Showing posts with label AWS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AWS. Show all posts

Thursday, February 1, 2018

AWS hit revenue of $5.113 billion in Q4, up 45% yoy

Revenues for Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Q4 2017 reached $5.113 billion, up 45% yoy. Operating income for AWS amounted to $1.354 billion, up 46% yoy, as disclosed in Amazon's quarterly financial report.

Amazon cited a laundry list of milestones for the quarter:

  • Newly announced enterprise customers going all-in on AWS include Expedia, Ellucian, and DigitalGlobe. The Walt Disney Company and Turner named AWS their preferred public cloud provider; Symantec will leverage AWS as its strategic infrastructure provider for the vast majority of its cloud workloads; Expedia, Intuit, the National Football League (NFL), Capital One, DigitalGlobe, and Cerner announced they’ve chosen AWS for machine learning and artificial intelligence; and Bristol-Myers Squibb, Honeywell, Experian, FICO, Insitu, LexisNexis, Sysco, Discovery Communications, Dow Jones, and Ubisoft kicked off major new moves to AWS.
  • In Q4, AWS launched a new region in France and a second AWS Region in China. AWS plans to open 12 more Availability Zones across four regions (Bahrain, Hong Kong, Sweden, and a second GovCloud Region in the U.S.) between now and early 2019. AWS now operates 52 Availability Zones across 18 infrastructure regions globally.
  • AWS released 497 significant new services and features in the fourth quarter, bringing the total number of launches in 2017 to 1,430.
  • AWS launched EC2 P3 instances which are optimized for machine learning and high performance computing — providing up to six times better performance than any other GPU instances available in the cloud today. 
  • AWS introduced four Artificial Intelligence (AI) services that allow developers to build applications that emulate human-like cognition: Amazon Transcribe for converting speech to text; Amazon Translate for translating text between languages; Amazon Comprehend for understanding relationships and finding insights within text; and Amazon Rekognition Video, a deep-learning powered video analysis service that tracks people, detects activities, and recognizes objects, celebrities, and inappropriate content.
  • AWS launched AWS DeepLens, a deep-learning enabled wireless video camera that pairs an HD camera developer kit with a set of sample projects to help developers learn machine learning concepts, including computer vision and deep learning.
  • AWS announced two new container capabilities that make it easier to deploy, manage, and scale container workloads on AWS. Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS) brings Kubernetes to AWS as a fully managed service, enabling customers to run Kubernetes applications on AWS without the need to become experts in operating Kubernetes clusters. AWS also introduced AWS Fargate that allows customers to launch and run containers without provisioning or managing servers or clusters.
  • AWS announced AWS Media Services, a family of five integrated broadcast-quality media services that make it easy for video providers of all kinds to create reliable, flexible, and scalable video offerings in the cloud. These five services enable customers to build end-to-end workflows for both live and on-demand video with the professional features, image quality, and reliability needed to deliver premium video experiences to viewers across a multitude of devices. By combining the proven video solutions from AWS Elemental with the security, durability, availability, and scalability of AWS, video providers can focus on innovating and making great content instead of spending time building and maintaining on-premises video infrastructure.
  • AWS and VMware announced that VMware Cloud on AWS is expanding availability from the U.S. West (Oregon) region to include the AWS U.S. East (N. Virginia) region. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A big win for Amazon - Comcast names AWS its preferred public cloud provider

Comcast Cable named AWS as its preferred public cloud infrastructure provider.

Comcast’s primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal, are currently running workloads on AWS.

Comcast Cable plans to migrate additional workloads onto AWS infrastructure to build new applications on the platform.  One example is Comcast's X1 Platform and voice-control technology which lets users talk into the remote control to select content.

“For industry leaders like Comcast Cable, the quest to anticipate and exceed consumers’ media and entertainment needs is never-ending,” said Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS. “Comcast Cable’s goal has always been to stay a step ahead of the competition. In order to do that, they wanted solutions that were agile, flexible and ready for what’s next. Together, AWS and Comcast Cable collaborated to enable them to confidently move core business workloads, build new applications with ease, and gain the agility they required by using AWS.”

