What’s been exposed, however, is how much Amazon Web Services (AWS), of which EC2 is a key component, underpins the Internet as we know it today. I’d even argue that AWS directly boosts the economy by allowing entrepreneurs to get even the grandest computing plans off the ground quickly.
The fact you pay for only what you use with AWS, with no upfront fees, is in itself extraordinary. Prior to AWS, companies liked users to sign up for lengthy contracts and charge fees that reflected what they could get away with, rather than what things actually cost. AWS doesn’t play these kind of power games.
Few tech companies openly discuss their usage of AWS because that would be like the wizard revealing himself to Dorothy. Would you trust a service that’s essentially a few computer science graduates in a rented office with little more than a good idea and a few Nerf guns? But that’s what a surprising number of tech firms are. Services with tens of millions of users can be corralled by just a handful of guys overseeing an AWS Web control panel.