Amazon Web Services held its fifth annual AWS re:invent conference in Las Vegas. This year’s event was not only packed with attendees and vendors, but it was also chockfull of news and announcements. The public cloud provider released dozens of new features and services that ranged from new instances and storage capabilities, to migration and management tools.

While AWS is the leader public cloud, this year it is evident that AWS realizes its customers’ needs are changing. Unless AWS starts playing nice with other platforms, and provide integration tools, customers can find those capabilities from other vendors.  The latest offerings form AWS are aimed at the demand for tools that make their experience easier, faster, safer and cheaper.

The cloud is so important today because of what can be done with it. With the growth of IoT (internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence) and other computing innovations, the demand for platforms and systems that make operating in the cloud efficient is higher than ever. AWS seems to understand that demand and has created solutions within its platform so that its customers have options right within AWS. This also demonstrates Amazon’s understanding of what it takes to keep their customers operating mainly, if not exclusively, in their cloud.

Here are some highlights of the focus areas of AWS’s latest cloud features.

Migration

Moving data at scale to the cloud can be a huge challenge. Enterprises could be migrating terabytes or even petabytes of on-premise data to the cloud, which requires lots of time, devices, and stress.

AWS Snowmobile was created to make that transition easier. Snowmobile can store up to 100 PB of data which allows customers to move exabytes to AWS in less than time than ever before. The data is secured with layers of protection and encrypted with AWS’s Key Management Service.

Management Tools

Once data is migrated to the cloud, how the data is managed is very important. The market is steadily filling with platforms that streamline processes, reduce costs, enable or disable tracking and auditing abilities and more. AWS introduced five new features and services around cloud management. These services offer inventory managers, cloud health dashboards, Chef automation (another chance for users to incorporate outside technologies), data auditing and provisioning.

Hybrid with VMware

In order to make working within AWS better for VMware customers, VMware on AWS Cloud was created. This service allows VMware customers to run and deploy their workloads on AWS seamlessly. Hybrid capabilities are especially attractive for companies that have reason to maintain data between various clouds.

Security, Identity & Compliance

Three new services are available for security and compliance. These additions focus on generating compliance reports, creating security groups and limiting attacks through AWS shield. It will be interesting to see if security updates and services continue to be a focus with security being the biggest concerns for most customers.

More and more services makes it hard to break away from AWS

Although Amazon’s latest announcements are great news for the company and the AWS customers, they are all AWS specific. The market has shown that today’s enterprise clouds are either public, private or hybrid. There’s a good chance that organizations use cloud resources outside of or in addition to AWS. This means organizations will still have to look outside of AWS’s multitude of offers to make workloads in other clouds just as efficient.

Software and platforms that are cloud agnostic serve a unique purpose to the market. Maintaining fluidity between clouds will continue to be important as organizations design and implement their own cloud strategies. Automation and management across clouds is a necessary capability for a cloud environment with unlimited possibilities. If Amazon stays on target with hybrid offers such as its VMWare service, then it will be able to serve the growing need in the market. If its products remain focused only on AWS, customers my feel the need to choose other options to gain freedom in the cloud.

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