Amazon.com’s CTO recently emphasized the benefits of accessing compute resources as services instead of having to maintain large, underutilized data centres.

Companies need to focus on differentiation rather than worry about data centres, said Werner Vogels, vice president and CTO of Amazon.com, during a presentation at the concurrent LinuxWorld Conference and Next Generation Data Centers events in San Francisco. Therefore, accessing compute resources as services is the way to go, he stressed.

“Most of this presentation is actually about how I hate data centres,” Vogels said. Investing in data centres is not what makes a company compete.”

Vogel’s vision of virtualization is one in which engineers do not have to manage physical resources. Resources are pulled to the problem when needed and released when not needed. In this model, demand is uncertain, and the system is decentralized, modular, loosely coupled, and people-centric.

Pitching Amazon’s own offerings, Vogel noted the company’s data centre services for third parties. These include: Amazon Flexible Payment Service, featuring Web services APIs providing for e-commerce payment services; Amazon S3, providing storage to developers and online businesses; Amazon SQS (Simple Queue Service) for storing messages; and Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), providing resizable compute capacity in the cloud.

With Amazon services, users can access a complete virtualized infrastructure on which to build a business, Vogel said. “You don’t think about data centres.”

At Amazon, the company offers an SOA platform. “You click a page, it’ll go to about 150 services. It’s a huge SOA,” Vogels said. “We know everything about running software as a service.” 070448