Today’s meeting – Amazon Web Services “Startup Project”

I’m at Cooper Union, learning about the Amazon Web Services efforts. My old friend Mike Culver, one of the AWS evangelists, is on stage talking about it. Below are notes – in draft, with errors and typos. Just sharing what I’m learning, in real time.

Amazon – AWS was past the “experiment” stage 4 years ago. This is an ongoing business they believe will generate cash.
They’re running a contest these days. which will provide a winner a whole bunch of amazon web services credit, plus consulting/advice, and a potential investment.

AWS helps with the “undifferentiated heavy lifting” in implementing a startup’s tech plan – hosting, ops, load balancing, etc – basically the “web scale computing” of a business.

Virtualization is one of the best ways to scale infrastructure.

AFPS – Amazon Flex Payment service. Flexibility – you control which end pays fees, other scripting for behaviors, multiple payment services. Support for micro-payments. Can charge existing Amazon customers using their on-file info. – can setup expense tracking and payments, or IOUs.

Simple Storage Service – a distributed object store in the cloud. Put objects (files, but w/o the file system semantics) into data center- replicates across multiple data centers, multiple servers. Serious help with software downloads (Second Life). State – storing the state of someone’s web desktop.
Hanzo:Web – social web archiving – saving the web as an archive via S3 and EC2 as their web site and crawling.

EC2 – Elastic Compute Cloud – Full root access to a blank linux server. 3 Flavors of Amazon machine images. Public AMIs- templates to get running immediately. Private AMIs – customized ones. Paid one – set a price for yours and let others purchase it and use it.

Example of a Pentagon project- wanted 30k of Hardware for a prototype – did it on EC2 for $5.

Simple Queue Services – a distributed queue in the cloud – used for storing messages, or work flow. Example – can send off a credit card transaction, and queue waits for it, while your app continues to perform.

Simple App – uploads files to S3, acted upon by EC2, items held in queue if they’re not able to be acted on yet. If the EC2 is falling behind the queue, spins up more instances of EC2 and handles it.

Mechanical Turk – XML requests in a queue to be performed by people. Examples – Steve Fosset search, Mobile Phone application testing.

THe commercial side:
Standard licensing terms, etc.

First Client Presentation – Phanfare – hosted family images, video etc.
They’d like a reliability SLA not just a availability SLA,need phone support, Windows virtual machine support, peering relationships for hosting companies.

Max of Mogulus – a very cool video app – UGS to large video companies, live, 24×7 TV station. All built on Amazon.
They use AWS as an ECN (content network). – digital marketplace, video transcoding, providing music into Second Life, player in 2nd life that streams media and music via S3.
MUX:Video Transcoding – Any-to-any video transcoding. There’s an end-user version or an API based version for non-commercial use- but there’s a commercial model for hosted transcoding like a Video Transcode cloud using a Paid AMI (amazon image).

Announcing a new marketplace for foo/lib – a technical knowledge marketplace, announcing this now, today, at this event. They can now spin up different marketplaces with different niches, using EC2, and Flexible payment services.

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