AWS, the cloud arm of Amazon, would be a pretty successful business on its own. Today, the company announced it has passed $10 billion for the quarter, putting the cloud business on an impressive run rate of more than $40 billion.
It was a bright spot for the company in an earnings report that saw it report net income of $2.5 billion, down $1 billion from a year ago.
Still, most companies would take that for the entire business, but AWS, which started off as kind of a side hustle for Amazon back in 2006, has grown into a powerful business all on its own. With a growth rate of 33%, it's still growing briskly, even if it's slowing down a bit as the law of large numbers begins to work against it.
Even though Microsoft has grown more quickly -- in yesterday's report Microsoft reported that Azure was growing at a 59% clip -- AWS had such a big head start and controls a big chunk of the market share.
To give you a sense of how quickly this business has grown, Bloomberg's Jon Erlichman tweeted the Q1 numbers for AWS since 2014, and it's pretty amazing growth:
Amazon’s cloud revenue in Q1:
(Amazon Web Services)
Q1 2020: $10.2 billion
Q1 2019: $7.7 billion
Q1 2018: $5.4 billion
Q1 2017: $3.7 billion
Q1 2016: $2.6 billion
Q1 2015: $1.6 billion
Q1 2014: $1.1 billion
— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) April 30, 2020
In 2014, it was a $4 billion a year business. Today it is 9.1x that and still going strong. The good news for everyone involved is that this is a huge market, and while nobody could ever characterize the pandemic and it's economic fall-out as good news for anyone, the fact is that it is forcing companies to move to the cloud faster than they might have wanted to go.
That should bode well for all the cloud infrastructures vendors, even as the economy shrinks, the kinds of services these vendors offer should be in more demand than ever, and that means these numbers could just keep growing for some time.