysis: Cloud's Commodity Pricing Squeezes Service Providers, Creates Opportunities
Jassy also provided some humor when he talked up Amazon's approach to business: operating efficiently so that the company can prosper on low margins. He noted several competitors, not by name but by quoting their CEOs on how their profitability would improve as they improved operating margins, implying that this good news is achieved at the expense of customers. The funny part was that the quotes were styled in the design of the logos of the large tech companies from which they came: Oracle, IBM and HP.
By far the most interesting element of Jassy's presentation was the announcement of a new data warehousing service called Redshift. (It's not clear to me if this is the real name of the service or the code name for the early beta that is available now.)
News: Amazon Launches Cloud Database with Analytics Tools, Lowers S3 Pricing