We have been tracking Amazon for years, but as a reference point consider that in November 2006 BusinessWeek ran a cover story with the title “Jeff Bezos’ Risky Bet” where the concept of cloud computing as a business model disruptor was catapulted into the mainstream. Since then the risky bet has paid off for Amazon and has helped transform the business ecosystem in ways few could have predicted.
The power of the AWS cloud is now driving continuous advancements in Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and IoT.
In Artificial Intelligence, one fantastic real-world capability is the AI enabled Amazon Echo, which is really the closest thing you can get to a Star Trek computer.
In IoT, Amazon is providing a means to control and configure IoT devices with easy to use graphical interfaces. They call this feature Amazon IoT. This can be used to control large scale IoT deployments or smaller scale home capabilities (for example, you can buy a home IoT experiment kit from Amazon called the Intel Edison and control that by Amazon IoT, a great way to learn).
Amazon considers cloud computing to be the on-demand delivery of IT resources and applications via the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Others may use different definitions but Amazon is the 500lb gorilla so for this post at least we will say we agree!
The 2018 re:Invent provided a good snapshot of Amazon AWS capabilities. The good news is you can find plenty of information on every capability. The bad news is there are over 2000 services being delivered via the cloud, and every one of them is evolving and adding new features.
Here is a snapshot of some more interesting capabilities:
- Amazon launched a service called AWS RoboMaker. This leverages the increasingly standard ROS (Robot Operating System) and provides a cloud robotics service that makes it easy to develop, test, deploy and manage intelligent robotics applications at scale (an intro video is embedded at the end of this post).
- The AWS Snowball and Snowball Edge are evolving at a faster pace than many of us expected. Initially the Snowball was a great way to move data from enterprises to the Amazon cloud. Load the data on the device and ship it. This is still a key use case. But newer versions of the device (the Snowball Edge) included enough processing power to do compute on the edge, meaning many analytics could be done on data before moving it to the cloud. The device soon evolved to be a mini-Amazon instance that can be used in disconnected locations. A key thing that enterprises can do with this new version: The extra CPUs and GPUs now enable on site, local Machine Learning (ML) and local analytics. Yep, these things are AI in a box. And this includes very high end advanced analytics like image processing and full motion video analysis. For more see A New AWS Snowball Edge Provides The Power Of The Cloud In Disconnected Environments.
- New cloud based services for satellite command and control and space operations (See AWS Ground Station). Yes the same firm that gets any retail product you want to your door can now be used to set up the ground stations to control your satellites with on demand cloud based services. That is the good news. The bad news is this capability can also be used by anyone else with a credit card. Time to start thinking through the nightmare scenarios of space again (I should update this article I just wrote: In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream).
- AWS is delivering an increasing portfolio of services and capabilities to support Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. For a good overview see this Forbes article.
- The way Amazon trains its own developers in Machine Learning and related AI is now opened up to any of us via their Amazon Machine Learning University.
- AWS is enabling Blockchain (See Blockchain on AWS). I love this. Great way to leverage benefits of blockchain. But on the other hand, I would remind you that many of the greatest use cases of blockchain are those that are designed to get “the man” out of the way. Increasingly, Amazon is “the man” so do you really want to use them for your Blockchain based solution?
- AWS Outposts was announced (with VMware) to bring AWS hardware and API design into enterprise datacenters. This is huge! iT shows the cloud competition is moving into your datacenter on-prem. This will set off a new competition. Watch for Google to finally wake up and find ways to offer similar solutions. And watch for Microsoft gloating since they have known this approach is important for years.
What do you do with all this new information? Clearly we all have to keep learning (CTOvison will help on that end, sign up to our newsletters to stay informed). But, more importantly, we need to think through the business impact of these many changes. Consider:
- How can these changes accelerate your new products to market?
- How might these cause new competitors to arise?
- Will these new solutions and services open new avenues of attack to your data or open new risks that need to be mitigated?
- How should you be training your workforce to take advantage of these capabilities?
For more on Amazon’s capabilities in Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence and IoT see:
- A New AWS Snowball Edge Provides The Power Of The Cloud In Disconnected Environments
- Some Good OPSEC Here: Amazon suffers data breach but remains tight-lipped on details
- Cisco and Amazon partner on hybrid-cloud approach
- Amazon HQ2’s National Landing campus: The inside scoop
- Platform Giants and Venture-Backed Startups
- Amazon rolls out High Memory Instances for in-memory databases
- Amazon Storefronts is a new retail hub exclusively for US small businesses
- DHS opens new cybersecurity center to protect infrastructure, Amazon works issues of Rekognition, self-assessment to help against data breaches, Samsung’s IoT hub open to attacks
- AWS Snowball Edge And Hyper Converged Infrastructure Will Revolutionize Global Enterprises
- Blockchain Enables Anarchy
- Amazon Snowball Edge Even More Functional: Imagine your own cloud in a box that works in the field
- How will AI affect nation states, Social media battle against fake news using AI, Walmart and Microsoft team up to take on Amazon, AI won’t be taking away your jobs
- Amazon gets close to 50 percent of US ecommerce market share, PC sales up, cyber security critical in Internet of Things, Blockchain causes disruption
- Google to add signature for non playstore APKs, Microsoft and EY’s blockchain tool, CIO advise for tackling constraints in innovation,
- A Vision of the AI-Enabled Future
- AI & Blockchain: Double the Value or Double the Hype?
- Yes there are dark sides to AI, but what if it keeps us safer? Does that make Google the bad guy? (again?)
- Tech as a Career Gains Ground, Microsoft’s Sinks Data, SAP Does Blockchain
- Some of the biggest compromises of your information are by design, you just don’t know it
- Blockchain Templates: Amazon Making Technology Mainstream
- Scary Words For Anyone: Microsoft and Amazon Are Entering Your Market
- Yelp’s case against Google, Blockchain tech by JPMorgan, Facebook’s hate filtering chip
- Everyday Threats That Can Fool Even The Savviest Of Techies
- Nearly 500,000 routers infected by Russian malware, Apple’s privacy portal, New LocationSmart scandal
- How Amazon and Starbucks are Impacting the Cryptocurrency Market
- How Cryptocurrencies will go from The Technologically Savvy, into the Everyday Transactions of Consumers
- Tracking The Evolution Of Amazon Kinesis: Real-time processing of streaming data, including video, at scale
- AI is a Job Category Killer (But Don’t Worry)
- Coming Events of Interest: These are the big ones for rest of 2018
- The Global Ungoverned Area
- Cyber War: The Fastest Way to Improve Cybersecurity?
- Time for Transformational Cybersecurity Part II
- Assessments on AWS Snowball and AWS Snowball Edge Post Confirmed By User Feedback
- Electric Dreams: Amazon Turns Philip K. Dick Short Stories Into 10 Standalone Movies
- Stream New Science Fiction Web Series “ExHumans” on Amazon
- Time for Transformational Cybersecurity!
- Pause And Take Note Of The Remarkable Engineering In AWS Snowball and AWS Snowball Edge
- Automation Apps that Will Launch Your Startup
- 4 Surprising Industries Capitalizing on the Smart Tech Boom
- Big Data’s Impact on Advertising
- How the Internet of Things is Influencing a New Cybersecurity Era
- Connected Devices, Remote Security: Data Encryption and Security in the Cloud
- The Three Big Trends in 2018 That Will Matter When Doing Business in Europe
- How Taking the Time to Verify Your Network Could Save You Millions
- The American Way of War Is Based On Tech: Don’t Let It Be Our Downfall!
- How Does Ireland Measure Up as a Location for Starting Your European Engineering Team?