AWS Unleashes Torrent of New Services, Plus Some Hardware

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2015-10-07 Print this article Print

Snowball Hardware Storage/Delivery Service

"Real out-of-the-box thinking here, or as they said in the keynote, 'in-the-box' thinking," Hilwa said. "I think this solves a real issue of securely and quickly moving data sets to the cloud for processing faster and cheaper than other options."

Snowball is for users who need to transfer large amounts of data to AWS, but don't have the time or bandwidth it takes to upload it. For example, if a company committed 100 megabits per second of their total bandwidth capacity to transferring data to AWS, transferring 100TB of data through that connection would take about 100 days, Jassy said.

So AWS came up with an old-fashioned option: Pack it all in a secure box with a Kindle tablet built onto one side and ship it. AWS Snowball—a durable and tamper-resistant, encrypted, and portable storage appliance—is that option. Users can use it to move that same 100TB of data to AWS in less than a week, and at as little as one-fifth of the cost of using high-speed Internet.

How it works: Users create a job using the AWS Management Console; AWS ships the appliance directly to the customer, and the customer, upon receiving the appliance, simply plugs it into his/her local network. Snowball provides a simple data transfer client which users use to encrypt and transfer 50TB of data to each appliance. Users can use multiple Snowball appliances in parallel to transfer larger data sets within the same time frame.

Once a customer's data is completely loaded onto a Snowball, its E Ink shipping label—displayed on the Kindle—is automatically updated with the AWS shipping address, and users can track the status of the transfer job using Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), text messages, or the AWS Management Console.

AWS Database Migration Service

This is designed to make it easy for DB admins to migrate database engines they're using on-premises to run on AWS, or to migrate from proprietary engines running on-premises to open source engines running in AWS. The service is very cost effective, Jassy said. For example, the Database Migration Service can migrate a 1TB database from on-premises to AWS for as little as $3. Setting up migration typically takes less than 10 minutes, Jassy said. The migration service handles all of the tasks involved in moving data and completing the migration.

MariaDB Now Supported by Aurora Database Engine

Starting Oct. 7, Amazon's Aurora RDS now supports MariaDB as a fully managed service, which means users can deploy a MariaDB database with a few clicks in the AWS Management Console. Amazon RDS also handles all of the administrative tasks involved in managing a database, including software installation, storage management, replication for high-availability, and back-ups for disaster recovery.

With Amazon RDS's Provisioned IOPS (PIOPS) capability, MariaDB databases can scale to 6TB and 30,000 IOPS per database instance. Users can deploy production MariaDB applications using the Multi-Availability Zone (MAZ) deployment option. Amazon RDS operates a synchronous stand-by replica with an automated fail-over mechanism.

Amazon RDS for MariaDB also supports cross-region snapshot copy operations, allowing users to keep a backup copy in a different region for disaster-recovery purposes. This can come in very useful when handling data emanating from—or going to—a European Union country. Users can operate MariaDB databases in a logically isolated virtual network fully configured and controlled with strict firewall policies using Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC).

"Aurora has proved incredibly popular," Hilwa said. "To offer technology compatible with MySQL but at a much higher performance, appears to have hit a vein of gold for AWS. I find it interesting that they are doubling down on MySQL by adding MariaDB. You have to give it to Amazon when it comes to giving their users options."

AWS re:Invent 2015 continues through Oct. 9.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK. Twitter: @editingwhiz
Join us for our next eWEEKChat Oct. 14: "Can They Pivot: Huge Challenges Facing Legacy IT Companies."


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