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Amazon cloud logs big bucks (again)

Andy Jassy, AWS CEOAndy Jassy, AWS CEO
Andy Jassy, AWS CEOAmazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services logged a profit of $521 million on nearly $2.09 billion in sales for the company’s quarter ending September 30. That’s up 78% from the year-ago period in which AWS posted sales of $1.169 billion (and a profit of $98 million.)

The new numbers put AWS slightly ahead of the $7.3 billion annual run rate that senior vice president Andy Jassy pegged at the company’s recent AWS Re:invent conference.

Amazon (AMZN) started breaking out Amazon Web Services sales numbers from the rest of its businesses in the first quarter, of this year.

As the third quarter numbers attest, this is a case of the big getting bigger. AWS, the most mature and the largest public cloud provider, is getting bigger even as competitors, most notably Microsoft(MSFT), are finding their footing.

In a public cloud, computing tasks are performed over a network of shared and distributed computing resources, rather than in the customer’s own data center. By contrast, in a private cloud, the customer has full use of dedicated (unshared) resources.

On the earnings call, Amazon chief financial officer Brian Olsavksy said the company will continue to churn out new AWS services, but cautioned that profit margin on that ubsiness will remain “lumpy and bumpy.”

While price cuts were not a focus at this year’s AWS Re:Invent, he said the company has cut prices eight times since April.

This story will be updated during the Amazon earnings call.

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