AWS re:Invent 2015 – It’s all about Enterprises

The 2015 edition of AWS re:Invent  just got over and as expected there were some very interesting announcements.  If you missed the live event like me, do checkout the session videos here.

The theme for this year was definitely “enterprise cloud adoption”, with many new services geared towards bringing enterprises to AWS, by specifically targeting the current incumbents in the enterprise cloud space.

Summarizing some of the key announcements targeting enterprise users and my comments on it:

Transferring Data to Cloud

One of the challenges faced by enterprises in migrating to a public cloud is data transfer from on-premise IT environment to off-premise environment.  Most of the cloud providers do have online and/or offline offerings to address this challenge. However, the offerings itself are often plagued by their own problems like high network costs, security issues, transfer times, procurement of storage devices for offline shipment etc.

Amazon announced an appliance based offering called Snowball to specifically address the data migration challenge. It’s extremely simple and straight forward to use it. Based on customer request, one or more appliances will get shipped. The appliance then needs to be connected to the local network for data transfer.

This is really a great offering from Amazon addressing a major challenge faced by enterprises today in their cloud adoption.

Consulting Services

Amazon announced formation of a new business group with Accenture to help enterprise customers adopt Amazon cloud.  The focus is more towards migration to AWS, creation of new applications leveraging AWS and leveraging analytics and big data services on AWS.  You can read more about this here.

This is significant since for enterprise adoption, consulting services plays a very critical role. Watch out IBM, HP, Oracle et al !!

Data Migration Services
Amazon announced a data migration service to make it easier for customers to migrate their production databases to AWS. The service supports homogeneous migrations and heterogeneous migrations between different databases, such as Oracle to Amazon Aurora.

I see this service primarily aimed towards moving customers from proprietary databases to open databases. This is good for customers who are locked in to proprietary databases and looking for an option to migrate to open databases in cloud.

Security and Compliance Services

Amazon Inspector, is a security assessment service for applications deployed on AWS. You can read more about the service here.

AWS Config Rules, is a service providing governance and compliance capabilities for AWS resources. Using Config Rules, an IT Administrator can define rules and monitor it for compliance. You can read more about the service here.

Analytics Services

Amazon announced a very fast and easy to use business intelligence service called Quicksight. It can access data from multiple on-premise or off-premise sources. For example, it can access data from Amazon services like  Redshift, RDS,  Aurora, S3 etc or it can access data from MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and flat files. It even has support to access data stored in third-party sources such as Salesforce.

I was not able to figure out how Quicksight will allow data access from off-prem sources. Currently, the focus seems to be data that is already in the cloud.  In the coming days, it’ll be interesting to see how it compares against the more matured offerings like IBM Watson Analytics or Oracle Business Intelligence service.

Amazon announced a service called Amazon Kinesis Firehose specifically loading streaming data from any application into AWS S3 or Redshift. The service hides all the complexity of scaling and managing the data storage backend from the application developer. The application developer simply needs to use the Firehose APIs to send the data.

This service will make it extremely easy for anyone to use streaming capabilities.

Amazon also announced Amazon Elasticsearch, a service to easily deploy, operate, and scale Elasticsearch on AWS.

Compute Services

Some noteworthy announcements on compute services were regarding soon-to-be-available EC2 dedicated host and EC2 X1 instances.

An Amazon EC2 dedicated host is a fully dedicated physical server on which you can run one or more EC2 instances.  EC2 X1 instances are instances with large memory primarily targeted for in-memory databases and computations.

These compute offerings will definitely help move more enterprise workloads to AWS.

With the new AWS service announcements targeting enterprises, there will definitely be heightened activities (new offerings, pricing etc) by other cloud providers. If you are a customer, you are surely to gain. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please do share them in the comments.

Pradipta Kumar Banerjee

I'm a Cloud and Linux/ OpenSource enthusiast, with 16 years of industry experience at IBM. You can find more details about me here - Linkedin

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