Cloud provider says Outposts appliances generally available, launches Local Zones
Amazon Web Services (AWS), the largest public cloud service provider in the world, is taking steps to make it easier for organizations to continue to run workloads in or near their own data centers while keeping a fast connect into the cloud.
The Lowdown: At the AWS re:Invent 2019 show this week in Las Vegas, company officials said that not only are the previously announced Outposts appliances now generally available, but that the company also is addressing the need of some customers to get fast access to applications and data that are kept off premises or at the edge.
The Details: The announcements by AWS include:
> Outposts: The company last year announced plans to sell data center appliances outfitted with AWS services that would be installed in customer data centers and connect directly to their AWS environments, addressing the growing trend among enterprises toward hybrid cloud environments. Now Outposts – which can run such services as Elastic Container Service (ECS), Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), and Relational Database Service (RDS) – are generally available, with systems for VMware Cloud on AWS coming next year. AWS will use internal teams to install Outposts in customer data centers, though as demand grows, the company may also turn to systems integrators.
> Local Zones: AWS is deploying its compute, storage, database, and other services in places close to customers that need single-digit millisecond latency for their applications and services and that also want to continue to easily connect back to the rest of their workloads running in AWS regions. The company opened the first Local Zone in Los Angeles, with plans to create more in other areas in the future.
> 5G: AWS is partnering with Verizon to leverage 5G connectivity to connect the cloud more closely with mobile and connected devices at the edge in another nod to the need of enterprises for fast connectivity between their data centers, cloud environments, and the edge of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. Verizon will use AWS’s new Wavelength service, which is designed to enable developers to deploy AWS-based applications that need very low latency to mobile devices using 5G. Verizon will create small data centers that run AWS services near where it has 5G, enabling data at the edge to be processed more quickly. AWS expects to enter into similar partnerships with other carriers in the future.
The Impact: AWS is making these moves to address the rapid changes in the IT environment. One trend is the growing enterprise adoption of hybrid clouds; Flexera’s RightScale cloud report earlier this year found that 69% of survey respondents are adopting hybrid cloud strategies. Outposts is one way AWS is addressing this. Other cloud providers also are pushing into on-premises data centers, including Microsoft through Azure Stack and Google Cloud via Anthos. Another trend is the rise of the edge and the need to push more compute, storage, networking, and analytics closer to where much of the data is being generated, which calls for low-latency connectivity.
The Buzz: “When we started thinking about offering a truly consistent hybrid experience, what we heard is that customers really wanted it to be the same – the same APIs, the same control plane, the same tools, the same hardware, and the same functionality. It turns out this is hard to do, and that’s the reason why existing options for on-premises solutions haven’t gotten much traction today,” said Matt Garman, vice president of compute services at AWS. “With AWS Outposts, customers can enjoy a truly consistent cloud environment using the native AWS services or VMware Cloud on AWS to operate a single enterprise IT environment across their on-premises locations and the cloud.”
“In many industries, customers live in a hybrid world and they need insights and answers across their on-premises and cloud environments to simplify complexity and to accelerate their digital transformation,” said Steve Pace, senior vice president of global sales at Dynatrace. “With the launch of AWS Outposts, organizations have a seamless hybrid experience in how they build, operate, and manage their application workloads across cloud and on-premises environments. Like AWS Outposts, the Dynatrace software intelligence platform, powered by an explainable AI [artificial intelligence] engine, was purpose-built to support hybrid environments in a single platform and provide the same observability, automation, and intelligence regardless of the customer’s deployment model. Dynatrace’s software intelligence platform has been vetted and tested in close collaboration with AWS to provide a seamless and frictionless experience for our joint hybrid cloud customers.”
“As we continue to modernize our data collection and software, we want to create a containerized hybrid infrastructure and easily deploy using AWS services,” Morningstar CTO James Rhodes said. “With AWS Outposts, we can build once and run applications on-premises and easily migrate our applications to an AWS Region where possible. Ultimately, this allows us to accelerate the adoption of cloud technologies within our development teams, keep up with accelerating business and customer needs, and support our long-term journey to the cloud.”
“Customers are excited about AWS Outposts because it gives them on-premises access to AWS compute, storage, and database with the same APIs, control plane, tools, and hardware as they get in AWS Regions. But, for some of our customers, they either don’t have an on-premises data center or want to get rid of their local data center, but still have a need for some of their workloads to run locally given latency requirements,” said Peter DeSantis, vice president of AWS Global Infrastructure. “AWS Local Zones solve this problem for customers. They allow customers to avoid having local data centers, let them run the workloads in the Local Zone that needs to have single-digit latency to end users locally, and make it easy for these workloads to seamlessly connect with the rest of their applications running in AWS Regions.”
“We are first in the world to launch Mobile Edge Compute – deeply integrating Verizon’s 5G Edge platform with Wavelength to allow developers to build new categories of applications and network cloud experiences built in ways we can’t even imagine yet,” said Hans Vestberg, CEO and chairman of Verizon. “Bringing together the full capabilities of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband and AWS, the world’s leading cloud with the broadest and deepest services portfolio, we unlock the full potential of our 5G services for customers to create applications and solutions with the fastest speeds, improved security, and ultra-low latency.”