Thursday, January 4, 2018

AWS Direct Connect adds ten more locations worldwide

AWS announced ten more locations where its Direct Connect service is available. AWS Direct Connect provides secure 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps connections from inside a colocation data center or from a service provider.

Here are the latest AWS Direct Connect locations:


  • Bangalore, India – NetMagic DC2 – Asia Pacific (Mumbai).
  • Cape Town, South Africa – Teraco Ct1 – EU (Ireland).
  • Johannesburg, South Africa – Teraco JB1 – EU (Ireland).
  • London, UK – Telehouse North Two – EU (London).
  • Miami, Florida, US – Equinix MI1 – US East (Northern Virginia).
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota, US – Cologix MIN3 – US East (Ohio)
  • Ningxia, China – Shapotou IDC – China (Ningxia).
  • Ningxia, China – Industrial Park IDC – China (Ningxia).
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Equinix RJ2– South America (São Paulo).
  • Tokyo, Japan – AT Tokyo Chuo – Asia Pacific (Tokyo).



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

AWS activates new region in Paris, its 18th globally

Amazon Web Services activated AWS EU (Paris) Region, its 18th infrastructure zone globally for a total of 49 availability zones, and its fourth region in Europe, joining existing regions in Germany, Ireland, and the UK. The new AWS EU (Paris) Region offers three Availability Zones.

AWS Regions are comprised of Availability Zones, which refer to technology infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting availability, yet near enough for business continuity applications that require a rapid failover. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security, and is connected to national backbone networks via local telecom carriers’ high-speed fiber-optic networks

For data sovereignty concerns, the new AWS EU (Paris) Region will ensure that corporate data is stored in France and will not move unless the customer moves it. AWS also operates three Edge Network Locations in Paris and one in Marseille.

By early 2019, AWS expects to activate another 12 Availability Zones and four regions in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, Sweden, and a second AWS GovCloud Region.

“For over a decade, AWS has been supporting French builders and entrepreneurs, in enterprises and startups, on their quest to reinvent and evolve their customer’s experiences,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, Inc. “We have tens of thousands of French customers using AWS from regions outside of France, but we’ve heard them loud and clear and are excited to deliver them an AWS Region in France, so they can easily operate their most latency-sensitive workloads or house any data that needs to reside on French soil.”

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

AWS partners with Ningxia Western Cloud Data for 2nd data center region in China

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has formed a strategic partnership with Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology Co. Ltd. (NWCD).

AWS will use data centers and cloud infrastructure operated by NWCD to launch AWS China (Ningxia) Region, its second cloud region in China. NWCD operates and provides services from the AWS China (Ningxia) Region in full compliance with Chinese regulations.

The AWS China (Ningxia) Region, operated by NWCD, offers two Availability Zones at launch. AWS Regions are comprised of Availability Zones, which refer to technology infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting availability, yet near enough for business continuity applications that require rapid failover. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security, and is connected to national backbone networks via local telecom carriers’ high-speed fiber-optic networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can architect their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones or across both AWS China Regions to achieve even higher fault-tolerance.

AWS China (Beijing) Region is already in service and operated by Sinnet. The company said it already has thousands of active customers using its cloud services in Beijing.

The expansion to NingXia marks the seventh AWS region in Asia Pacific (Beijing, Mumbai, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo). AWS now provides 46 Availability Zones across 17 technology infrastructure regions globally, with announced plans for another 15 Availability Zones across five AWS Regions in Bahrain, France, Hong Kong SAR, Sweden, and the US.

“Together with our partner NWCD, and with deep appreciation of the support we’ve received from the Zhongwei municipal government and Ningxia government, we’re excited to announce the launch of the AWS China (Ningxia) Region, operated by NWCD. The second AWS Region in China is part of AWS’s ongoing commitment to offer best-in-class cloud technologies to Chinese customers,” said Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS. “For years, AWS and our partners have had an enthusiastic base of customers in China, a country with one of the world’s largest and most dynamic cloud ecosystems. Our customers build their businesses on AWS because in addition to being the world’s largest cloud, it has more functionality than any other cloud platform, an extensive partner community, and unmatched maturity, security, and performance.”

