With its big (and well covered) announcement yesterday that it will now provide fixed storage for EC2 instances, Amazon has opened the door for just about anybody with Linux-friendly applications to build a cloud-oriented business. Amazon's Elastic Block Store (EBS) isn't revolutionary in itself--lots of cloud vendors have had block storage for some time (see GoGrid, for instance). However, because its Amazon, and because they understand online commerce better than most, it's just became incredibly simple for an application to be offered in the cloud.
So sit back and enjoy the flood of press releases that are sure to appear over the next 3-6 months.
The core reasons for this go beyond just EBS. A combination of one or more Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), DevPay, EBS, S3 and Premium Support creates a "stack" every bit as important to the cloud as LAMP is to web applications. Create a standard image, deploy it in one or more standard EC2 instances, back it up to S3 and charge for it using DevPay. Support your customer SLAs in partnership through your Premium Services account, and you are every bit as solid a SaaS player as anyone else. Oh, and you likely did it without multitenancy.
Unfortunately its a wholly proprietary stack (built largely on open source), but its a stack nonetheless.
Why would any small or medium sized business with software they want to provide by subscription over the web choose any other option (especially given the success rate of start ups on EC2, as reported by Amazon in a recent post)?
There is, of course, another audience that should care about EBS and its effect on the market place: data center operators.
More resources on EBS: