How are companies like amazon able to allocate so much hardware for cloud storage?



I’ve been working with amazon aws and I’m confused how amazon can possibly have enough hardware to handle all it’s customers and users. I was reading one of the benefits of cloud storage is that there’s no hardware maintenance for the user and no need to upgrade every X amount of years. Wouldn’t amazon run into the same issue? Wouldn’t they need to update their hardware every X years and wouldn’t it cost millions of dollars?

In: Technology

They hire the world’s best data center engineers to figure out how to make that happen. I worked at HP at one point when we were racking and stacking a dozen racks a day. Automation is really the key here.

Amazon has vast data centers it maintains so that users if AWS doesn’t have to. It has cost Amazon billions of dollars to build the infrastructure over the past 2 decades — a big reason why they weren’t profitable for so many years. But now that they’ve invested the time and money into building AWS, it’s a cash cow because of how few competitors there are on the scale they can offer to large customers and ease of use for small ones.

Amazon can afford it because of their scale. Amazon gets massive discounts on everything HDD CPU’s ect because they don’t order 100 HDD they order 100,000,000. Also look at the costs of S3. S3 is 0.023 GB a month. Lets assume Amazon used WD Gold 14TB HDDs. You can pick one up for about 460$ I’m not sure what Amazon pays bout I would say 400$ is totally reasonable it’s probably even lower. Including raid 6 on a 8 disk array lets you use 75% of the disk or 10.5TB. At the s3 rate this is 241$ a month. The WD Gold has a 5 year warranty so assuming it dies at exactly 5 years Amazon can make 14,490$ on a disk that cost them 400$. That is a profit of 234$ a month, for every HDD! This doesn’t even count your read wright costs.

This is where scale comes in. The other costs like the data centers and IT people can be spread out over all the Amazon cloud products so that maybe only 10 or 12 dollars of that HDD profit are spent on IT people and another 8-10 are spent on the data center it’s self.