During this talk, Chris Pinkham (former VP of IT Infrastructure for Amazon and current CEO of Silicon Valley startup Nimbula) shared his thoughts on the evolution of cloud computing and how its growth is changing the way we think about technology, infrastructure, and business. Chris is one of the world’s leading experts on Cloud Computing and is largely credited with bringing Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to life during his tenure at Amazon. Many experts consider EC2 as the largest public cloud on the planet. It runs on an estimated 450,000 servers and hosts notable customers such as Reddit, Quora, Netflix, foursquare, and iSeatz. Last year, EC2 was believed to be responsible for generating an estimated +$1.2 Billion in revenue for Amazon.
Chris Pinkham was born in Singapore, raised and educated in Britain and South Africa. Chris has co-authored a couple of patent applications: “Managing Communications Between Computing Nodes”, “Managing Execution of Programs by Multiple Computing Systems” Chris created and ran the first commercial ISP in South Africa, Internet Africa, which he sold to UUNET in 1996. The company, now owned by MTN, remains one of the largest ISPs on the African continent. Later, Chris joined Amazon.com as Vice President, IT Infrastructure where he was responsible for the company’s global infrastructure engineering and operations. While in this role, he conceived, proposed and, together with Willem Van Biljon, built Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), the highly successful public cloud service.
In 2006, Chris left Amazon Web Services and has since started a new venture with his long time friend Willem. The company, Nimbula, is focused on Cloud Computing software and is funded by Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners.