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In pictures: The rise of AWS

Amazon's rise is most apparent when you look at how its introduction of new products, services, and datacentres has built the infrastructure needed to support its growth

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Topic: Cloud
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1 of 3 Jack Clark/ZDNet

Amazon "other revenue" over time

This graph shows that since EC2 and S3 launched in 2006, earnings in Amazon's "other revenue" section have increased dramatically year-on-year with an accelerating growth curve that closely corresponds to datacentre expansion by Amazon and growth in the number of technologies and services offered on top of the platform.

Even if we take the conservative assumption of only 50 percent of the "other revenue" figure representing Amazon Web Services (AWS), the growth is impressive.

Data: Amazon; Image credit: Charles McLellan/ZDNet

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2 of 3 Jack Clark/ZDNet

Amazon technologies and S3 growth

Amazon has consistently added new facets to Amazon Web Services as it broadens the technology away from the commodified storage and compute options and into more complex areas such as the SSD-backed DynamoDB NoSQL database, or the agent-based storage gateway that hooks into private datacentres.

Werner Vogels, the company's chief technology officer, has said he wants "1,000 platforms to bloom" on top of Amazon and says the development methodology is to keep on building services so that every developer can find a home on the platform.

"The AWS developer ecosystem has always been very rich and we want to keep it that way," Werner wrote on his blog in January 2011. "Our goal is to ensure every developer's favourite platform is always available on AWS so they can stop worrying about deploying and operating scalable and fault-tolerant applications and focus on application development."

By introducing more services to the AWS cloud, Amazon has found a way to draw more types of data in from a broader set of applications. This is mirrored in the explosive growth of the number of individual files stores in its mainstay S3 storage service.

Data: Amazon; Image credit: Charles McLellan/ZDNet

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3 of 3 Jack Clark/ZDNet

Amazon datacentre growth over time

Amazon has continued to invest in datacentres to accommodate the growth of its cloud. As of 2012, the company has a datacentre presence in every major global region excluding the Middle East and Oceania. Its infrastructure is most heavily concentrated on the east coast of the US, though its Irish-based European footprint is growing as well.

Because each region can have multiple availability zones, which themselves can be entire datacentres or multiple datacentres, determining the exact number of Amazon facilities is difficult. However, Amazon's capital investments are growing each time it announces new regions, suggesting that the facilities are becoming more sophisticated, or are getting progressively larger. 

Along with its datacentres, the company has been cultivating a broad set of edge locations across the world. Recent industry speculation has focused on Germany as the next likely candidate for an AWS region and corresponding datacentre, due to the country's stringent data protection laws.

READ NEXT: Amazon Web Services: Rise of the utility cloud 

Data: Amazon; Image credit: Charles McLellan/ZDNet

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