Cloud and Warehouse Theft

by Deepak Sharma on Thursday, October 20, 2011

Who knew Cloud computing can combat Warehouse Theft.

How Amazon uses big data to prevent warehouse theft

According to Henry, Amazon has more than 1.5 billion items in its retail catalog and more than 200 fulfillment centers around the world. That’s a lot of objects in a lot of places for the online retailer to keep track of. Keeping the most valuable items protected isn’t as easy as just putting the highest-priced products under lock and key. As Henry said, sometimes, due to limited availability or other factors, a lower-priced product might actually be more highly sought-after by criminals. There’s also the question of how big the cage is, how big the item is, how many items can be fit in each cage, and so on.

To determine which items are most likely to be stolen, Amazon stores the product catalog data in S3, which ends up having more than 50 million updates a week. The team spins up Amazon compute clusters every 30 minutes, crunch the data, and the data is fed back to the warehouse and website. At the center of the service is the new Elastic Map Reduce, a new hosted Hadoop framework running on AWS that lets customers spin up the equivalent of a supercomputer for processing big data.