Amazon Prime Day 2020 – Powered by AWS
As I like to do every year, I would like to share a few of the many ways that AWS helped to make Prime Day a reality for our customers. Back in 2016 I wrote How AWS Powered Amazon’s Biggest Day Ever to describe how we plan for Prime Day and that post is still informative and relevant.
This time around I would like to focus on four ways that AWS helped to support Prime Day: Amazon Live and IVS, Infrastructure Event Management, Storage, and Content Delivery.
Amazon Live and IVS on Prime Day
Throughout Prime Day 2020, Amazon customers were able to shop from livestreams through Amazon Live. Shoppers were also able to use live chat to interact with influencers and hosts in real time. They were able to ask questions, share their experiences, and get a better feel for products of interest to them.
Amazon Live helped customers learn more about products and take advantage of top deals by counting down to Deal Reveals and sharing live product demonstrations. Anitta, Russell Wilson, and Ciara curated Prime Day deals as did author Elizabeth Gilbert. In addition, influencers including @SheaWhitney, @ShopDandy, and @TheDealGuy shared their top product picks with customers. In total, there were over 1,200 live streams and tens of thousands of chat messages on Amazon Live during Prime Day.
To deliver these enhanced shopping experiences for customers and for creators, low latency video is essential. It enables Amazon Live to synchronize the products featured in the live video with the products displayed in the carousel at the bottom of the video player. Low latency also allows the livestream hosts to answer customer questions in real-time. And, of course, on Prime Day in particular, all of this needed to happen at scale.
In order to do this, the Amazon Live team made use of the newly launched Amazon Interactive Video Service (IVS). As Martin explains in his recent post (Amazon Interactive Video Service – Add Live Video to Your Apps and Websites), this is a managed live streaming service that supports the creation of interactive, low-latency video experiences. It uses the same technology that powers Twitch, and allows you to deliver live content with very low latency, often three seconds or less (20 to 30 seconds is more common).
Infrastructure Event Management
AWS Infrastructure Event Management (IEM) helps our customers to plan and run large-scale business-critical events.This program is included in the Enterprise Support plan and is available to Business Support customers for an additional fee. IEM includes an assessment of operational readiness, identification and mitigation of risks, and the confidence to run an event with AWS experts standing by and ready to help.
This year, the TAMs (Technical Account Managers) that support the IEM program created a Control Room that was 100% virtual. A combination of Slack channels and Amazon Chime bridges empowered AWS service teams, AWS support, IT support, and Amazon Customer Reliability Engineering (thousands of people in all) to communicate and collaborate in real time.
Storage for Prime Day
Amazon DynamoDB powers multiple high-traffic Amazon properties and systems including Alexa, the Amazon.com sites, and all Amazon fulfillment centers. Over the course of the 66-hour Prime Day, these sources made 16.4 trillion calls to the DynamoDB API, peaking at 80.1 million requests per second.
On the block storage side, Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) added 241 petabytes of storage in preparation for Prime Day; the resulting fleet handled 6.2 trillion requests per day and transferred 563 petabytes per day.
Content Delivery for Prime Day
Amazon CloudFront played an important role as always, serving up web and streamed content to a world-wide audience. CloudFront handled over 280 million HTTP requests per minute, a total of 450 billion requests across all of the Amazon.com sites.
Tracking Key Metrics
Amazon Prime Day teams used S3, Amazon EMR, Amazon Redshift, and Amazon QuickSight to help track key metrics in real-time during the worldwide event. Across 9 QuickSight SPICE data sets and 16 dashboards, there were 200K queries at P90 latency of 1.07 sec. and 100% availability.