ILM sent me to the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas this year. It was interesting for a number of reasons, but I did feel as though I were being pitched something quite a lot of the time, if I hadn't already drunk the AWS kool-aid that is. I'm pretty sold on the value-add of this service (for example, I use it for most of my new web projects already and will be transitioning old projects off of Linode soon).
I think it's brilliant of Amazon to have found a way to subsidize the infrastructure of their core business (i.e. amazon.com). There were presentations from many SMBs, but the largest were probably Netflix and Yelp. It's just a matter of time before the ROI for enterprise level clients makes it feasible to move everything to AWS, or possibly a competing service from IBM, Google or Rackspace. Walking around the expo space, it's clear a whole new industry around cloud-based services and monitoring is also emerging.
Here are some slides that cover some of the things I learned while there: