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AWS infrastructure enterprise-ready? Amazon says so at re:Invent

At this year's AWS re:Invent conference, 13,000 attendees were given more than a glimpse of Amazon's preparedness to cater to enterprises, not just small companies with the in-house expertise to provide their own tech support.

Indeed, the absence of real support for large-scale companies' cloud environments has always been a complaint about Amazon Web Services. Companies were hard-pressed to get help managing their infrastructure at the impenetrable fortress that is AWS.

But Amazon has recognized that to expand its business -- and get AWS on par with its retail business on Amazon.com -- it has to cater to more organizations' service needs. At re:Invent, the company demonstrated its infrastructure is "not just test and dev," says Alex Barrett, editor in chief of TechTarget's Modern Infrastructure magazine, in this episode of BizApps Today. She tells host Joe Hebert that big corporations are now putting enterprise applications like PeopleSoft, SAP and Microsoft on AWS. And Barrett says the scale at which businesses are moving to AWS has grown.  "Some companies … talk about being 'all-in' -- moving all their applications to AWS. I don't know if that's going to happen, but there's some people that are really making a lot of progress towards that."

Amazon has also made it much easier to manage infrastructure in an AWS environment. With new tools like Aurora, Lambda and Config, administrators can now spend less time configuring and provisioning and get greater visibility into what is really happening before something fails. Senior news writer Beth Pariseau of SearchAWS highlights three key offerings that Amazon rolled out at re:Invent.

  • Aurora is a highly scalable MySQL-compatible relational database that Amazon says offers five times the performance of other relational databases, so it's designed to be highly scalable and efficient.
  • Lambda enables admins to detect events and run code in response to those events, which can dramatically reduce the time and effort needed to manage infrastructure. Admins must have knowledge of the node.JS language, though.
  • Config gives administrators transparency into changes to resources in the AWS cloud, which enables better monitoring and can aid with companies' compliance requirements in the cloud.

Finally, Scot Petersen, editorial director of the Business Applications and Architecture Media Group, notes that AWS partners have become more responsive to the rapid-fire releases at AWS. And they're acclimating well to the pace of change at AWS. "We had a lot of culture change," said Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president of cloud and emerging technologies at Trend Micro, in a video that Petersen recorded at the conference. "We were used to doing scheduled releases a couple of months in advance. [We're] not able to do that with 300 new features dropping every year. So we embraced automation and really dove into the platform. And we're able to cut deployment time for some of our products from weeks down to hours."

Text by Lauren Horwitz, executive editor. Email her at lhorwitz@techtarget.com.

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- AWS hasn't had a major outage in quite a while. 
- They now offer redundant direct-connect links. 
- They now offer all-SSD storage. 
- They are adding more capabilities to their advanced services (eg. RDS) that hide some of the complexity of dealing with multi-AZ deployments.
- They can assist/host some of the complex security functions (eg. SSH keys)

But the real consideration isn't "is the infrastructure Enterprise-Ready", but what does the application require from the infrastructure vs. the application itself. If the apps can handle their own resiliency (most modern-apps are designing around this pattern) then "Enterprise Ready" doesn't mean what it used to mean.