The cloud wars explained: Amazon is dominating, but Microsoft and Google are striking back

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks at a news conference in front of a graphic showing the rise in sales of Kindle books during the launch of Amazon’s new tablets in New York, September 28, 2011.REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton The cloud computing market is dominated by some familiar names.  Amazon’s cloud service is its most profitable unit. Microsoft has pegged its future to its cloud computing businesses, leading to a very enthusiastic response from Wall Street. Google, too, is betting big on cloud computing as something that could be bigger than its advertising business. What exactly are these companies selling? Who’s buying it? And why is one company that wasn’t even in enterprise technology a decade ago — Amazon — beating the pants off everyone else? Here’s the state of play in the cloud game. Why everybody’s going to the cloud The most important concept in cloud computing is “hyperscale.”  To support their own websites and services, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google have all built a ton of computing infrastructure. Their data centers are vastly bigger — and way more efficient — than those operated by or could be built by most other companies. For years now, these giants have rented out some of their computing capacity…


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