Amazon: Coy About Containers

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Amazon (AMZN) likes to talk about its cloud computing operation, but usually has far less to say about about the data centers that support it. The company has been secretive about the facilities supporting its fast-growing Amazon Web Services operation, even when it added “availability zones” offering geographic redundancy. Amazon technology evangelist Jeff Barr once said he “has no clue where they are … they’re carefully protected.” It was only upon the launch of the CloudFront content delivery network that we learned any of the locations of Amazon’s data centers.

Amazon senior vice president of web services Andrew Jassy did an interview with TechFlash this week in which he talked up enterprise adoption of cloud computing, but wouldn’t say how many people work in Amazon Web Services. TechFlash’s Eric Engelman used the recent arrival of former Microsoft researcher James Hamilton as an opportunity to ask about data center containers. An excerpt:

Q: Will Amazon be looking more seriously at the containerized model?

Jassy: We’re going to look at a number of different — there a lot of different ways you can go with data centers and that will be one of several approaches we will look at.

Q: Does Amazon use containerized data centers now?

Jassy: We don’t disclose that.

Does Jassy’s inability to simply say “no, Amazon doesn’t use containerized data centers” mean anything? Only continuing intrigue about Amazon’s infrastructure.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. hmm is there any company using containerized data centers? apart from Microsfot? this week, Rackable acknowledged that they didn't get any sales of their ICE container product in 2008. I thought the containerized data center model was dead