Launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services is a collection of remote computing services that make up a cloud computing platform offered over the Internet by Amazon.com.
The services are promoted as providing a large computing capacity that is also faster and cheaper than building a physical server farm. The most important and well-known of these computing services are Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3. AWS’s offerings are accessed over HTTP, using REST and SOAP protocols. All services are billed based on usage, though how usage is measured for billing varies from service to service.
By June 2007, Amazon claimed that more than 180,000 developers had signed up to use AWS. Customers include NASA, the Obama campaign, Pinterest, Kempinski Hotels, Netflix and the CIA. Though AWS revenue is not broken out in Amazon financials, industry experts estimated it to be over $1.5 billion in 2012.