Amazon Web Services (AWS) has issued a rebuttal to yesterday's claim by Oracle that the videoconferencing application Zoom, much used in the pandemic lockdown, runs on Oracle Cloud in preference to the AWS cloud.

According to the correction, requested by AWS, Zoom has used the AWS cloud for back-office traffic for a long time, while using its own servers for real-time traffic. According to a Q&A with Zoom executives - forwarded by AWS - the service has moved a large quantity of real-time video-conferencing traffic to AWS since the pandemic struck, and has also placed a lesser amount of capacity on the Oracle Cloud.

Zoom on AWS.png
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Everyone wants to Zoom

"We use a mix of cloud technologies and our own data centers to help deliver the service and ensure that our customers are able to collaborate," said Zoom CTO Brendan Ittelson, in an online Q&A forwarded by AWS. "We do use services such as AWS, the Oracle cloud infrastructure, and Azure, as well as our global data center network of co-locations that we manage."

CEO Eric Yuan clarified this further, explaining that Zoom historically handled real-time videoconferencing traffic in "its own data centers" [presumably meaning equipment in colocation spaces], and hosted pre-meeting and post-meeting data on AWS.

"Our real-time traffic always stayed inside our own data center[s] for our paid customers," said Yuan, an arrangement which apparently went on for years (Zoom was founded in 2011). The story is similar at other real-time services such as Netflix - which handles back-office functions on AWS and streaming data on its own hardware at colocation sites.

During the pandemic crisis, Zoom had to move some of its real-time traffic to AWS, said Yuan: "During this pandemic crisis, every day is a new record. Our own existing data center[s] really cannot handle this traffic"

This meant that AWS spun up thousands of new servers for Zoom every day, he said: "Several months ago, Amazon really offered great support to us. Andy and his team offered tons of server size, and every night added 5,000 to 6,000 servers... a lot of servers to help us worldwide."

Zoom is also using Oracle, he pointed out, describing the company as a "great customer" - i.e. one which is using the Zoom services. However, the level of usage of Oracle is apparently less

"They also wanted to offer the support, and we tested it and it has worked," said Yuan. "So that is why we also added some service from Oracle cloud. So ultimately, our own data center[s], and primarily Amazon, and also the Oracle cloud, those three together to serve all the unprecedented traffic.”

DCD has contacted Zoom to clarify this from the horse's mouth.