AWS can’t keep its new SSD-backed instances in stock

For all the talk about the scale of Amazon Web Services, even it has its limits — especially when the cloud provider can’t predict demand. It launched a new family of premium-processor-powered, solid-state-disked-backed instance types last month, called C3, and they’re so popular there’s often not enough left for everyone who wants to use them.


So, wrote AWS’s Jeff Barr in a blog post Thursday night, “[W]e have enlarged, accelerated, and expedited our orders for additional capacity across all Regions.  We are working non-stop to get it in-house, and hope to be back to more normal levels of capacity in the next couple of weeks.”

Not so long ago, such a big, rush order might have been good news for a server vendor, but times — and the economies of computing — have changed to cut out the middle man wherever possible. Now Amazon, like fellow web giants Google and Facebook, designs its own servers (among other data center gear), which means such a large order is good news for Intel, and whoever sells AWS its SSDs and builds its boxes.

On Thursday, rumors surfaced again that Google is working on its own custom chips, as well. Even Intel and other commercial component makers might be wondering how long they remain part of the loop in webscale servers. Or at least how big a part.