LightInTheBox.com, a China-based global online distribution company that competes with Amazon.com, announced Wednesday that it too witnessed record holiday sales over the past month. According to the company, it tripled its fourth-quarter sales over last year. LightInTheBox would not divulge any more financial information, but its executives were quick to note that Amazon's increase--16 percent--was substantially lower than that of their own company. Regardless, Amazon is still a much larger company.
Amazon CTO Werner Vogels recently revisited a post titled 'Eventually Consistent' , about building consistency models for globally distributed systems and the trade-offs required to process trillions of transactions. It's a little heady, but definitely worth a read if you are trying to figure out how to architect applications for the Cloud or other large system architectures.Whether or not inconsistencies are acceptable depends on the client application. In all cases the developer needs to be aware that consistency guarantees are provided by the storage systems and need to be taken into account when developing applications. There are a number … Read more
The right way to think about these figures is in Schumpeterian terms: With retail sales down across the board, whose businesses are being destroyed here, and what is the future of physical retail? Amazon is merely goosing this process along, of course, and may not even end up being a survivor.
Such is the nature of business: some people lose while others win. It's not exactly a zero-sum game, but it can sure feel that way at times.
While the Web … Read more
Amazon.com posted its biggest holiday season sales in history, the company reported Friday. According to data it compiled from witnessed sales, over 6.3 million items were ordered on December 15, its "peak" day, representing 72.9 items ordered per second. It shipped 5.6 million units that day, as well. Amazon shipped products to more than 210 countries and more than 99 percent of orders were sent in time to meet holiday deadlines worldwide. The Samsung 52-inch 1080p LCD HDTV with RED Touch of Color was the top-seller in consumer electronics, followed by the 8GB iPod … Read more
Remember Sony and Microsoft? No? Well, neither does the average Amazon customer.
According to a release sent out by the online retail giant Friday, the Nintendo Wii and all its accessories dominated video game sales during the holiday shopping rush and not one mention was made of Sony's Playstation 3 or Microsoft's Xbox 360.
"Nintendo Wii dominated the top sellers in video games and hardware, including the Wii console, the Wii remote controller and the Wii nunchuk controller," the release reports.
What about all its competitors? Have they somehow entered the realm of irrelevance?
I'm starting to wonder if they have.… Read more
Examples of architectures designed to run on Amazon Web Services are a great way to illustrate the necessary design changes and patterns associated with a cloud deployment methodology.
Soocial.com, a "one address book solution to contact management" runs entirely on AWS and uses some interesting technologies to make their service work, including RabbitMQ, an open-source implementation of AMQP, the emerging standard for high-performance enterprise messaging. (I've written about AMQP and RabbitMQ here, and here in the past.)
One of the most interesting things is how the architecture isn't dramatically different than it would be if … Read more
You can't always judge an e-book reader by its cover--or at least its model name. If you've been perusing gadget blogs in recent days you may have noticed that another e-book reader, the eSlick, from Foxit Software, has entered the digital reader fray.
The eSlick's claim to fame is that when it's released early next year, it'll be cheaper than the Amazon Kindle or any Sony Reader. Whether it will be slicker is another story, as a couple of bloggers have opined that it's not the foxiest looking reader in the world.
The eSlick, … Read more
Last week Oracle and Amazon Web Services held a webinar to outline how Oracle works on Amazon's EC2, including database backups to the Cloud.
Running Oracle on EC2 is not too thrilling, though it's likely welcome for many organizations. Oracle database licensing fees are similar to on-premises pricing with no immediate way to leverage an on-demand usage model. Basically, if you want/need to run Oracle in the Cloud you can. But you aren't looking at a huge cost advantage.
More interesting is the ability to run backups to the Cloud and take advantage of Amazon's … Read more
There has been significant discussion over the short life of the term "cloud computing" about how little it differs from concepts like managed hosting and ASPs. And there is some truth to these observations; if you really look closely, what are the key differences between EC2 and a more traditional managed hosting provider? Some would say multi-tenancy, self-service and pay-per-use (including billing and elastic capacity). With specific regard to EC2, I would tend to agree.
However, if this is the great "paradigm shift" of cloud computing, as offered by smart people like Krishnan Subramanian of CloudAve, then let me offer that these basic extensions to existing hosting models will be peanuts next to a shift that will create one of the most significant market opportunities since the explosive growth of the Internet itself. I'm not dealing in hyperbole here; I honestly believe that there is a clear evolutionary step to the cloud occurring well after stand-alone self-service clouds are mainstream (which they arguably are today) that will inspire massive innovation.
That game changing technology disruption will be the federation of disparate clouds, and the distribution of software, data and billing across commercial and private cloud boundaries. In other words, the introduction of secure, reliable workload mobility in an extension of the Internet itself--an "Intercloud", so to speak.… Read more
Installing an open-source enterprise application has never been easier. No hardware? No sophisticated IT department? No problem. At least, not if you use one of 38 JumpBox-enabled open-source applications, as it announced recently.
A rising number of companies offer virtualized instances of popular open-source applications, but JumpBox takes it a step further, deploying to the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service, almost completely obviating hardware and setup quandaries.
JumpBox offers small to midsize organizations a library of open-source applications packaged as pre-built, pre-configured virtual appliances through JumpBox Open, its annual subscription service. Public Amazon Machine Images (AMI) for 12 JumpBox … Read more