It is hard to digest all the innovations coming out of Amazon’s cloud computing business. There are 1000’s of capabilities already available and each continue to evolve, and major new capabilities are being announced at a rapid pace. The annual re:Invent is a great time to take stock of things, but even this is just becoming a snapshot of a fast moving train. Some of what we noticed:
- 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.
- The AWS Security Hub is a welcome pulling together of capabilties and insights into security of cloud solutions.
- Amazon Firecracker is incredible interesting but frankly I need to study this more before I can articulate why. Will be writing more about this in the coming days.
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?
Videos and photos from re:Invent 2018:
AWS re:Invent Kickoff
AWS Snowball Edge in Rain Chamber (which makes this real cloud computing- Ha!):
- Amazon HQ2’s National Landing campus: The inside scoop
- FingBox Gives You Network Superpowers: Network security that contributes to physical security
- More Proof DSB Cloud Computing Conclusions Are On Track
- Amazon Snowball Edge Even More Functional: Imagine your own cloud in a box that works in the field
- Amazon rolls out High Memory Instances for in-memory databases
Latest posts by Bob Gourley
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- CTO Summit at NASDAQ Marketsite in Times Square 18 Dec 2018 - December 7, 2018
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