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

VeloCloud offers Seamless Addition of SD-WAN to AWS

VeloCloud Networks' Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN is enhancing the ability for enterprises to connect to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Specifically, VeloCloud is leveraging AWS to offer a range of flexible deployment options for customers, including topology designs that require minimal changes to their existing networks. Enterprises now have the flexibility of including Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) as a part of VPN, either through globally distributed VeloCloud hosted Gateways and existing VPN hubs on AWS, or by deploying Virtual VeloCloud Edges on AWS. These solutions eliminate tunnel complexity and deliver security for both Internet only and Hybrid sites. Additionally, Service Providers or partners can host multi-tenant VeloCloud Partner Gateways on AWS for secure and reliable access to their hosted applications.

“VeloCloud SD-WAN has, from the beginning, been characterized by powerful optimization, performance and security capabilities combined with unmatched flexibility and simplicity for implementation and management of enterprise WAN,” said Steve Woo, VP of Products and Co-Founder of VeloCloud Networks. “The increasing integration of VeloCloud SD-WAN with AWS together with the uniquely flexible deployment options further differentiates our solution in the market.”

VMware to acquire VeloCloud for SD-WAN

VMware agreed to acquire VeloCloud Networks, a start-up offering SD-WAN technology for enterprises and service providers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

VeloCloud, which is based in Mountain View, California, says its SD-WAN solution is distinguished by supporting data plane services in the cloud, in addition to on-premise deployments; enabling policy-based access to cloud and data center applications. VeloCloud SD-WAN includes: a choice of public, private or hybrid cloud network for enterprise-grade connection to cloud and enterprise applications; branch office enterprise appliances and optional data center appliances; software-defined control and automation; and virtual services delivery. The solution aggregates multiple access lines (cable modem, DSL, LTE) into a single secure connection that is defined and controlled in the cloud.

VeloCloud was founded in 2013. The company is headed by Sanjay Uppal, who previously ran OnMobile Global.  He also spent time at Citrix through the acquisition he negotiated with Caymas where he was President and CEO. At Citrix, he defined the product strategy and go to market for the Access Management, Delivery Controller and WAN acceleration product lines.  VeloCloud co-founders also include Ajit Mayya (previously Sr. Director of Engineering in the Cloud and Infrastructure Management division of VMware) and Steve Woo (previously head of cloud strategy at Aerohive Networks).

VMware said the VeloCloud acquisition will enable it to build on the success of its NSX network virtualization platform to address end-to-end automation, application continuity, branch transformation and security from data center to cloud to edge.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The AWS rocket continues its ascent

The annual AWS re:Invent 2017 conference in Las Vegas provided a big stage for the world’s biggest cloud company and maybe 40,00o of its best friends, customers, and erstwhile ecosystem partners whose business models have not yet been subsumed by the power that is Amazon.

Andy Jassy, who heads Amazon Web Services, is certainly setting high ambitions and at the same time boasting of the substantial lead the company is building over Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and especially Oracle, which still fancies itself a close competitor despite lacking the hyperscale data centers that the top three competitors are assembling worldwide.

Like many keynotes, Jassy’s three-hour presentation on Wednesday introduced a new set of marquee customers who are in the process of migrating their IT infrastructure into the AWS embrace.  Some big names include Expedia, the National Football League, and Disney, which has long been using AWS for various cloud workloads but which has now designated AWS as its preferred public cloud infrastructure provider.

As for ecosystems partners, everyone wants to jump on this wagon. Amazon Marketplace network security partners highlighted during the keynote included Cisco, Juniper, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, Barracuda, Trend Micro, Sophos, Tenable, F5 and Imperva.  AWS also recently announced Symantec as another key partner – one who is going “all in” by moving workloads to the AWS infrastructure. But beware! AWS recently launched its own security monitoring service – just like how it is now offering a deep set of video encoding services under its own label. Will this become a recurring pattern? First, encourage a wide ecosystem but then introduce your own service?

Here’s a few of the recent AWS service launches:

Amazon Neptune – a new graph database service that spurs insights from relationships among highly connected datasets. The core of Amazon Neptune is a purpose-built, high-performance graph database engine optimized for storing billions of relationships and querying the graph with milliseconds of latency.  The service is delivered as a fully managed database and runs within an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, enabling data in transit and at rest to be encrypted.

