To the average person, cloud computing must seem quite magical.
All at once, the cloud provides instant access to all of your data, photos, music, and applications, without you having to store any of that data locally. In fact, users can access the cloud from practically anywhere in the world, and across multiple devices and platforms.
Yet, this all happens without you actually seeing any visible infrastructure. With data now being created at record speeds, where the heck is all this information being physically stored?
The Rise of AWS
Even though you can’t see the vast infrastructure that runs the cloud, it does exist somewhere.
As today’s infographic from RapidValue shows, much of this infrastructure is owned and operated by Amazon, through its extremely profitable subsidiary of Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Here are the key stats on this dominant service that powers much of the internet today:
Amazon Web Services (AWS) quietly launched in 2002, and in a short time has been able to scale into the largest single player in cloud computing (IaaS, PaaS).
While it is a well-known name to software developers, AWS emerged on a more mainstream basis once its financials were separated from those of parent Amazon.com.
Even in 2018, AWS delivered most of Amazon’s operating income.
AWS By the Numbers
To understand the true scale of AWS, you need to look at the numbers.
- AWS has over 1 million active users in 190 countries
- AWS has 5x more deployed cloud infrastructure as their next 14 competitors combined
- Each day, AWS adds as much infrastructure as they used to run in total 7 years back
- Amazon S3 is designed to deliver 99.999999999% durability and scale past trillions of objects worldwide
- AWS partner, Netflix, accounts for up to one-third of Internet traffic during peak usage times
- AWS accounts for 41.5% of the public cloud market, bigger than Microsoft, Google, Rackspace, and IBM combined
Through incredible economies of scale, AWS has decreased its prices at least as many as 60 times since its launch – and despite this, AWS generated a whopping $26 billion in revenue for parent Amazon in 2018.
Ranked: America’s 20 Biggest Tech Layoffs Since 2020
How bad are the current layoffs in the tech sector? This visual reveals the 20 biggest tech layoffs since the start of the pandemic.
Ranked: America’s 20 Biggest Tech Layoffs This Decade
The events of the last few years could not have been predicted by anyone. From a global pandemic and remote work as the standard, to a subsequent hiring craze, rising inflation, and now, mass layoffs.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, essentially laid off the equivalent of a small town just weeks ago, letting go of 12,000 people—the biggest layoffs the company has ever seen in its history. Additionally, Amazon and Microsoft have also laid off 10,000 workers each in the last few months, not to mention Meta’s 11,000.
This visual puts the current layoffs in the tech industry in context and ranks the 20 biggest tech layoffs of the 2020s using data from the tracker, Layoffs.fyi.
The Top 20 Layoffs of the 2020s
Since 2020, layoffs in the tech industry have been significant, accelerating in 2022 in particular. Here’s a look at the companies that laid off the most people over the last three years.
|Rank||Company||# Laid Off||% of Workforce||As of|
Layoffs were high in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, halting the global economy and forcing staff reductions worldwide. After that, things were steady until the economic uncertainty of last year, which ultimately led to large-scale layoffs in tech—with many of the biggest cuts happening in the past three months.
The Cause of Layoffs
Most workforce slashings are being blamed on the impending recession. Companies are claiming they are forced to cut down the excess of the hiring boom that followed the pandemic.
Additionally, during this hiring craze competition was fierce, resulting in higher salaries for workers, which is now translating in an increased need to trim the fat thanks to the current economic conditions.
Of course, the factors leading up to these recent layoffs are more nuanced than simple over-hiring plus recession narrative. In truth, there appears to be a culture shift occurring at many of America’s tech companies. As Rani Molla and Shirin Ghaffary from Recode have astutely pointed out, tech giants really want you to know they’re behaving like scrappy startups again.
Twitter’s highly publicized headcount reduction in late 2022 occurred for reasons beyond just macroeconomic factors. Elon Musk’s goal of doing more with a smaller team seemed to resonate with other founders and executives in Silicon Valley, providing an opening for others in tech space to cut down on labor costs as well. In just one example, Mark Zuckerberg hailed 2023 as the “year of efficiency” for Meta.
Meanwhile, over at Google, 12,000 jobs were put on the chopping block as the company repositions itself to win the AI race. In the words of Google’s own CEO:
“Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today… We have a substantial opportunity in front of us with AI across our products and are prepared to approach it boldly and responsibly.”– Sundar Pichai
The Bigger Picture in the U.S. Job Market
Beyond the tech sector, job openings continue to rise. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed a total of 11 million job openings across the U.S., an increase of almost 7% month-over-month. This means that for every unemployed worker in America right now there are 1.9 job openings available.
Additionally, hiring increased significantly in January, with employers adding 517,000 jobs. While the BLS did report a decrease in openings in information-based industries, openings are increasing rapidly especially in the food services, retail trade, and construction industries.
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