Amazon Web Services
410 Terry Ave. N, Seattle
Employees: 65,000 (Amazon worldwide)
Amazon doesn’t do anything small, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) is no exception. The cloud-based application hosting database, storage and other services the retailer began in 2006 has become so widely used that an analysis by DeepField Networks concluded that one-third of all internet users will access an AWS cloud site at least once during the day. It’s no wonder, as thousands of companies, including Dropbox, Netflix and Instagram, have made use of AWS to launch and scale their operations at reasonable cost, outsourcing and paying for the infrastructure services they use rather than making huge capital investments of their own. In providing these IT services to businesses large and small, Amazon has effectively leveraged its own large-scale data operations through convenient, developer-friendly services to create a new business model that seeds the cloud.
1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA
Employees: 94,290 (worldwide)
Two years after its launch, Microsoft’s bold entry into cloud computing has proven a rich and versatile service. Built on Microsoft’s established .NET technology, Azure integrates easily into Microsoft’s sophisticated set of developer tools, making it easy for companies like General Mills and LexisNexis to succeed in transferring key operations to the cloud rapidly.