Blog Post

More fun facts about AWS usage, this time from Cloudyn

Stay on Top of Emerging Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Last week it was RightScale, now it’s Cloudyn eager to share its new data about how real customers use Amazon(s amzn) Web Services.

According to a survey by Cloudyn and The Big Data Group of 450 Cloudyn customers — who all use AWS — here are the main takeaways:

  • Amazon’s EC2 constitutes nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of total AWS spending.
  • More than half of those EC2 users now deploy Reserved Instances as part of their deployment.
  • On-demand pricing remains the number one choice for most users — it sucks up 71 percent of all their EC2 spending.
  • The S3 Simple Storage Service is still the most popular storage option, although Glacier, the cheaper archival storage choice, is gaining momentum.
  • The largest constituency among the Cloudyn/AWS users are those who spend less than $50,000 a year on AWS, but they account for just 4 percent of total AWS spending.
  • Just 4 percent of the customers spend more than $1 million a year on AWS, accounting for 52 percent of total spending.
  • Customers who spend less than $50K per year make up the largest group of AWS users, yet account for only 4 percent of total spend.


Cloudyn is one of a half dozen or so startups that have made tracking, monitoring and managing AWS infrastructure their business. Competitors include Cloudability, Newvem and RightScale. And all of them are eager to prove that they can save their customers the most money by guiding their AWS deployment choices. Of course AWS itself is not standing still, building more granular monitoring and management options — including Trusted Advisor —  over time.


3 Responses to “More fun facts about AWS usage, this time from Cloudyn”

  1. Bill Strugger

    We are led to believe that the Cloudyn customers serve as a reasonable proxy for the entire AWS customers base. But applying the percentages in the bar charts in this article across the AWS customer population yields some strange results.

    Let’s say that AWS has 250K customers (AWS executives have said they have “hundreds of thousands”.) That number could be a lot higher depending on how you count customers, i.e., Is Heroku one customer or thousands?

    The chart says that 4% of customers generate more than $1M a year. That works out to 10,000 customers who generate a total of $10 trillion in revenues.

    I conservatively estimate $550M in 13Q1 AWS revenues. (This is 70% of the “Other” revenue bucket just reported in Amazon’s 10-Q.) The only way you can get the Cloudyn numbers to work is if you assume there are 7,050 AWS customers in the world – clearly not the case.

    The Cloudyn numbers work if $1M+ AWS customers account for 0.1% of customers, not 4.0%. And if that is true, then <$50K revenue customers, on average, spend only $134 a year which seems too low.

    • A very good observation :)

      Let’s get some sense of proportion. This data is based on 450 customers selected randomly from our customer base.

      Most Amazon customers are running 1 free instance, or at most, a paid m1.small. This demographic has no incentive to register for tools such as Cloudyn, and are irrelevant for the purpose of this discussion. These customers do not significantly impact neither Amazon load nor Amazon revenues. So the observation that roughly ½ of AWS revenues originates from large spenders (> $1M/month) is a correct one.

      Cloudyn is a cost management and cost-saving tool. Customers spending at least $100/month on Amazon have an incentive to save and are registering for tools like ours. This is much more relevant for Amazon and they represent a much smaller customer base.

      Therefore, I’d say all the statistics here relate to the customers spending > $100/month, and from these the 4% is probably not far from the mark. Indeed, if you take the whole AWS customer base, including all the free and almost free customers, then the large spenders are way below 4%.

      Obviously Heroku, from Amazon perspective is just one customer, spending over $1M.