Pushing the frontiers: Amazon Cloud gets a mega AI, Machine Learning push

By: | Published: December 6, 2018 1:03 AM

The $27-billion cloud business arm of Amazon is pushing forward faster by investing in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

The company also announced eight new storage services and capabilities that will make it easy and cost-effective for AWS customers to scale their business applications quickly and massively.

There are many benefits of listening to your customers. The most important is the strong relationship you create with them when you learn about their problems and pain points that need to be solved. This is the only way to keep your brand relevant in a rapidly changing world. Amazon Web Services (AWS), the $27-billion cloud business of the world’s largest online retailer, seems to have perfected this art: Win customers hearts and thrive in the marketplace.

Amazon’s cloud arm is the market leader with 51.8% share in cloud infrastructure market globally, followed by Microsoft at 13.3% and Alibaba at a distant 4.6%. Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS, said, “We registered $27 billion in revenue and 46% growth (year-on-year) globally but I would say we are still in the early days—even in the US market that took the lead in cloud adoption.”
AWS offers over 125 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 57 Availability Zones within 19 geographic regions, spanning the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the UK.
AI, ML at the forefront

With competition ramping up, AWS is pushing forward faster than ever and raising the bar on the competition and increasing the value to customers. Last week at its annual conference, it announced 13 new machine learning capabilities and services, across all layers in the ML stack, to help put ML in the hands of even more developers. AWS introduced new Amazon SageMaker features making it easier for developers to build, train, and deploy machine learning models—including low cost, automatic data labeling and reinforcement learning.

AWS revealed new services, framework enhancements, and a custom chip to speed up ML training and inference, while reducing cost. AWS also announced new AI services that can extract text from virtually any document, read medical information, and provide customised personalisation, recommendations, and forecasts using the same technology used by Amazon.com. And, finally, AWS will help developers get rolling with ML with AWS DeepRacer, a new 1/18th scale autonomous model race car for developers, driven by reinforcement learning.

There is also AWS Outposts, fully managed and configurable compute and storage racks built with AWS-designed hardware, that allow customers to run compute and storage on-premises, while seamlessly connecting to AWS’s array of services in the cloud. “Our goal is to listen to customers and focus on what they want to solve,” said Jassy.

The company also announced eight new storage services and capabilities that will make it easy and cost-effective for AWS customers to scale their business applications quickly and massively. Plus, there is AWS Ground Station, a new service that makes it easy and cost-effective for customers to download data from satellites into AWS global infrastructure regions using a fully managed network of 12 ground station antennas located around the world.
India a bright spot

“The Asia-Pacific region has huge potential to write the next growth story for AWS, with India playing a key role in cloud adoption among both enterprises and the governments,” the AWS CEO told FE. “The business in the Asia-Pacific region is very broad and is growing very quickly. It is growing rapidly in China, India, Singapore, Australia and South-East Asian countries, he said, adding, “these are still early days in Asia-Pacific as businesses have begun picking up on cloud adoption, albeit slowly.”
In India, AWS is the pioneer in the start-up segment. In fact, a report suggested that over 90 of the top 100 start-ups in India run on AWS. In India, Amazon Internet Services is a subsidiary of the Amazon Group which undertakes the resale and marketing of AWS Cloud services in the country. The company which launched AWS Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Region with two availability zones in 2016 has seen strong growth in adding new customers in the region.

“India is a very important market for us. There is fast adoption of AWS cloud services across the country and that ranges from developers, startups, small-to-mid size companies, enterprises and education institutions,” said Ariel Kelman, vice-president, Worldwide Marketing, AWS. “The SMB sector is also an important area. We see this market adopting core workloads and building a digital presence.”

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