Amazon Wants to Keep the Cloud Healthy

Photo by Taylor Vick on Unsplash
Tracking Big Tech through the lens of patent filings.

Amazon wants to keep its cloud networks from coming apart at the seams.  

The company filed a patent for a “network health data aggregation service.” In essence, the system aims to collect data relating to the operational health of a network in one place, allowing customers to more quickly locate and diagnose problems. 

Amazon’s system would offer customers a way to monitor how well the cloud network they’re using is working, providing “various levels of detail” depending on customer preference. The system will tell a user if a problem has occurred and what the source is, whether it be something that the user could solve on their end or if it’s a problem on the end of the operator (in this case, likely AWS). 

Think of it like this: You work at a software company that relies on AWS for cloud storage and computing operations, and one day you notice that one of your company’s applications that’s connected to AWS is down. This system may tell you if a problem has occurred on your own end, such as an on-premise computer going down, or if a problem happened at AWS, such as a data center outage. 

Amazon said that conventional networks are often not straightforward enough for customers to determine the root cause of an issue. “From the customers’ perspectives, various types of resources allocated for their use may sometimes appear to be “black boxes”, with few tools available for detailed troubleshooting or analysis,” the company noted.

Photo via the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

This topic may sound familiar to Patent Drop readers. Nvidia filed to patent a health monitoring system for secure data centers, which essentially runs diagnostic evaluations on different parts of data centers to make sure they stay up and running. And given that Nvidia and Amazon both make tons of revenue from their data centers, seeking to patent inventions like these only makes sense. 

Amazon has a chokehold on the cloud services industry with AWS. The company is the biggest cloud services infrastructure provider in the world, holding about 32% of the market share in the first quarter of 2023, according to CRN, followed by Microsoft Azure at 23% and Google Cloud at 9%. AWS’s reach spans 245 countries and territories, with more than 1.45 million businesses relying on its service, according to HGInsights

And its investments in the cloud business only continue to grow. The company announced plans in June to invest $35 billion in data centers across Virginia, with Roger Wehner, director of economic development for AWS, calling the state “a world leader in innovation and cloud computing.” 

With all the revenue Amazon has made (and spent) on cloud services, and all the customers relying on AWS to keep the wheels turning, making sure it can catch and fix them when those services break down is vital. (And AWS is no stranger to outages, so finding ways to address them as quickly as possible is likely top of mind.)
Plus, as the AI market practically grows more inflated by the second, so does reliance on and demand for cloud services, making the need for uninterrupted cloud access even more poignant for tech companies.

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