AWS Fargate – a new way to deploy containers on AWS. Fargate is like EC2 but instead of a virtual machine you get a container. Fargate uses existing ECS primitives, APIs, and AWS integrations. Fargate provides native integrations with Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), Amazon CloudWatch and load balancers.

Amazon Time Sync Service – this is a time synchronization service delivered over Network Time Protocol (NTP) which uses a fleet of redundant satellite-connected and atomic clocks in each region to deliver a highly accurate reference clock. AWS will provide this service at no additional charge in all public AWS regions to all instances running in a VPC.

Amazon FreeRTOS -  an IoT microcontroller operating system that simplifies development, security, deployment, and maintenance of microcontroller-based edge devices. Amazon FreeRTOS extends the FreeRTOS kernel, a popular real-time operating system, with libraries that enable local and cloud connectivity, security, and (coming soon) over-the-air updates.

AWS IoT Analytics - a fully managed service that provides analysis of data collected from IoT devices

Amazon Translate - a neural machine translation service that uses machine learning to provide fast language translation of text-based content and enable the development of applications that provide multilingual user experiences. The service is currently in preview and can be used to translate text to and from English and the supported languages.

Amazon Transcribe - an automatic speech recognition (ASR) service that lets developers add speech to text capabilities to their applications.

One other footnote:

  • Equinix announced the extension of direct, private connectivity to the AWS Direct Connect service to four additional data centers in Helsinki, Madrid, Manchester and Toronto, bringing 

In his keynote address,  Amazon CTO Werner Vogels talked about how AWS is democratizing access to next gen technologies especially machine learning and AI. Amazon is certainly bringing down the cost of centralized processing and storage by leveraging the power of scale and extreme efficiencies.
Democratizing is a tricky adverb as it implies a feeling of egalitarianism, or at least that the outcome will be for the public good. Too soon to say that, but cleary Vogels has an ambition to make cloud services more human-centric.

AWS is quickly moving up the stack to support image and speech processing as the cloud-enabled GUI for next gen applications. There is an urgency to "liberate" workloads, meaning to decouple workloads from on-premise servers so that they will flow seamlessly onto the AWS cloud. In terms of market dominance, AWS has released a steady stream of Fortune 500 enterprises declaring them to be "the preferred cloud infrastructure provider." The company is now claiming a 44.1 percent share of the global cloud market, compared to its next nearest competitor -Microsoft -at 7.3 percent.

A few notes:

New GPU-powered EC2 instances -- the new P3 instances offer up to eight NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs and are designed to handle compute-intensive machine learning, deep learning, computational fluid dynamics, computational finance, seismic analysis, molecular modeling, and genomics workloads.Each of the NVIDIA GPUs is packed with 5,120 CUDA cores and another 640 Tensor cores and can deliver up to 125 TFLOPS of mixed-precision floating point, 15.7 TFLOPS of single-precision floating point, and 7.8 TFLOPS of double-precision floating point.

Amazon Rekognition Image -- a cloud service that uses deep learning to provide scalable image recognition and analysis. It leverages deep learning techniques to build and integrate object and scene detection, real-time facial recognition, celebrity recognition, image moderation, as well as, text recognition into applications and systems. Amazon developed the service by using its archives of its own Prime Photos to analyze billions of images each day. Examples shown included large scale facial recognition to identify faces in a crowd by comparing to social media sources.

Caltech - AWS is forming a research partnership with Caltech focused on AI, data science, and machine learning. Researchers from the Computing and Mathematical Sciences (CMS) and Electrical Engineering (EE) departments at Caltech will use the AWS Cloud (including Nvidia GPU instances) to train deep neural networks using open source projects like Apache MXNet. Of course, Amazon will bring financial support.

AWS Cloud9 - a web-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for writing, running, and debugging code. Cloud9 was developed by a start-up of the same time, which Amazon acquired last year. It supports multiple programming languages, including Javascript, Python, and PHP. AWS expects Cloud9 to provide a seamless experience for working with serverless applications.

