“Cloud is the new normal,” said AWS senior vice president, Andy Jassy. Then he opened AWS re: Invent 2014 with a plethora of new announcements. We’re thankful that AWS innovation has been moving at such a breakneck pace in 2014; they’re on track to introduce more than 500 new services/feature updates and, at the conference, announced over a dozen new capabilities.
Some of these announcements caught the attention of Global Solutions Architect (GSA) team members Bryson Hopkins, Pragnesh Panchal, Tobias Quaranta and Hayward Scott, who attended the conference. The following is a compilation of what they saw as major game changers.
“All in” enterprise strategy
One of the major messages at the AWS conference was that enterprises were going “all in” with the cloud. That doesn’t imply enterprises should put their entire data center onto the AWS cloud. Rather, “AWS is delivering more enterprise services and making them more user friendly,” said Tobias. “This is allowing enterprises to explore hybrid clouds.”
Many of the announcements centered on making AWS more automated, scalable, secure, and easier to use and manage. AWS Services Catalog, AWS Key Management and AWS Config are capabilities that according to Bryson, “enterprises have been chasing for years.” These features used to be expensive and hard to implement within the enterprise; now AWS is giving away some of these capabilities and simplifying deployment. In short, AWS is systematically removing the barriers preventing enterprise adoption.
According to Pragnesh, these announcements demonstrate how AWS “leads the market in bleeding edge innovation.” AWS customers Intuit, Johnson & Johnson and Major League Baseball showed how enterprise-ready AWS is by demonstrating its performance, scalability and security during Jassy’s keynote.
Many of these customers pointed to an earlier innovation, AWS Direct Connect, as a critical enabler of their hybrid clouds. Looking at our AWS ecosystem in Equinix global data centers, AWS Direct Connect, combined with the Equinix Performance Hub and Equinix Cloud Exchange solutions, give our customers direct access to a cost-effective aggregation point for long-haul networking and secure, high-performance, virtual connections to the AWS cloud, as well as other multicloud services.
Contain your enthusiasm
Hayward highlighted Amazon’s announcement of its EC2 container service, which provides tight integration with Docker, as “an important step,” and the other GSA’s agreed. The AWS EC2 Container Service allows developers to easily deploy and run distributed applications on a managed cluster of Amazon EC2 instances.
Applications deployed in Docker containers are ultra-portable and improve scaling, resource management and configuration distribution. For example, when interconnected via the Equinix Cloud Exchange, containers make moving applications from one cloud to another, or updating distributed applications among multiclouds, extremely consistent, fast and easy. Improving cloud-based application lifecycle management will help enterprises more easily migrate to hybrid and multiclouds.
Taking the load out of workloads
The GSAs collectively noted how Amazon continues to innovate upon its core EC2 compute and EBS storage platforms, enabling enterprise-class scalability by powering Amazon EC2 C4 instances with co-developed Intel Xeon E5-2666 v3 (Haswell) and leveraging its multicore, parallel processing capabilities.
With all of these new compute and storage services and a focus on enabling big data analytics in the cloud (stay tuned for more to come on this topic), Amazon has sent a warning to the traditional ISVs who are not innovating to increase agility and scalability and reduce deployment complexity and costs: We’re coming for you!
From our perspective, these innovations in increasing workload efficiency and performance are critical to the success of public cloud adoption in the enterprise. Especially when enterprises combine them with the ability to marry specific workload requirements to best in class public cloud services, using the multicloud interconnection capabilities of the Equinix Cloud Exchange.
One million and growing
Over a million active AWS customers and a 137% year-over-year growth, make it clear why AWS’ Jassy views the cloud as the new norm. In addition, with its focus on hybrid cloud, AWS clearly understands that enterprises want a happy coexistence between public cloud resources and their on premise infrastructures. For those enterprises accessing AWS within our IBX data centers, we can provide them a consistent, global experience with enterprise-class interconnectivity, reliability and security.