Originally Posted by luchog
Amazon Web Services is a cloud computing platform. It's the platform Amazon itself uses to run its ecommerce sites. Other ecommerce sites on the AWS platform are not "also Amazon".
I would argue by analogy to the container shipping industry, but I think we both know how that would play out. So the following trivia is presented merely as food for thought:
Container shipping companies typically own maintain two distinct equipment inventories: Shipping containers, and tractor-trailer container chasses (chassises?).
A shipping container is the big box as such. You probably know what I'm talking about, but if not, they're just a Google search away. The trailer chassis is a heavy metal I-beam, with road wheels at each end, and connectors to mount the container and attach the trailer to a semi-tractor for over-the-road transport. Both kinds of inventory are tracked by the shipping company. They have serial numbers, tracking numbers, various codes, etc.
Anyway, here's the relevant bit: Shipping companies regularly lease their idle chasses to each other. It's not uncommon to see a Hapag-Lloyd container on an Evergreen chassis, or a Yang Ming chassis carrying a Pacer Stacktrain container. We do not infer from this that Pacer Stacktrain is just another part of Yang Ming, even though Pacer is making use of Yang Ming's idle infrastructure. Nor should we, because it's not true.
Anyway, there are online retailers that do use Amazon's actual ecommerce platform. Levi's, for example, has an Amazon.com "storefront". Doing business with Levi's there necessarily means doing business with Amazon.com, in a way that running someone else's own ecommerce platform on AWS infrastructure does not.
And then there are other ecommerce sites, like Alibaba, that operate completely independently of Amazon.com and
AWS. I think. It would be hilarious if Alibaba is actually using AWS infrastructure to run parts of its ecommerce platform. However Amazon has been adamant about not decoupling the two business units, which is likely to deter major competitors who are unwilling to put more money in Amazon.com's pockets. (Even if they're not using Amazon.com's ecommerce platform. But even though Amazon maintains a close financial relationship between the two businesses, I'd stil not say that running on AWS infrastructure is the same as also being part of Amazon.com)