AT&T and AWS are working on a cellular LTE-M Button that utilizes the newly announced AWS IoT 1-Click service. The idea is for enterprises and developers to integrate their operations/workflows with AWS IoT, AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) and many other AWS solutions. For example, pressing the button could trigger the order of office supplies or the submission of a customer service request.  AT&T will offer the LTE-M button at $29 for the first 5,000 units. The button will be released in early 2018. Prices will be higher after that. This will help in scaling IoT. It also appears to tweak the business model a bit. Apparently, no data charges? No monthly charges? The click of a button obviously does not put a strain on the LTE network. If the battery is fixed, perhaps the expectation is that the button will function for 48 months and then deactivate itself when the battery dies.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

AWS PrivateLink now extends to 3rd party SaaS apps

Earlier this month, Amazon Web Services introduced the ability for customers to access AWS services over AWS PrivateLink. Now AWS is extending PrivateLink to let users access third-party SaaS applications from their Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) without exposing their VPC to the public Internet. Traffic stays within the AWS network, reducing threat vectors such as “brute force” and distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Services supported on AWS PrivateLink are delivered using private IP connectivity and security groups, and function like services that are hosted directly on a customer’s private network.

AWS PrivateLink also lets users connect services across different accounts and VPCs within their own organizations, significantly simplifying their internal network architecture.

AWS PrivateLink is now generally available in US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), US West (N. California), EU (London), EU (Ireland), EU (Frankfurt), Canada (Central), Asia Pacific (Mumbai), Asia Pacific (Seoul), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Tokyo) and South America (São Paulo) regions.

“We have seen a growing desire from our enterprise customers to move from traditional on-premises applications to SaaS offerings hosted in the cloud. However, we have also heard that adoption of many SaaS offerings is limited by customers’ desire not to expose their data to the Internet. With AWS PrivateLink, customers now have a way to access third-party services over their dedicated AWS network,” said Matt Garman, Vice President, Compute Services, AWS. “With AWS PrivateLink, it has never been easier or more secure for our customers to use SaaS applications within their AWS environment.”



AWS launches its own security service with Amazon GuardDuty

Amazon Web Services (AWS) introduced a fully managed intelligent threat detection service for protecting their AWS accounts and workloads by continuously monitoring account activity for malicious or unauthorized behavior.

Amazon GuardDuty continuously applies machine learning to identify any events that fall outside the normal patterns. AWS said it is using both proprietary, AWS-developed threat intelligence sources and industry-leading third-party sources.

Amazon GuardDuty can send all findings to AWS CloudWatch Events and supports API endpoints through the AWS SDK, allowing for interoperability with third-party solutions such as Alert Logic, Evident.io, Palo Alto Networks, Rapid7, Redlock, Splunk, Sumo Logic, and Trend Micro.

“Customers often tell us that the best way we can help them stay secure is to give them smarter tools that make it easier to get security right,” said Stephen Schmidt, Chief Information Security Officer, Amazon Web Services. “We designed Amazon GuardDuty to be so simple and cost effective that turning it on would be an easy choice for every AWS customer, regardless of their security expertise or the existing security services they use. Amazon GuardDuty intelligently identifies hard-to-detect threats that might slip through the cracks of other security products and easily scales to meet the needs of any organization, whether they have two AWS accounts or two thousand.”

Turner picks AWS to reengineer digital content distribution

Turner, which is the  Time Warner global entertainment, sports, and news company, has selected AWS as its preferred cloud provider.

Turner's properties include TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, CNN, NCAA, and NBA.

Turner is reengineering its end-to-end media supply chain on AWS.  The company is looking for a more secure, cost effective, and elastic way to distribute digital content to its customers.

The effort includes moving decades of content to the cloud—including a 15-petabyte-sized library of archived CNN videos—and is using AWS for a wide variety of services spanning compute, storage, networking, databases, developer tools, analytics, and machine learning. Turner plans to use ML to analyze and extract video metadata to make decisions about how to best optimize content delivery systems for more personalized viewer experiences, and better inform advertisers, content creators, and media research analysts on viewing trends.

