From Echo to Elastic Cloud, Amazon Fields Eclectic Jumble of Services

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-11-19
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    From Echo to Elastic Cloud, Amazon Fields Eclectic Jumble of Services
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    From Echo to Elastic Cloud, Amazon Fields Eclectic Jumble of Services

    By Don Reisinger
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    What Is Amazon Thinking With Echo?
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    What Is Amazon Thinking With Echo?

    Amazon Echo was unveiled by the company recently and quickly confused many folks wondering what the e-commerce firm has up its sleeve. Echo is essentially a learning, listening speaker and robot combination linked to the cloud that allows users to invoke voice-activated commands to execute various tasks, such as setting an alarm, playing music, or finding and adding a product to a shopping list. It'll go on sale for $199, but those who are Prime members and who sign up early could get their hands on the device for $99.
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    Amazon Goes Compute on Corporate Users
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    Amazon Goes Compute on Corporate Users

    Amazon Compute is arguably one of the most important products the company is offering right now. Compute, a key component in AWS, performs a wide variety of services that scale up and down according to the needs of a respective application. The service also performs application load balancing and desktop management running in the cloud.
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    Developers Should Check Out Elastic Cloud 2
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    Developers Should Check Out Elastic Cloud 2

    Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2), an important piece of Amazon's enterprise services, allows customers to rent as much cloud computing power that they need for any data processing task. Customers can quickly scale the compute capacity based on their needs. EC2 can boot new server instances in minutes in the event there are greater loads on the network than anticipated. EC2 users can try out the service for free and get 750 hours of Linux Micro Instance per month or 750 hours of the Windows Micro Instance.
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    Is There Something to the Amazon Fire Phone?
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    Is There Something to the Amazon Fire Phone?

    The Amazon Fire Phone has been widely judged a failure, especially after Amazon was forced to write down its inventory due to poor demand. Still, the company continues to promote the device, which runs on its Fire OS and comes with a 4.7-inch HD display, a 13-megapixel camera and up to 64GB of on-board storage. Customers can get all of that for free with a two-year agreement.
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    Amazon Continues to Make a Splash in Tablets
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    Amazon Continues to Make a Splash in Tablets

    Where the Amazon Fire Phone has failed, the company's Kindle Fire HDX is actually quite popular and a worthy tablet purchase. The device has an 8.9-inch screen, its integration of Fire OS is outstanding, and its design is top-notch. Best of all, at just $379 to start, it's affordable for customers looking for a solid device without spending too much money.
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    Amazon Provides Data Backup Services With Glacier
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    Amazon Provides Data Backup Services With Glacier

    Amazon Glacier doesn't get the kind of attention EC2 receives, but it's still something corporate customers should consider. The platform provides full storage, data archiving and backup to the enterprise. The service costs 1 cent per GB to start and goes up from there. For companies of all sizes, it might be worth considering as a data-archiving solution.
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    Amazon Takes Aim at Big Data Analytics With EMR
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    Amazon Takes Aim at Big Data Analytics With EMR

    Amazon EMR, or Elastic MapReduce, provides a cloud-based service for businesses to process massive amounts of data. The service runs atop EC2 instances and supports popular big data analytics tools such as Hadoop. The app can do a range of things, from running clickstream analysis to processing logs.
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    Go With Entertainment With the Fire TV
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    Go With Entertainment With the Fire TV

    Amazon's Fire TV is one of the better set-top boxes on the market if you ask someone like me who owns the Apple TV and Roku, along with Amazon's device. The Fire TV is just $99 and comes with a remote that has full voice recognition. The set-top box also has a wide variety of available apps and games, and Prime Instant Video is fully supported. It's a nice deal for $99.
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    Don't Forget About the Kindle Play
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    Don't Forget About the Kindle Play

    Amazon's Kindle services are arguably one of the most important it offers. From the Kindle ebook library to the Amazon Appstore that provides applications to the company's smartphone and tablet owners, Amazon has turned Kindle into a game-changer for a company that has relied heavily in the past on the sale of hardcover books and other products.
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    Amazon Is Developing Prime Air, Grocery Delivery Services
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    Amazon Is Developing Prime Air, Grocery Delivery Services

    Amazon is doing a variety of other things that don't often get the kind of attention they deserve. The company, for example, provides a grocery delivery service, called AmazonFresh. Amazon is also testing a delivery service, called Prime Air, that would rely on quadricopters to pick up packages and deliver them directly to customer homes. And that's just a couple of examples of what Amazon is testing. The company is trying out a wide array of products and services, and it should be interesting to see what it cooks up next.
 

Amazon might have started as an online book dealer that consistently undersold all those brick-and-mortar bookstores, but since its humble beginnings, the company has grown into an e-commerce giant. Amazon built up a vast cloud computing infrastructure to allow it to sell and deliver practically everything under the sun. That infrastructure got so large the company organized Amazon Web Services to sell cloud computing resources. This allowed it to move from being a giant online retailer to becoming a top IT services company that posed a competitive challenge to the likes of IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Google and Hewlett-Packard. At the recent AWS re:Invent 2014 conference, the company highlighted new and enhanced cloud services. This slide show looks at a selection of Amazon products and services to give folks a glimpse at just how diversified the company has become. From its recently announced Echo to AWS, Amazon has become a force to be reckoned with in countless markets with an eclectic mix of mobile devices, cloud computing packages and data processing services.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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