Books written by Ray Sullivan

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Amazon's Cloud on Fire

Amazon is a big company, and it appears it is getting bigger by the day.  They've just released data about their storage capabilty - no, their storage full stop.  If you look at the graph below you'll see that their storage trebled beween Q4 2010 and Q4 2011.    And we're talking about a phenomonal amount of storage here, up from 260 billion 'objects' to more than 760 billion 'objects

 Perhaps even more impressive, and masked by the non-standard way of graphing used, there has been a 140 billion increase in stored objects in the last financial quarter.  If that continues through the next three quarters then the total increase for 2012 will be nearly 600 billion objects extra.  If the rate of change, the derivative in mathematical terms, continues then it could be closer to 700 billion extra.  Which, if you look at the earlier data from 2006 onwards, is actually typical - from their relatively modest 2.9 billion objects back in 2006 Amazon have been at least doubling every year.  In fact trebling or more isn't untypical, so a total number of perhaps 2000 billion objects this time next year would fit the curve.

But what are all these 'objects'?  Well I guess they include stuff like my books, five eBooks as a minimum and I'm guessing they include the Createspace files too, so that's another five objects.  It's just my hunch, but I guess each and every revision, change of pricing and any correspondence I've entered into adds to the objects, in part or in whole.  I don't think my contribution will have made that much of a dent in the data but I'm clearly part of a new wave - who would have guessed so many people had a book or five in them?

However the real drive behind this cloud, especially the last quarter expansion, has to be the Kindle Fire.  The success of the device launched last November in the US must have taken the Amazon executives pleasantly by surprise.  One of the underpinning strengths of the Fire is the accompanying Amazon cloud.  It's there to provide a complete holistic environment for the device - sure it has a cross selling purpose, making it compellingly easy to tap into Amazon sales channels, but it also is designed to make the Fire more than just a tablet.  This is why it is outselling similar Android devices by the bucketload.  It's as close as you can get to the Apple experience where, with iOS5 leading the way, the hardware and software sum is clearly greater than the parts.  Whether Amazon will manage to catch up with Apple in these stakes remains to be seen - perhaps they'll be content to just be the leader in a slightly different race.

It is also the reason why the Fire hasn't popped up in the UK as rumoured.  We were expecting the device to arrive in January.  I suspect that the success in the US resulted in UK bound production being diverted to sate the US buyers, however I understand that extending the cloud to the UK and Europe is also proving to be a challenge.  Judging by the graph above, it's a challenge being  tackled head on by Amazon.  Expect that cloud to double in six months, and prepare for the Kindle Fire to be launched early Autumn over here, ready to establish itself as an Apple killer pre Christmas.  Late, but still very welcome.

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To find out more about my ancestors visit my sister’s website

Visit my books on Amazon (for Kindle owners) and Smashwords (for access to all other formats and access to Apple iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Sony, WH Smith, Kobo and many other good ebookstores.

Digital Life Form is available on in paperback for $8 (or for £5 plus P&P in the UK for UK readers - contact me on for details)

The Last Simple is also available on in paperback for $6.
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