Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Werner Vogels on Amazon.com, AWS and SOA

I am way out of date here, but I've just stumbled across an interview between Information Week and Amazon CTO Werner Vogels. The interview is from way back in 2008, but many of the things discussed are just as valid (and in some senses revolutionary) now as they were then.

Touching on a number of interesting bits of information about Amazon's architecture, the interview talks about how Amazon came to become the cloud computing 'thought leader' they are today.

Amazon have been doing SOA highly successfully for nearly a decade, and as demonstrated by their dominant position in internet retail (2009 revenues topping $24 billion and a market cap of over $70 billion at time of writing).

What particularly caught my eye about this article is how it aligns with my own views about what makes good SOA tick:

"It's not just an architectural model, it's also organizational. Each service has a team associated with it that takes the reliability of that service and is responsible for the innovation of that service. So if you're the team that's responsible for that Listmania widget, then it's your task to innovate and make that one better."
To me, making SOA work is more about people and organisation structures than it is about technology. Build the right teams and the technology will come. Focus on the technology and your organisation will just hold you back.

From there, Werner goes on to talk about how they evolved the AWS cloud computing platform out of their own need for highly resilient distributed infrastructure, and of course how they exposed this too as services. To put this in perspective, this 'spin off' is projected to earn Amazon over half a billion dollars in 2010. Not bad for a by-product.

Read the article. Even 2 years late, it's well worth 15 minutes of your time.

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