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AWS shakes off outages with 40% surge in revenue

However, analysts warn the cloud giant should be wary of the 'impressive growth' of Microsoft and Google

Adam Selipskey takes the stage for his AWS Re:Invest keynote

Amazon Web Services (AWS) reported 40% revenue growth year-on-year despite enduring a quarter marred by outages. 

The cloud arm of Amazon generated $17.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021, once again boosting the overall earnings of its parent company. 

The online retail giant reported profits of $14.32 billion on Thursday with sales up 24%. However, almost 13% of Amazon's total revenue came from AWS and 153% of its overall operating income has been attributed to cloud services. 

"On the growth rate, I think it's a combination of things. We've been adding resources in sales and marketing over the last two years, and that is starting to pay off," Brian Olsavsky, Amazon's finance chief, said during a conference call with analysts.

Its continued growth is all the more impressive considering the service was shaken by major outages over the fourth quarter. Each became headline news around the world because they the dominance of AWS and the risks associated with having so many services reliant on a single cloud vendor. 

However, while AWS still accounts for a third of the worldwide market it should be looking over its shoulder at the "truly impressive growth" of Microsoft and Google Cloud, according to SRG Research's chief analyst John Dale.

"It has taken Microsoft 18 quarters to double its market share, which has now passed the 21% mark," Dale told IT Pro. "Despite a relatively late start, Google too is now accelerating the pace of its cloud activities. Its market share remains at less than half that of Microsoft, but it continues to post some strong growth numbers." 

While Google Cloud is mopping up market share, the service is still some way off profitability, with the business posting a loss of  $3.1 billion for 2021.

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