7 years ago

Amazon AWS Grows Bigger: What you need to know

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Amazon AWS getting bigger is a blessing for customers. It is a blessing because customers now have a wider range of services from AWS.

Businesses are moving their computing power and data needs to Amazon AWS, Microsoft, and other similar cloud providers.

The growth is exponential and it is exploding rather fast. Amazon AWS is putting up additional server capacity every day for its data storage and computing services. The added capacity is enough to power the company’s own requirements in 2005, when it was already earning close to $8.5 billion in revenues, about the same level of revenues that Fortune 500 companies earn. It is very apparent that the online retailing giant is investing a lot of money and infrastructure into its AWS platform.

Another proof? Amazon AWS is currently renting or owns more than 6.5 million sq. ft. of space to house their infrastructures. That is the size of close to 120 football fields. Amazon has been reported to spend more than $12.5 billion for content and technology expenditures in 2015, an increase of 700% from five years earlier. Amazon AWS is the primary cause for these expenditures.

Amazon makes more investments into AWS

Being such a moneymaker, Amazon AWS is expected to overtake its already gigantic retail business. And, as such, AWS is introducing several new services. This means that businesses using AWS will have more to choose from.

One of the most exciting new services announced during the Amazon re:Invent 2016 event held over five days in November and December in Las Vegas is the Amazon AWS Snowmobile. Snowmobile is a data transfer service that can help you migrate obscenely big amounts of data onto AWS. Each Snowmobile can transfer up to 100 petabytes of data. That is 1 billion gigabytes, making Snowmobile perfect if you want to migrate massive volumes of data onto your cloud platform. You can perhaps migrate your entire data center, video libraries and image repositories.

Snowmobile is lugged around on a shipping container attached to a semi-trailer truck. If you decide to use Snowmobile, one will be dispatched to your office or data center and AWS employees will be on hand to help you with your migration. Snowmobile will work like a removable network switch that allows you to transfer data from your data center very quickly. After you have uploaded everything, Snowmobile will go back to Amazon’s data center and your data will be imported into AWS S3 or Amazon Glacier.

Snowmobile guarantees that your data will be physically protected. It comes with a 24/7 video monitoring, GPS tracking, security personnel and even an escort vehicle. More than that, your data will be protected by 256-bit encryption keys.

If you have used AWS Snowball before, think of Snowmobile as a faster way to do that, in fact one Snowmobile handles about 1,250 Snowball transfers.

AWS also introduced three new deep learning and artificial intelligence offerings at the re:Invent conference, including Amazon Lex, a service that allows you to build natural sounding chatbots; Amazon Polly, which can read text in humanlike speech; and Amazon Rekognition, an image recognition and analysis service.

Then you have several new Amazon AWS services that touch on analytics.

  • There is Amazon Athena that is a serverless query service, which allows you to use standard SQL to analyze huge amounts of data that is stored on Amazon S3. Data query now takes only a few seconds, and all you have to do is select your data set, create a table and then run your query.
  • Amazon also announced the general availability of Amazon QuickSight, which allows decision makers to really dive deep into their data with easy to use and fast business analytics that reside in the cloud. QuickSight promises to cut your business analytics cost to a fraction of the cost of old onsite solutions.
  • And then there is Amazon AWS Glue, which is an ETL service that will help ease the migration of your data between data stores. AWS Glue is expected to be launched soon.
  • Aside from these new services, AWS also announced new features for its current analytics offering such as Amazon EMR and Amazon Redshift.

Similarly, new features for Amazon API Gateway have been announced. Meanwhile, AWS Step Functions is a new offering under their Application Services category. Step Functions allow you to coordinate the different parts of distributed micro-services and applications by making use of visual workflows.

On top of that, Amazon also introduced new features for Amazon EC2, Amazon EC2 Elastic GPUs, AWS Lambda, and Lambda@Edge, as well as a wide range of new instance types. New computer services from Amazon includes Amazon Lightsail, which makes it easier to manage or launch a virtual private server on AWS; and Amazon Batch, which allows data scientists, engineers, and developers to run up to several hundreds of thousands of batch computing jobs.

Furthermore, Amazon has announced several new features for Amazon Aurora and AWS Schema Conversion Tool.

New features were also announced for:

  • Amazon CloudFront
  • Amazon EFS
  • Amazon Glacier
  • Amazon S3
  • Amazon SQS
  • Amazon Work Spaces
  • AWS CloudFormation
  • AWS CloudTrail
  • AWS IoT
  • AWS Marketplace
  • AWS Mobile Hub

Other notable new services include the following:

  • Amazon AppStream 2.0 – Makes it possible for you to stream and share desktop apps. The service is device-independent.
  • AWS CodeBuild – A platform for building and testing code right on the cloud.
  • AWS X-Ray – Assists developers in debugging and analyzing general applications, distributed applications and those using microservices architecture.
  • VMWare on AWS Cloud – Run your VMWare workloads on AWS.
  • AWS Greengrass – A software that allows you to deal with connected devices, managing their local compute, data caching and messaging.
  • Amazon EC2 Systems Manager – Assists you in collecting software inventory, runs Windows patches, configures Linux and Windows, makes system images and other management tasks.
  • AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate – Gives you a managed Chef server as well as a variety of automation tools.

Amazon AWS getting bigger is a blessing for customers. It is a blessing because customers now have a wider range of services from AWS. They now have access to more solutions that may be perfect for their workloads. However, for businesses, this could mean added complexities that they might not be ready to handle

If you find yourself confused about AWS, or if you want to keep track of the latest features and services that are rolling out, then partner with Four Cornerstone. We can help ease your AWS experience and keep you on top of all the developments. It takes one call. Call us at +1 (817) 377-1144 today and find out how you could easily ensure that you are ahead with AWS!

Photo courtesy of Sean MacEntee.

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