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Senior Editor

Public – not hybrid – cloud dominates day 1 at Amazon re:Invent

Nov 30, 20174 mins
Cloud Computing

Here’s the highlights of what AWS announced so far at re:Invent

There’s been a resurgence in the IaaS cloud computing market in the past year of vendors talking more and more about hybrid cloud computing.

As the cloud market is maturing, users are crystalizing what workloads are best for public cloud and what will remain on premises or in a private cloud. At Amazon Web Service’s annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas this week, a big question heading into the show was: What would AWS say about hybrid?

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: What is hybrid cloud computing? +

Hybrid has been somewhat of a taboo topic for AWS over the years. AWS CEO Andy Jassy has repeatedly maintained that “in the fullness of time” he expects most workloads will run in the public IaaS cloud. We’re not there yet, though. A 451 Research poll from last year found that just 6% of enterprise workloads are running in the cloud.

Meanwhile, AWS’s biggest competitor in the cloud market is making hybrid a priority. Microsoft this year (finally after delaying it) released Azure Stack, an on-premises hardware/software combination that is meant to mirror the Azure public cloud. IBM and Oralce both also have hybrid cloud-first strategies that include infrastructure customers can run on-premises. This should be unsurprising given that these vendors have large legacy install bases they’re attempting to protect; their cloud strategy is on-premises to the cloud.

AWS and Google have taken a slightly different, public-cloud first approach to hybrid. Both companies have inked deals with VMware to enable easier migration of VMware on-premises workloads into their clouds, highlighted by the VMware on AWS product, which as of this year is now available in two AWS regions (West and now East) and has expanded capabilities including disaster recovery and vMotion.

But at re:Invent would AWS have a response to Azure Stack? After the first day’s keynotes, the answer is no. Instead, most of AWS’s major re:Invent announcements are related to the company’s public IaaS cloud. This is not surprising. Amazon wants to grow its public cloud as much as possible and the strategy is working. Jassy says the company is on a $18 billion annual run rate, growing at 40%+ year over year and active user counts are growing monthly.

So what did AWS announce on day 1 of keynotes at re:Invent?

AWS kicked off the week announcing some new Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, including a new bare metal instance, which could be ideal for running application containers. There are also new H1 instance for big data workloads and general purpose M5 instances. GuardDuty is a security monitoring and threat detection service AWS also announced.

Making machine learning easier for developers to use was a key theme in the first day’s keynotes too. To that end, Jassy announced a handful of new tools including SageMaker, a managed service that helps developers build machine learning models, provides pre-built development notebooks and provisions infrastructure needed to run ML workloads. AWS also announced DeepLens, a handheld piece of hardware with a video camera that is meant to be used to help train ML models. For example, Amazon says you can use the camera to train the in-unit processing engine to recognize numbers on a license plate to open a garage door, or send an alert when a pet jumps on a piece of furniture. Other ML tools include new apps for transcribing, translating, comprehending text and analyzing video.

AWS had some announcements in the world of IoT too including a new Device Management service, along with a new Device Defender security platform, along with an IoT Analytics engine, and a microcontroller OS named FreeRTOS.

Amazon also released some new database features, including adding Global Tables to its DynamoDB service, and launching a new graph database named Neptune.

Finally, another big area of attention was containers. AWS jumped on the Kubernetes bandwagon in a big way. The open source software is quickly becoming a standard for application container orchestration. AWS announced a new managed Kubernetes service named EKS. Fargate is another platform that automatically provisions infrastructure needed to run containers.

Will day 2 keynotes bring hybrid cloud news? Amazon CTO Werner Vogels will reveal more Thursday.

Senior Editor

Senior Editor Brandon Butler covers the cloud computing industry for Network World by focusing on the advancements of major players in the industry, tracking end user deployments and keeping tabs on the hottest new startups. He contributes to and is the author of the Cloud Chronicles blog. Before starting at Network World in January 2012, he worked for a daily newspaper in Massachusetts and the Worcester Business Journal, where he was a senior reporter and editor of MetroWest 495 Biz. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @BButlerNWW.

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