(This article was originally published on the DCIG web site on February 22, 2018.)
Amazon has made significant progress in the last few years to dispel the notion that Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) primary purpose is as a repository for archives and backups. During this time, it has demonstrated time and time again it is well suited to host even the most demanding of production applications. However, what companies may still fail to realize is just how far beyond being a leading provider of cloud storage services that AWS has become. Here are some recent cool new features and offerings available from AWS that indicate how far it has come in terms of positioning itself to host enterprise applications of any type as well as satisfy specific enterprise demands.
- Take a tour of Amazon’s data centers – virtually. As organizations look to host their mission critical applications, sensitive data, and regulated data with third party providers such as Amazon, the individuals who make these types of decisions to outsource this data have a natural inclination to want to physically inspect the data centers where this data is kept.
While opening up one’s data center to visitors may sound good on the surface, parading every Tom, Dick, and Harry through a “secure site” potentially makes a secure site insecure. To meet this demand, Amazon now gives individuals the opportunity to take virtual tours of its data centers. Follow this link to take this tour.
- Get the infrastructure features you need when you need them at the price you want. One of the most challenging and frustrating aspects of managing any application within a data center is adapting to the application’s changing infrastructure requirements. In traditional data centers, applications are assigned specified amounts of CPU, memory, and storage when they are initially created. However, the needs and behavior of the application begin to change almost as soon as it is deployed and to try to manually adapt the infrastructure to these constantly changing requirements was, at best, a fool’s game.
Amazon Auto Scaling changes this paradigm. Users of this service can set target utilization levels for multiple resources to maintain optimal application performance and availability even as application workloads fluctuate. The beauty of this service is that it rewards users for using it since it only charges them for the resources they use. In this way, users get better performance, optimize the capacity available to them and only use the right resources at the right time to control costs.
- Amazon has its own Linux release. Watch out Red Hat, SUSE, and Ubuntu – there is a new version of Linux in town. While DCIG has not yet taken the opportunity to evaluate and see how Amazon Linux 2 compares to these existing, competing versions of Linux, perhaps what makes Amazon’s release of Linux most notable is that it runs both on-premise and in the Amazon cloud. Further, it makes one wonder just how far Amazon will develop this version of Linux and will it eventually compete head-to-head with the likes of VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V?
- Corporate world: Meet Alexa. Many of us are already familiar with the commercials that promote a consumer version of Alexa that enables us to order groceries, get answers to questions, and automate certain tasks about the home. But now Alexa has grown up and is entering the corporate world. Using Alexa for Business, companies can begin to perform mundane, business-oriented tasks such as managing calendars, setting up meetings, reserving conference rooms, and dialing into meetings.