11 thoughts on “Will Amazon Become The King of Web Hosting Too?”

  1. Om, they’re missing a key feature for web hosting — index files.

    Suppose I put a website on S3 and map a domain to it:


    Try going there, you’ll get an XML error return.

    But… it does have an index file.


    All Amazon has to do is make the first URL work, which is how web servers work by default, and boom they’re in the web hosting business.

    Without it, all we can use it for is to store images, MP3s, JavaScript snippets, archives.

    I’d love to see them do it, then I could move my archived static sites up to S3 and forget about them.

    1. I think it is — but if I’m not mistaken, CloudFront is not S3.

      I’ve written a post about it on scripting.com so I expect we’ll get clarification pretty soon.

  2. The battle for developer friendly tools continues to accelerate. Apple and iOS set a new standard, one that everyone is frantically rushing to follow. The ultimate king of we hosting, be it AMZN or RAX will be dependent upon who provides the developers with the richest toolsets to quickly design, develop, deploy and manage applications.

    Presently, from everything I’ve been able to uncover, AMZN has a slight lead here.

    This being the case, I would not be surprised to see a series of announcements from RAX through the remainder of this year and well into 2011 as they look to stake this claim.

  3. Companies like RAX have a good strategy in dealing with the AWS threat. It’s something I predicted when EC2 launched, that they would threaten traditional hosters, and have spoken at a number of events to that effect.

    Unfortunately a lot of Hosters still have their heads down trying to sell the same old services and not innovating at all. Between Google and Rackspace and AWS they will really start to struggle unless they react soon.

  4. While I agree with Dave, I think it is matter of time before AWS puts their act in place to leverage the market potential that is coming their way. I would put my bet on AWS. I was skeptical about them even until the beginning of this year.

  5. Om,

    I think all amazon needs is to have a package which suits the ‘slicers and dicers’ that companies like netsol and godaddy do so well with, where you can buy a lump of space and carve it up. Amazon lends itself well to this, since it is already carved up, but the front end panels like plesk, cpanel all need to get added.

    Question is will amazon do it themselves, or will they just wait for someone else to setup a hosting business using there infrastructure (which is what most resellers have done).

    I had a look at the setup about 3 yrs ago, since any hosting company worth its salt these days would be looking at deploying a sw layer like amazons across servers in order to make maximum usage of their hardware…and I believe a few are looking at this market.

    Current problem with amazon is price, hosting (shared etc) which is still the most popular in countries such as India, is very cheap, you cannot do that with amazon, unless you can split it ‘base machine’ further.

    Iqbal Gandham
    (Past life building web hosting comps)

  6. Except that AWS is currently uneconomical for hosting web sites. Check out their cost structure vs any of their competitors.

    I know that GigaOM is in love with all things cloud, but the economics have to work, and here they do not.

    And, of course, the two companies you mentioned – Softlayer and Rackspace – have cloud as the engines of their growth, as evident from Rackspace’s K’s and Q’s.

    One last point – traditional web hosting is the least profitable aspect of the hosting industry.

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