AWS sees hugely successful quarter despite massive outages

Amazon Web Services logo
(Image credit: Future / Mike Moore)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has seen another record quarter of growth as it looks to cement its place as the biggest cloud provider in the world. 

During Q4 2021, Amazon reported revenue rose 9% year-over-year to $137.4 billion as net income leaped 98% year-over-year to $14.3 billion. 

For AWS specifically, Amazon said that revenue had grown 40% year-over-year to $17.8 billion in Q4. Operating income reached $5.29 billion, up 49 year-over-year. Both of these beat analyst estimates by considerable margins. 

Gold-plated clouds 

According to CNBC, 13% of Amazon's total revenue now comes from AWS, alongside a staggering 153% of the company's overall operating income comes from the cloud, partly because of losses in other segments. 

While Azure and Google Cloud have been playing catch-up for a while, AWS has once again shown the enviable position that forward-planning, hard work, and excellent timing has afforded the e-commerce giant.  

The success comes despite AWS suffering two very high-profile outages during the quarter which might have crushed any smaller rivals.

Back in October 2021, multiple outages took down large parts of the AWS network, with customers such as Facebook, Disney Plus, Alexa and more affected.

This was followed by another huge issue in December 2021, where seperate outages once again affected huge swathes of the internet, knocking many AWS users offline for several hours.

Elsewhere, Q4 2021 was also a strong quarter for Amazon's advertising unit, which wasrevealed as a standalone entity after long being wrapped into its Other category. 

According to Amazon, its advertising services generated $9.7 billion during the quarter, up 32% year-over-year. Across 2021, its ad products generated a staggering $31.2 billion. 

See more

When combined with AWS, Amazon's ad unit is a cash generating machine and can offset losses in retail, a famously tight-margin industry.

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.