“We’re going through the largest technology transformation since Ted Turner started the company, and the advancements we’re making today are enabling us to reimagine what television can be for our viewers,” said Jeremy Legg, Chief Technology Officer at Turner. “We’re changing our broadcast technology stack to a fully digital, cloud environment built on AWS, which will enable us to adapt to new video delivery models, as well as provide our viewers with more personalized content and advertisements. Our relationship with AWS and the services they provide are essential to our success. Given that we reach over 80 percent of adults and 70 percent of millennials every month, we needed a cloud provider that has the ability to support massive-scale media businesses like ours which often have spikes in demand across our diverse portfolio.”

Other media companies on AWS include Amazon Video, AOL, BBC, Channel 4, C-SPAN, Daily Voice, Discovery Communications, Flipboard, GoPro, Guardian News & Media, Hearst Corporation, Hulu, LIONSGATE, NDTV, Netflix, News International, News UK, Newsweek, PBS, Simfy Africa, Sony DADC, SoundCloud, Spotify, Time Inc., and United Daily News.

Monday, November 27, 2017

AWS rolls out video production toolset

Amazon Web Services is rolling out a new set of tool to help content developers to create scalable video offerings in the cloud.

AWS Elemental Media Services include the following individual services:

  • AWS Elemental MediaConvert: Format and compress video-on-demand content for delivery to virtually any playback device, with high-quality video transcoding and broadcast-level features.
  • AWS Elemental MediaLive: Encode broadcast-grade live video for televisions or connected devices. Quickly stand up broadcast channels or live events and deliver them reliably to your viewers.
  • AWS Elemental MediaPackage: Prepare and protect live video streams for delivery to Internet devices with rich playback experience features such as start-over TV.
  • AWS Elemental MediaStore: Deliver video from high-performance storage optimized for media.
  • AWS Elemental MediaTailor: Insert targeted advertising into your video without sacrificing quality to increase viewer engagement and boost revenues.

AWS said its goal with these new Elemental Media Services is to eliminate the need to procure expensive equipment for video data centers.

“For the better part of six decades, professional-grade video workflows were limited to a few major industry players who could afford to build and maintain customized infrastructure that would be updated only once or twice each decade,” said Alex Dunlap, General Manager at AWS Elemental. “These companies spent a great deal of time, money, and focus operating infrastructure with resources that could have been better spent creating great content and viewer experiences. We built AWS Elemental Media Services to let customers focus on delivering top-quality video reliably to any device, everywhere, without the undifferentiated heavy lifting of managing infrastructure.”


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Symantec names AWS as strategic infrastructure provider

Symantec has chosen Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its strategic infrastructure provider for the vast majority of its cloud workloads.

Highlights of the announcement: (1) Symantec is undertaking a major operational move to AWS (2) Symantec will leverage the global footprint of the AWS Marketplace to deliver its security services (3) Symantec has already built a data lake on AWS that collects tens of terabytes of data every day from 175 million endpoints and more than 57 million attack sensors.

“Our cloud-first approach to engineering requires a highly scalable and reliable infrastructure that helps our team deliver faster time-to-market and ensure that security remains our top priority,” said Raj Patel, Vice President, Cloud Platform Engineering at Symantec.

Amazon ML Solutions Lab Opens

Amazon Web Services is launching a program that connects machine learning experts from across Amazon with AWS customers "to help identify practical uses of machine learning inside customers’ businesses, and guide them in developing new machine learning-enabled features, products, and processes."

 The Amazon ML Solutions Lab combines hands-on educational workshops with brainstorming sessions. The idea is to help customers “work backwards from business challenges, and then go step-by-step through the process of developing machine learning-based solutions."

Machine learning workshops cover topics such as how to prepare data, build and train models, and put models into production.

https://aws.amazon.com/ml-solutions-lab


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

CoreSite brings AWS Direct Connect to its Denver data center

CoreSite announced AWS Direct Connect service in its Denver campus (DE1 and DE2), which is located in the center of the city.

CoreSite noted the presence of over 75 network, cloud, and IT service providers within these two data centers.

AWS Direct Connect enables customers to directly access AWS over a private, enterprise-grade network connection.

