Amazon's Elastic Cloud Stretches to Europe

Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) is at it again, improving its bustling little bundle of cloud-computing services. Don't these guys know that December is supposed to be all about retail?

Yep, in the midst of the holiday shopping season, the e-retailer has extended the reach of its Elastic Computing Cloud overseas. The service has been running on a few American computing clusters so far, and now developers can choose to deploy their cloudy applications in Europe as well. Developers have been clamoring for this option, because Europe is a large and highly connected market. Local servers will always deliver snappier service.

The European servers start out supporting only Unix/Linux environments, with support for Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Windows lagging a bit behind. You pay about 10% more for the convenience of using machines a continent away from Amazon's home turf, but it's still pay-as-you-go. Run a server instance for an hour, pay for an hour of computing time.

Let me just remind everyone once again how incredibly relevant the EC2 and its sister services are to long-term investors. Cloud computing is still in its infancy, and behemoths like IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) are only starting to figure out how to share their massive computing infrastructures with small businesses and regular people everywhere.

Think Web 2.0 squared. Software-as-a-service on steroids. Outsourcing the hardware while keeping full control over software. Any day now, copycat competitors to Amazon's groundbreaking services should start popping up like the broadleaf weeds in my lawn, powered by virtualization packages from Microsoft, VMware (NYSE: VMW  ) , or Citrix Systems (Nasdaq: CTXS  ) . If I were a server hosting specialist like Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX  ) , I'd start working harder on my own virtual hosting products.

If Amazon doesn't make serious money from the EC2 platform in a year or two, I'll eat my jingly cap -- hold the salt.

Further Foolishness:

Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. VMware and Google are Motley Fool Rule Breakers selections. Amazon.com is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 793103, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/21/2014 2:38:04 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement