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

Monday, June 18, 2018

AWS DeepLens runs deep learning model on the device

Amazon Web Services announced commercial shipment of its DeepLens video camera.

AWS DeepLens runs deep learning models directly on the device, out in the field. It includes a 4 megapixel camera (1080P video), 2D microphone array, Intel Atom Processor, dual-band Wi-Fi, USB and micro HDMI ports, 8 GB of memory for models and code. The software stack includes Ubuntu 16.04, AWS Greengrass Core, device-optimized versions of MXNet and Intel clDNN library, support for other deep learning frameworks.

DeepLens now supports the TensorFlow and Caffe frameworks.

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-deeplens-now-shipping-order-one-today/

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

AWS debuts Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the general availability of Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS), a fully managed service for deploying, managing, and scale containerized applications using Kubernetes on AWS.

AWS said its customers are running hundreds of millions of containers every week, many using Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), which is a container orchestration service that supports Docker containers and is integrated with many familiar AWS features like AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), security groups, and Elastic Load Balancing.

Amazon EKS can now be used for managed cluster operations and administration tasks, ensuring that deployments are properly provisioned, secure, highly available, backed up, and updated. Amazon EKS is certified Kubernetes conformant.

“More customers run containers on AWS and Kubernetes on AWS than anywhere else,” said Deepak Singh, Director of AWS Compute Services. “Prior to Amazon EKS, customers either had to do considerable work to architect a highly fault-tolerant way to run Kubernetes, or just accept a lack of resiliency. With the launch of Amazon EKS, customers no longer have to live with either of those trade-offs, and they get a highly available, fault-tolerant, managed Kubernetes service. It’s no wonder so many of our customers are excited.”

https://aws.amazon.com/eks

Start-up profile: Rancher Labs, building container orchestration on Kubernetes


Rancher Labs is a start-up based in Cupertino, California that offers a container management platform that has racked up over four million downloads. The company recently released a major update for its container management system. Recently, I sat down with company co-founders Sheng Liang (CEO) and Shannon Williams (VP of Sales) to talk about Kubernetes, the open source container orchestration system that was originally developed by Google. Kubernetes...


Friday, June 1, 2018

AWS offers $0.30 per session for its QuickSight analytics

AWS announced pay-per-session pricing for Amazon QuickSight -- its cloud-powered, business analytics service.

Pay-per-session pricing for Amazon QuickSight dashboards starts at $0.30 per session (30 minute window) up to a maximum of $5 per user, per month, and is available in Amazon QuickSight Enterprise Edition in all supported AWS regions.

“With highly scalable object storage in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), data warehousing at one-tenth the cost of traditional solutions in Amazon Redshift, and serverless analytics offered by Amazon Athena, customers are moving data into AWS at an unprecedented pace,” said Dorothy Nicholls, Vice President of Amazon QuickSight at Amazon Web Services, Inc. “What's changed is that virtually all knowledge workers want easy access to that data and the insights that can be derived. It's been cost-prohibitive to enable that access for entire companies until the Amazon QuickSight pay-per-session pricing-- this is a game-changer in terms of information and analytics access.”

Thursday, May 31, 2018

AWS announces Pay-per-Session Pricing for Amazon QuickSight

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced pay-per-session pricing for Amazon QuickSight, which is a fast, cloud-powered, business analytics service.

Pay-per-session pricing for Amazon QuickSight dashboards starts at $0.30 per session up to a maximum of $5 per user, per month, and is available in Amazon QuickSight Enterprise Edition in all supported AWS regions.

“With highly scalable object storage in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), data warehousing at one-tenth the cost of traditional solutions in Amazon Redshift, and serverless analytics offered by Amazon Athena, customers are moving data into AWS at an unprecedented pace,” said Dorothy Nicholls, Vice President of Amazon QuickSight at Amazon Web Services, Inc. “What's changed is that virtually all knowledge workers want easy access to that data and the insights that can be derived. It's been cost-prohibitive to enable that access for entire companies until the Amazon QuickSight pay-per-session pricing-- this is a game-changer in terms of information and analytics access.”

