Stupendous! Amazon Web Services is now a $17.5 billion business, with Amazon revealing its quarterly earnings details that confirmed AWS, its cloud computing division, as its shining star.
One that accounted for 73% of the net income Amazon posted as a while for the holiday quarter.
Expectation was high, with Wall Street looking for Q4 earnings of $1.85 a share on overall revenue of somewhere around $59.83 billion. The company revealed net income of $1.9 billion or $3.75 a share, on revenue of $60.5 billion.
This is up 38% from a year ago, though the fourth quarter earnings also got a boost from a tax benefit of no less than $785 million.
Getting down to AWS, however, is where things get really interesting.
Amazon continued to tighten its lead in the cloud wars, with $5.1 billion in sales for the fourth quarter of 2017. This is up 17% from $3.5 billion in the same quarter of 2016.
Overall, the cloud division had $17.459 billion in sales in 2017, and this was up a substantial 43% from the $12.219 billion in sales that Amazon had raked up in 2016. As impressive as this figure is, Microsoft Azure revealed a 98% revenue growth rate earlier this week, far exceeding Amazon.
Still, there’s more good news in how the operating income for AWS was up 39% from the $3.1 billion the company had to its name in 2016. It now came in at $4.3 billion.
Perhaps the more interesting thing here is that more than 54,000 databases from vendors including Oracle have migrated onto the AWS cloud platform since the company started offering migration services in 2016.
Further strengthening the Amazon Web Services business, which was the reason behind almost 10% of Amazon revenue across all of 2017.
The big question now is what kind of a performance we can expect from AWS this year.
That’s because while the world may be moving to the cloud, competition in this area is getting fierce by the month it seems. AWS still has a comfortable lead in this space, but competitors like Microsoft, Google, Alibaba, IBM, and Oracle are all jostling for position.
For now, though, there’s much to rejoice.
It’s been a good year!