With this expansion, CoreSite customers have direct access to all AWS Regions globally, with native connectivity to AWS Direct Connect now available in five markets including Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Silicon Valley, and Northern Virginia. In addition, connectivity to AWS Direct Connect is available across seven major markets, including Boston and Chicago, through the CoreSite Open Cloud Exchange.

Monday, November 6, 2017

AWS launches its next-gen compute optimized instances

Amazon Web Services announced the availability of C5 instances, its next generation of compute-optimized instances for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). The C5 instances feature 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon Scalable processors (Skylake-SP) up to 72 vCPUs, and 144 GiB of memory—twice the vCPUs and memory of previous generation C4 instances. The new C5s are aimed at compute-heavy applications like batch processing, distributed analytics, high-performance computing (HPC), ad serving, highly scalable multiplayer gaming, and video encoding.

The C5 instances also introduce a number of unique features:

  • networking is provided through an Elastic Network Adapter (ENA), a scalable network interface built by AWS to provide direct access to its networking hardware. 
  • additional dedicated hardware and network bandwidth for Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) enables C5 instances to offer high-performance storage through the scalable NVM Express (NVMe) interface. 
  • a new, lightweight hypervisor allows applications to use practically all of the compute and memory resources of a server, delivering reduced cost and even better performance. 

AWS is offering C5 instances in six sizes—with the four smallest instance sizes offering substantially more Amazon EBS and network bandwidth than the previous generation of compute-optimized instances.

Monday, October 30, 2017

AT&T expands business cloud networking with AWS

AT&T announced an expansion of its alliance with Amazon Web Services (AWS) by expanding its business cloud networking solutions and focusing on security and IoT.

Highlights:

  • FlexWare: AT&T is expanding the reach of how AWS customers can access the cloud more securely. AT&T FlexWareSM is now cloud-ready, and can directly—and more securely—connect to AWS. This will help businesses be more agile with edge computing. 
  • Private Mobile Connect: With AT&T Private Mobile Connect, AWS customers can more securely access AWS from a mobile device.  Workloads are moved from the mobile device, via the public network or through NetBond for Cloud, to AWS for all customers. 
  • Cybersecurity: AT&T Threat Manager will allow AWS customers to proactively identify data patterns and threat activity that could affect their network and cloud environment. AT&T analyzes the traffic in near real-time coming in and out of a device, connection or application. AT&T can then identify abnormalities to help prevent, detect and respond to vulnerabilities. 
  • Internet of Things: Earlier this year AT&T introduced a dedicated IoT Starter kit, powered by AWS. The kit lets developers build their own solutions using AT&T IoT and AWS IoT. Developers can also use AT&T’s highly secure network and get application-level security. The companies are currently exploring options to bring AWS Greengrass to the AT&T FlexWare platform, which would enable edge computing to open up new IoT opportunities for businesses.

AT&T also offers Cloud Transformation Consulting services.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

AWS continues 42% yoy growth pace

Amazon Web Services continues to grow at a 42% year-over-year pace.

In its Q3 2017 financial report, Amazon disclosed that AWS sales for Q3 2017 amounted to $4.584 billion.

During the quarter, AWS launched per-second billing in all regions for Linux-based EC2 instances, Elastic Graphical Processing Units (GPU), Elastic Block Store (EBS) Volumes, AWS Batch, and Elastic Map Reduce (EMR). Customers using these services will now be billed in one-second (versus one-hour) increments. AWS also introduced a free service that provides a single location for customers to track the status of migrations across their application portfolio. The company also revealed plans for a new infrastructure region in the Middle East in 2019. Currently, AWS provides 44 Availability Zones across 16 infrastructure regions worldwide, with another 14 Availability Zones across five AWS Regions in China, France, Hong Kong, Sweden, and a second GovCloud Region in the U.S. expected to come online by the end of 2018.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Nokia announces strategic collaboration with AWS

Nokia has entered into a strategic collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) that could shake up the market.