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

AWS goes live with Neptune graph database

AWS announced general availability of Amazon Neptune, a fully-managed graph database service.

Amazon Neptune efficiently stores and navigates highly connected data, allowing developers to create sophisticated, interactive graph applications that can query billions of relationships with millisecond latency.

Amazon Neptune is highly available and durable, automatically replicating six copies of data across three Availability Zones and continuously backing up data to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). Amazon Neptune is designed to offer greater than 99.99 percent availability and automatically detects and recovers from most database failures in less than 30 seconds. Amazon Neptune also provides advanced security capabilities, including network security through Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), and encryption at rest using AWS Key Management Service (KMS).

“Amazon Neptune is a key part of the toolkit we use to continually expand Alexa’s knowledge graph for our tens of millions of Alexa customers—it’s just Day 1 and we’re excited to continue our work with the AWS team to deliver even better experiences for our customers,” said David Hardcastle, Director of Amazon Alexa, Amazon.

https://aws.amazon.com/neptune


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Telefónica to resell AWS cloud services

Telefónica Business Solutions has agreed to sell Amazon Web Services in its cloud offering portfolio.

Telefónica will train and certify specialists in AWS services and best practices. AWS has agreed to have dedicated resources to support Telefónica and their customers.

Hugo de los Santos, Director Global B2B Products and Services at Telefónica commented, “Our customers are asking for advice and support in their Cloud adoption processes. AWS, with its depth and breadth of services as well as global presence, is a piece that fits perfectly in our Cloud portfolio. Telefónica’s cloud offering thus empowers our customers to run their infrastructure, applications and workloads on the most suitable Cloud service possible.”

Niko Mykkanen, Head of EMEA Partners & Alliances, Amazon Web Services, said: “Service providers are playing an important role in driving innovation and creating value for organizations. We are excited to work with Telefónica to enable the digital transformation of enterprise customers and help them leverage the scalability and breadth of services that AWS offers.”

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Verizon designates AWS as its Preferred Public Cloud Provider

Verizon Communications has designated Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred public cloud provider as part of a corporate-wide initiative to increase agility and reduce costs through the use of cloud computing.

Verizon is migrating over 1,000 business-critical applications and database backend systems to AWS, several of which also include the migration of production databases to Amazon Aurora—AWS’s relational database engine. Verizon is also building AWS-specific training facilities, called “dojos,” where its employees can quickly ramp up on AWS technologies and learn how to innovate with speed and at scale.

The companies noted that Verizon first started working with AWS in 2015. This latest wave of migrations to AWS accelerates Verizon's digital transformation.

"We are making the public cloud a core part of our digital transformation, upgrading our database management approach to replace our proprietary solutions with Amazon Aurora," said Mahmoud El-Assir, Senior Vice President of Global Technology Services at Verizon. “The agility we’ve gained by moving to the world’s leading public cloud has helped us better serve our customers. Working with AWS complements our focus on efficiency, speed, and innovation within our engineering culture, and has enabled us to quickly deliver the best, most efficient customer experiences."

“We look forward to continuing our work with Verizon as their preferred public cloud provider, helping them to continually transform their business and innovate on behalf of their customers. The combination of Verizon’s team of builders with AWS’s extensive portfolio of cloud services and expertise means that Verizon’s options for delighting their customers is virtually unlimited,” stated Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Ryanair goes all-in on AWS

Ryanair is going "all-in" in moving its infrastructure to AWS.

Ryanair, which is the leading budget airline in Europe, now plans to close the vast majority of its data centers over the next three years. The airline already runs several core production workloads on AWS, such as Ryanair Rooms and Ryanair.com, and is building a company-wide data lake on Amazon S3, leveraging Amazon Kinesis to gain deeper insights from customer and business data.

“We’ve chosen to work with the world’s leading cloud to develop and deliver services that will transform our customers’ travel experiences. By rebuilding core applications, converting data into actionable insights, and creating intelligent applications, we are putting the solutions in place to continue our leadership in the travel industry,” said John Hurley, Chief Technology Officer at Ryanair.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Amazon Web Services rockets ahead at 49% yoy pace

Amazon.com reported stellar net sales of $51.0 billion for Q1 2018, up 43% over last year, including $1.6 billion from favorable foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter. Net income was $1.6 billion in the first quarter, or $3.27 per diluted share, compared with net income of $724 million, or $1.48 per diluted share, in first quarter 2017.

