Amazon web services' secret weapon

Interesting find by Starrob (from the amazon board) :…

It’s not unusual for internet and software giants to design and even make their own hardware, to increase efficiency and build a competitive advantage.

Google custom-designs its own servers, filling them with millions of chips from Intel, and announced in May that it has designed its own application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for use on neural networks. Facebook uses its own switches in its data centers.

But market-leading public-cloud company Amazon Web Services may have gone farthest down this path — designing not only its own routers, chips, storage servers and compute servers but also its own high-speed network.

“We’ve got, in the same company . . . digital designers working on (chipsets), hardware designers working on NICs (network interface cards), and software developers,” said James Hamilton, an AWS VP and Distinguished Engineer, during a keynote at the AWS re:Invent conference in November. “When you own the horizontal and vertical, we get to move at the pace we’re used to, we get the make changes at the pace we’re used to, we get to respond to customer requirements at the pace we’re used to. We think this is a really big deal….”


“We run our own custom-made routers, made to our specifications, and we have our own protocol-development team… It was cost that caused us to head down our own path, and though there’s a big cost (improvement)… the biggest gain is in reliability… we show judgment and keep it simple. As fun as it would be to have a lot of tricky features, we just don’t do it, because we want it to be reliable.”

If AWS were using standard commercial routers and a problem arose, “the most committed, most serious company would take six months” to resolve the issues, he said. “It’s a terrible place to be. So we love where we are right now…”


I’m not so sure I like the sounds of this with respect to ANET. It seems FB and AMZN are using their own routers. Who else is doing this and how easy is it to do?

Take care,