The partnership is aimed at accelerating the migration of service provider applications to the cloud and drive digital innovation for large enterprise customers. AWS continues to hold the position of largest public cloud provider

Nokia said the agreement with AWS covers four areas of collaboration:

Nokia will support service providers in their AWS implementation strategy with a complete suite of services including consulting, design, integration, migration and operation for infrastructure and applications.
Nokia and AWS will work together to generate new 5G and Edge Cloud strategies and guidance for customers including reference architectures that enable both service providers and enterprises to benefit.
Nokia and AWS are working to bring an improved user experience for Nuage Networks SD-WAN customers who use AWS. Enterprises can benefit from this seamless integration with AWS and launch secure branch connectivity in hybrid environments with "Single Pane of Glass" capabilities.
Finally, the companies are commercializing IoT use cases with AWS Greengrass, Amazon Machine Learning, Nokia Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) and Nokia IMPACT platform.

"The 4th Industrial Revolution requires a tighter integration between the IT and networking infrastructure worlds. Our collaboration with AWS will accelerate the migration of service provider applications to the cloud and enable us to forge new opportunities together by delivering on next-generation connectivity and cloud services. This is a wide-ranging collaboration, spanning our services capabilities in application migration, SD-WAN from Nuage Networks, 5G, and IoT, allowing new growth opportunities for our top customers across both the service provider and large enterprise market segments," stated Kathrin Buvac, Nokia's Chief Strategy Officer.

"Service providers are accelerating their migration to AWS in order to drive innovation for their customers and deliver lower total cost of IT to their organizations. We are excited to partner with Nokia to accelerate cloud transformation for service providers, and enable the digital transformation journey for our mutual large enterprise customers," added Terry Wise, Global Vice President of Channels and Alliances, AWS.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

AWS and Microsoft collaborate on deep learning library

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft announced a new deep learning library, called Gluon,for prototyping, building, training and deploying sophisticated machine learning models for the cloud, devices at the edge and mobile apps.

"The potential of machine learning can only be realized if it is accessible to all developers. Today’s reality is that building and training machine learning models requires a great deal of heavy lifting and specialized expertise,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, VP of Amazon AI. “We created the Gluon interface so building neural networks and training models can be as easy as building an app. We look forward to our collaboration with Microsoft on continuing to evolve the Gluon interface for developers interested in making machine learning easier to use.”

“We believe it is important for the industry to work together and pool resources to build technology that benefits the broader community,” said Eric Boyd, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft AI and Research. “This is why Microsoft has collaborated with AWS to create the Gluon interface and enable an open AI ecosystem where developers have freedom of choice. Machine learning has the ability to transform the way we work, interact and communicate. To make this happen we need to put the right tools in the right hands, and the Gluon interface is a step in this direction.”

Key facts on the Gluon interface:

  • Provides an easy-to-understand programming interface that enables developers to quickly prototype and experiment with neural network models
  • Can be used to create neural networks on the fly, and to change their size and shape dynamically. 
  • Currently works with Apache MXNet and will support Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK) in an upcoming release
  • Can be used to build machine learning models using a simple Python API and a range of pre-built, optimized neural network components. 


https://github.com/gluon-api/gluon-api/.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

General Electric picks AWS as its preferred cloud

General Electric has named Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The companies said that GE has been migrating thousands of its core applications to AWS in process that began in 2014. So far, more than 2,000 applications have been migrated to AWS, including several that leverage AWS’s analytics and machine learning services. Business units with applications on AWS include GE Power, GE Aviation, GE Healthcare, GE Transportation, and GE Digital.

“Adopting a cloud-first strategy with AWS is helping our IT teams get out of the business of building and running data centers and refocus our resources on innovation as we undergo one of the largest and most important transformations in GE’s history,” said Chris Drumgoole, Chief Technology Officer and Corporate Vice President at General Electric. “We chose AWS as the preferred cloud provider for GE because AWS’s industry leading cloud services have allowed us to push the boundaries, think big, and deliver better outcomes for GE.”

“Enterprises across industries are migrating to AWS in droves, and in the process are discovering the wealth of new opportunities that open up when they have the most comprehensive menu of cloud capabilities–which is growing daily–at their fingertips,” said Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS. “GE has been at the forefront of cloud adoption, and we’ve been impressed with the pace, scope, and innovative approach they’ve taken in their journey to AWS. We are honored that GE has chosen AWS as their preferred cloud provider, and we’re looking forward to helping them as they continue their digital industrial transformation.”

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