As usual, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was a major contributor to this growth. AWS sales for the quarter amounted to $5.442 billion, up 49% year over year

“AWS had the unusual advantage of a seven-year head start before facing like-minded competition, and the team has never slowed down,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “As a result, the AWS services are by far the most evolved and most functionality-rich. AWS lets developers do more and be nimbler, and it continues to get even better every day. That’s why you’re seeing this remarkable acceleration in AWS growth, now for two quarters in a row. A huge thank you to all our AWS customers, and you can be sure we’ll keep working hard for you.”

During Q1, AWS launched two Availability Zones and one Local Region in Osaka, Japan. It now operates 54 Availability Zones within 18 geographic Regions, and one Local Region, with announced plans for 12 more Availability Zones and four more regions in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, Sweden, and a second AWS GovCloud Region in the U.S. coming online between now and early 2019.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Shutterfly Goes All-In on AWS

Amazon Web Services announced Shutterfly as another business that will go "all in" on its cloud infrastructure.

Specifically,  Shutterfly is migrating all of its core production applications and its more than 75-petabyte image library to AWS. The company's next gen image sharing platform is also being developed on AWS, where it can leverage a wide range of AWS services, including machine learning and analytics, to deliver a more streamlined customer experience.

“Millions of customers turn to Shutterfly’s lifestyle brands to help them make memorable moments last a lifetime,” said Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS. “We are excited to deepen our relationship with Shutterfly, enabling them to allocate more of their valuable resources towards the development of new, cloud-based applications that deliver even more value to their customers."

AWS also announced that Cox Automotive is going all in. The already running several business-critical applications on AWS, and will migrate the majority of its more than 20 brands—including Autotrader, Dealer.com, Dealertrack, Kelley Blue Book, Manheim, vAuto, and Xtime—to AWS.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

GoDaddy Goes All-In on AWS

AWS announced that GoDaddy migrating the vast majority of its infrastructure into the AWS cloud as part of a multi-year transition.

GoDaddy will use the breadth of AWS services—including machine learning, analytics, databases, and containers. AWS’s Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS) will allow GoDaddy to run its many Kubernetes workloads on AWS without change, since Amazon EKS is fully compatible with any standard Kubernetes environment. GoDaddy is also using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) P3 Instances—the most powerful graphics processing unit (GPU) instances available in the cloud—to substantially reduce the time it takes to train machine learning models and increase the performance of its GoDaddy Domain Appraisals tool.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

“As a technology provider with more than 17 million customers, it was very important for GoDaddy to select a cloud provider with deep experience in delivering a highly reliable global infrastructure, as well as an unmatched track record of technology innovation, to support our rapidly expanding business,” said Charles Beadnall, Chief Technology Officer at GoDaddy.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

CoreSite activates VMware Cloud on AWS

CoreSite announced the availability of dedicated, private connectivity into VMware Cloud on AWS in its first four markets. Direct connectivity to VMware Cloud on AWS is now available through fiber interconnections or through the CoreSite Open Cloud Exchange in four CoreSite markets, including Boston, Denver, New York and Northern Virginia.

VMware Cloud on AWS brings together VMware’s enterprise-class Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) software and elastic, bare-metal infrastructure from Amazon Web Services (AWS).

“VMware Cloud on AWS provides customers a seamlessly integrated hybrid cloud offering that gives customers the SDDC experience from the leader in private cloud, running on the leading public cloud provider, AWS,” said Mark Lohmeyer, vice president and general manager, Cloud Provider Unit, VMware. “Solutions such as VMware Cloud on AWS enable IT teams to reduce cost, increase efficiency, and create operational consistency across cloud environments. We’re excited to work with partners such as CoreSite to enhance native VMware Cloud on AWS capabilities and empower customers with flexibility and choice in solutions that can drive business value.”

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.”



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