AWS Holds Customers' Attention With New Enterprise Cloud Services

NEWS ANALYSIS: Amazon Web Services continues to add new data services to help smooth the way for its enterprise customers to move their mission critical databases to the cloud.

Amazon Summit 2017

NEW YORK--For Amazon Web Services customers, the regional AWS Summits that take place around the world every year are a good place to get a snack of AWS cloud services news before the big meal at November's annual Re:Invent conference.

This week at AWS Summit New York, Amazon treated about 20,000 attendees with several news nuggets about core enterprise functionality to help migrate data and applications to the cloud and managing them once they are there—along with a major customer announcement.

First, AWS announced availability of the AWS Migration Hub, a free service that will enable users to discover, migrate and track applications from on-premise environments to AWS. This ties together a group of existing AWS migration services, including the Application Discovery Service, Database Migration Service, and Server Migration Service.

Other than making sure its customers' cloud applications are up and running, Amazon's biggest worry is getting customers into the cloud in the first place. AWS has made migration a major priority of late with a focus on its Snowball and Snowmobile hardware-based data migration solutions. Also, Rackspace recently announced that it has secured a preferred partner and channel relationship for migration services.

The Migration Hub makes things easier by organizing the migration process into three parts: Discovery, Migration and Tracking. The discovery piece ensures that all pieces of an application and its dependences are accounted for in the migration.

The Server Migration Service moves the workloads and then the Database Migration Service handles the transfer of the actual databases. From similar databases to similar databases the Migration service works on its own.

For migrations of one database type to another, for instance, SQL to NoSQL, AWS users also can deploy the AWS Schema Conversion tool, which can handle the following target databases: Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Teradata, Netezza, Greenplum, Vertica, MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL and Amazon Aurora for any number of AWS database targets.

Then AWS addressed another major IT pain point with the announcement of the general availability of AWS Glue, a fully managed data catalog and ETL (extract, transform and load) service. This serverless tool can take any data in S3 and generate transformation code to enable the data to be analyzed by AWS Athena ad hoc query engine.

Glue, which was previously announced, also includes an updated Glue Console from the one that was being used in the trial period.

Redefining TV

When it comes to data, no business moves more of it than the major video streaming services. With the announcement this week that Hulu has used AWS to build its new, over-the-top Live TV service, AWS now hosts operations for the three largest web streaming services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

"Our mission has always been to redefine TV," said Rafael Soltanovich, Hulu Vice President of Software Development, during a talk. "Our launch of Live TV this May marked more than a year since we started on a journey to build a new Hulu experience. Linking together subscription video on demand with live DVR premium content in one seamless user experience has never been done before. To make that happen, this wasn't just a small rewrite. We had to rebuild our entire stack, from back-end services to every single application."

The live service launch also meant that Hulu would have to account for and ingest more than 600 live video streams, including regional sports networks and local affiliates. "That's about 20GB per second streams coming in. We didn't want to worry about that kind of ingress in our data center." Not every enterprise is going to have the needs of a Hulu or a Netflix, but these use cases serve notice that no job is too big for the AWS cloud.

“We are running some of the largest companies in the world,” said Adrian Cockcroft, AWS Vice President for Cloud Architecture Strategy, who formerly was in charge of cloud at Netflix, 'which is giving us an ability to make it feel to you that you’re a small fish in a big pond.”

That’s an odd twist on the usual “big fish in small pond” that sometimes might be more suitable for a small customer. But in the World of AWS, it’s all about scale.

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. He has an extensive background in the technology field. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture, at TechTarget. Before that, he was the director, Editorial Operations, at Ziff Davis Enterprise. While at Ziff Davis Media, he was a writer and editor at eWEEK. No investment advice is offered in his blog. All duties are disclaimed. Scot works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture,...